By Ken Sugiura
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The snow did not prevent the Falcons from keeping their rounds. Nearly all of them, anyway.
For the Falcons’ first practice since learning their divisional playoff opponent on Sunday, all but two team members made it to the Flowery Branch practice facility on Monday. While declining to identify the two snow-bound players, coach Mike Smith complimented his players for carpooling to ensure attendance.
The day’s hero was defensive end Kroy Biermann, who rescued teammate John Abraham after Abraham’s car slid off I-985 on the way to practice. Biermann, driving his heavy-duty pickup truck, met Abraham on the side of the road and chauffeured him the rest of the way. Abraham tweeted updates and pictures of the adventure.
“Biermann has the biggest truck on the team,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “He can probably get anybody out of the ditch.”
It should come as no surprise that Biermann hails from Hardin, Mont., which has an average snowfall of 21 inches.
The icy conditions did cause the cancellation of Smith’s Monday evening radio show, as well as several planned appearances by players, cheerleaders and mascot Freddie Falcon at area Verizon Wireless stores. The events have been re-scheduled for Wednesday.
Georgia Dome general manager Carl Adkins said he was pleased that the snow dumped on Atlanta on Sunday and not, say, this coming Saturday.
“With the long-term forecast, it looks like things are going to work out just fine this weekend,” he said.
Adkins said Georgia World Congress Center crews worked overnight to clear streets, parking lots and sidewalks. Two conventions being held Monday ran on schedule. Adkins wasn’t concerned about a Metrodome-style roof collapse. The Minneapolis stadium’s roof is air-supported, while the Georgia Dome’s roof is held up by cables. The roof is inspected annually and is in good condition, he said.
Capers vs. Mularkey
After Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers finish matching wits Saturday, their competition might extend to the offices of the Denver Broncos. ESPN reported that the Broncos are interested in Capers for their head-coach opening. Mularkey was to interview with Denver for the same job on Friday, but canceled the meeting because he felt it would interfere with playoff preparations. Mularkey, who would like to interview if the job is still open when the Falcons’ season ends, interviewed for the Cleveland job on Saturday.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan‘s No. 2 jersey was not among the top 25 best sellers on NFLShop.com through early January. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is No. 7. Having a top-selling jersey, though, hasn’t been much of a charm. Six of the top 10 either didn’t make it into the playoffs or are already out.
Bookmakers have made the Falcons a one- and two-point favorite for the game. It’s the tightest line of the four divisional playoff games.
Fans trying to score tickets may want to wait. On Monday, there were more than 9,500 tickets for sale on re-sale website stubhub.com, which a spokeswoman said was the most of any of the four divisional playoff games. The lowest sale price on Monday afternoon was $105.
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