Falcons discussing fines to clean up penalty issue

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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses a variety of topics, including penalties and the play of tight end Austin Hooper, Wednesday in Flowery Branch. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter)

The Falcons are trying to figure out how to cut down on their penalties.

“Just call it out,” defensive end Adrian Clayborn said. “Call it out and say it’s not acceptable. Then work on it.”

The Falcons rank second most in the NFL in penalties, with 37. Only Cleveland (46) has more.

There was some talk of imposing $100 fines on the violators, which would have already produced a pot of $3,700.

“We can do that, but at the end of the day we have to be professional,” Clayborn said. “We all have a lot of money, so $100 ain’t really going to do (expletive). We just have to hold each other accountable and do it that way.”

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Under coach Mike Smith, the team had a penalty report to start the first Monday meeting after games.

“Nobody wants to be called out by their teammates,” Clayborn said. “On the other end, nobody wants to cause a 5-yard penalty or turn a third down into a first down, that hurts more than a fine to me.”

Right guard Jamon Brown believes there are some benefits to fines.

“It definitely makes you aware, makes you more urgent,” Brown said. “Makes you more sure that you’re paying attention to the details and you’ll make sure you’re locked in on things like the cadence. Defensively, makes sure you’re watching the ball.”

The penalty-shaming might work, too.

“It’s more the dishonor of being called out,” Brown said. “It’s not really the amount of the fine. It’s more that I was the guy that kind of hurt our team. You don’t want to be that guy. It’s easier said than done.”


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