5 Things: Run Defense Seeing Success

1. Injury Updates: Five Falcons did not participate in Wednesday's practice, including wide receiver Julio Jones (hip), wide receiver Roddy White (ankle) and running back Steven Jackson (quad). Kicker Matt Bryant was also out with an illness. Guard Jon Asamoah, who missed Sunday's game in New Orleans with a back injury, returned to practice Wednesday in a limited role. Click here for the Falcons' official injury report.

2. Ryan's Priceless Experience: Sunday's must-win game against the Carolina Panthers could cause players to get extra nervous or distracted, taking away from their natural ability on the field. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan personifies his "Matty Ice" nickname in such clutch situations, thanks to his seven years of experience and focused preparation.

"From the quarterback position, you really have to settle yourself down and just go out there and execute and play the way you're capable of," Ryan said. "I've got a lot of experience doing that, and I trust in my routine; I think that's one of the things in these types of situations that you have to believe in."

3. Hester Talks Pro Bowl: One day after being named to his fourth-career Pro Bowl, Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester was asked what the honor means to him in his first season with the Falcons.

"It's been a new start for me on a new team, and I'm fortunate to get voted into the Pro Bowl," Hester said. "At the end of the day, it just shows me what I believed, that I can still do it. That's one of the biggest things for me, they (Falcons) took a chance on me, and now I have to continue to do it."

When asked for his thoughts about being voted to the Pro Bowl along with Jones, Hester struck a big smile before walking directly into a team meeting.

4. The Worrilow Effect: The Falcons run defense has seen a drastic improvement in the last month, highlighted by its defensive-front production and the team's tackling machine, Paul Worrilow, who ranks fourth in the league with 136 tackles. Worrilow knows every tackle attempt is crucial, making a stop on impact, including Sunday against the likes of Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart.

"That's big," Worrilow said. "Especially when you have these one-on-one tackles where you wrap up and drive them back. We have to be sure we don't give up those extra yards upon contact or at the very least hold them up until the whole gang can get there."

Also on Wednesday, Worrilow received the "Good Guy Award," presented by the Atlanta chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America to the player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. Falcons safety William Moore won the award last season.

5. Bosher Honored: The NFL recognized Falcons punter Matt Bosher's Sunday performance against the New Orleans Saints, earning the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week Award. Bosher blasted five punts for 221 yards (44.2 avg), four of which were downed inside the 20-yard line and one that covered 55 yards.

"I'm honored to receive the award," Bosher said. "It's awesome, but we still have another game to get ready for, a big divisional game. Like Smitty (coach Smith) has been telling us, this is our playoffs, this is our way in, and we just have to keep fighting in this big one against Carolina and move on."

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