As preparations continue for Sunday's Week 1 matchup against the visiting New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons coordinators Dirk Koetter, Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong carved out time to meet with reporters, discussing key factors for hopeful success against their NFC South rival.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter on what stands out about the Saints defense: "Their front, how hard and consistent their front plays, the consistently-good play of their middle linebacker (Curtis Lofton) and obviously, they have the new addition of (Jairus) Byrd at free safety; we've played against him before at Buffalo and have a lot of respect for his play. It's a rivalry game against a great defense and we know that it will be a great challenge for our guys, but one that everyone is looking forward to."
Koetter on expectations for Falcons QB
Koetter on the impact of Falcons WR
Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on facing Saints QB Drew Brees: "Drew is a great quarterback; he's a Hall of Fame QB; he hasn't been voted in yet, but there's no question the guy is going in. He's awesome and he's a great one to compete against and if you're a competitor, that's who you want to go against and I think our players feel the same way. He's very good at recognizing the blitz; he's very good at getting rid of the ball, avoiding the sack in the pocket. The challenge is there, not only from a scheme standpoint, but more importantly from a players' standpoint and when it gets down to it, the players are the guys that want to make the plays and have to make them."
Nolan on Falcons S
Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong on the Saints return game: "They’re a solid unit. They do a very good job. They know us and we know them. They’ve got some good returners (RB Travaris) Cadet has done a nice job for them, (WR Brandin) Cooks is extremely fast, a 4.33 (40-yard dash) punt returner; whenever you’re covering in this league, you may not know that guy, but you better treat him like he’s the best that you’ve ever faced."
Armstrong on expectations for Falcons WR