Players Learning from Last Battle with Seahawks
When the Falcons dropped a close (and heated) matchup to the Seahawks on Oct. 16, they thought there was a good chance the two clubs would meet again in the playoffs. That'll happen Saturday afternoon at the Georgia Dome. And while each team has evolved into a different version of itself over the last few months, head coach Dan Quinn believes there's valuable information to glean from the Week 6 tape.
"You know what can help? Just (reviewing) some individual matchups," Quinn said. "Sometimes for the players, they can look (at) who they played against. Oftentimes as coaches, we're so involved with the scheme of how to attack, how to play this scheme, this formation, this defense, this way that we cover. But for the players, oftentimes, 'How do I match up on that player? How do I study his stance? How do I go against that guy; this move worked against press coverage, this one didn't.' So, there's definitely things to gain from it as far as plays and concepts – both teams have a big playbook, and there will be different ways that they'll try to attack. But for the players, it's important to know who you're playing against as much as anything."
Focus Remains on the Process
There's a lot to be learned from Atlanta's 30-28 loss at CenturyLink Field, but otherwise, Quinn emphasized the Falcons "try not to look too far ahead, weeks ahead, and we try not to look too far behind." Instead, their focus is on maintaining the routine that helped them earn the NFC South title and a first-round bye.
"The best that we can do is stay in that process of doing what we do and making that the primary purpose," Quinn said. "We recognize – because you go back through the game plan, 'These are things that did well, these are the things that you didn't (do well), both when you win and when you don't.' Past that, man, you throw it all into that week. Because once the game begins, you're not thinking much past this game, this attack."
Young Falcons Preparing for Big Challenge
Many Falcons will take part in their first NFL playoff game this week. On defense alone, second-year pros Vic Beasley Jr., Jalen Collins and Grady Jarrett, along with rookies Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell and Brian Poole, are likely to start in their postseason debuts. Quinn's message to those players is simple and clear: "We get right back to it, and we do what we do."
"There's a real style and attitude that we play (with); there's a real style that we want to go and prepare. Having that process that allows you to go through and get ready, I think that's really important as a competitor," he added. "'This is what we do Wednesdays, this is what we do Thursdays, Fridays,' and then when you get to the game, we're not going to ask any of the players to do anything that they're unfamiliar with. The main thing for us, man, let's stay right in that pocket and get ready."