1. Welcome Back: Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong was one of four coaches to remain on the team's coaching staff from last season. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and Armstrong worked together on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff in 2005-06 and have stayed in touch ever since. As far as his role in meeting the new coaches on Quinn's staff, Armstrong embraces the opportunity to teach.
"There's some young guys on (the coaching staff)," Armstrong said. "We're trying to get to know each other. I'll probably work more than anybody else with the younger coaches and get those guys all introduced to special teams, and they'll all share a part of teams with me and helping me out. I treat it like this: I didn't have to move, but it's a new job, and you have to take that approach."
2. The Dan Quinn Effect:New Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan stepped in front of the cameras after Armstrong and described excitement for his new position. Among the many topics he covered: eagerness to work with Matt Ryan, his preference for offensive linemen who can run down the field in the team's zone scheme and utilizing running backs who can run downhill and move the chains. There would be no opportunities for Shanahan in Atlanta, however, if not for his relationship with Quinn.
"Dan was one of the main reasons I wanted to come here," Shanahan said. "I was very impressed with Dan and really just how loyal he was to me. He told me a long time ago that he wanted me as a coordinator and for a guy to do that, who I had never met in person before, who I hadn't spent a lot of time with, it made me feel extremely loyal to him. I think he's a very honest person. I think you got a special guy."
3. Coaching Julio: Having coached Pro Bowl wide reciever Andre Johnson during his time with the Houston Texans (2006-09), Shanahan compared Johnson's skills with that of his new Pro Bowl wide receiver, Julio Jones.
"There are lots of different ways to be good as a receiver, but Andre and Julio are two guys who are as explosive as anybody," Shanahan said. "The way they come off the ball and the way they can eat up a cushion and scare a defensive back every single play by just the power and stuff they can come off the ball with, the physicalness they play with, running through the ball, it's very exciting."
4. A Defensive Philosophy: Following Shanahan's media session, new Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith addressed the media, first by sharing the connection he's had with Quinn, dating back to their time together with the San Francisco 49ers. Later, when asked about his philosophy on defense, Smith made his point very clear.
"It's not my philosophy; it's our philosophy," Smith said. "What we're looking for first is guys who come out and have fun. We're looking to play fast, fundamentally sound and able to attack. We want to make a system that players can play fast and hard, trying to create turnovers in terms of our aggressive style of play."
5. Time for Pressure: Like Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank, the team's fan base has been waiting for a defense that puts relentless pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Smith conveyed the same desires, wanting to make other teams' quarterbacks as uncomfortable as possible.
"To generate pressure on the quarterback, to get him off his spot, all those issues are really important," Smith said. "You'd love to have a 45-50 sack football team every year, (and) you might not have that, but getting the quarterback off his spot and making him uncomfortable are things we'll try to create."