- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2011

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons are still ticked off about their last game.

It’s time to start making up for that ugly playoff loss.

With the lockout settled, the Falcons opened training camp Friday amid a flurry of moves designed to set up another run at the team’s first Super Bowl title.

In the space of 24 hours, the Falcons lured free-agent defensive end Ray Edwards away from the Minnesota Vikings, agreed to a new deal with Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyson Clabo and locked up their entire draft class, including top pick Julio Jones.

Last season, Atlanta won the NFC South championship and claimed the top seed in the conference playoffs. But the Falcons were blown out at home in their first postseason game, losing 48-21 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

“I don’t know how many times I got asked in the offseason, ‘Hey, what happened in that game? Why didn’t y’all make it further?’” center Todd McClure said. “I got tired of answering those questions.”

The defense certainly has something to prove after getting shredded by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay never even had to punt in its playoff romp.

“As a defense, we played a lot better (last season) than we had in the previous three years,” linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. “But that last game leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

The Falcons made a major move to shore up the defense Friday, agreeing to terms with Edwards. He had 16.5 sacks the last two seasons in Minnesota and gives his new team a much-needed pass-rushing threat to complement John Abraham.

Atlanta also agreed to a five-year, $25-million deal with Clabo, the cornerstone of the offensive line. The contract includes about $11.5 million in guaranteed money.

Finally, the Falcons locked up their entire draft class, including a four-year, $16.2-million deal for top draft pick Julio Jones.

The deals were made possible when Atlanta released two former first-round picks, receiver Michael Jenkins and defensive end Jamaal Anderson, clearing $7.8 million under the salary cap.

Addressing needs on both sides of the line, the Falcons made it clear they still intend to be a major factor in the NFC, even though the schedule _ especially in the first five weeks _ is much tougher than a year ago.

“If we can stay healthy and go out and play the type of ball we’ve been playing, we’ve got a shot,” McClure said. “Obviously, you play ‘em one game at a time, but with that end goal in mind.”

Not everything went Atlanta’s way during the hectic free-agent signing period, condensed into just a few days after the players approved a 10-year labor agreement that ended the 4-month-long lockout.

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