Falcons Enter Regular Season Prep Mode

Posted Aug 20, 2013

The results on the scoreboard still don’t matter since it’s the preseason, but this week’s game features a departure from the preseason norm. With the Falcons facing off against the Titans this week, the coaching staff and players will experience a week close in similarity to a regular season week.

The closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the regular season comes this week. While the Falcons staff will continue to use the preseason process to evaluate all players on the current roster, working towards the final 53, Week 3 is traditionally the week when the team’s starters get the longest look.

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Last season in the third week of the preseason, the starters played around 45 snaps, roughly 68 percent of the game’s total. The majority of them played the entire first half and into the third quarter, taking the field for two series after halftime, a welcomed warmup for the regular season.

“It gives us a chance to get into a rhythm and a routine for the regular season to work on your craft and your trade,” Kroy Biermann said. “We’re going to go out there and get better.”

With longer playing times for starters comes the first week of game planning. Coaches are working to devise schemes against their Week 3 opponent, the Titans, and they’ll be installing that game plan during the week. With lots of playing time looming for the roster’s final players in Week 4, this week represents a change in the action those young players will see.

“We’ll have scout teams, where we’ll try and simulate the Tennessee Titans offenses and defenses, so the younger players will have a new role,” head coach Mike Smith said. “The number of snaps we’re going to get will be reduced, simply because we are going to have to prepare both our offense and defense.”

Smith said this week will be much like a regular work week during the regular season. With the game on Saturday, the schedule of days bumps forward by one day, but the sequence will remain the similar. Tuesday’s practice session will star the week, but it will be considered a typical regular-season Wednesday, when much of the game plan is installed.

Week 3 is a dress rehearsal for the coaches as well since they’ve not installed a game plan during the preseason so far. Getting them used to the flow of the work week is just as critical as it is for players.

“It helps the coaches probably more than the players to go through the process of getting back into the sequence of the week: what we’re going to do on Monday, what we’re going to do on Tuesday, how we install on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” Smith said. “So, it’s just a dry run for us.”

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