FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Another trip up North is just around the corner for the Falcons (3-3), but the team has remained focused this week on correcting their mistakes and paying extra attention to the details.
Today's Early Bird Report leaves the past where it belongs and looks at one potential matchup Julio Jones may face on Sunday.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
NFL.com: Ryan – Falcons thinking about 2016 'is not useful'
Since February, the Falcons have fielded non-stop questions about moving on from 2016. Now that six games have passed in their new season, quarterback Matt Ryan believes it's time to finally leave the past in the past.
"We are not playing good enough as a unit in 2017," Ryan said after Wednesday's practice. "Frankly, I don't really care to go back to 2016. It's not useful for us."
As NFL.com’s Kevin Patra notes, there's not much that's different tendency-wise for the Falcons' offense this season compared to last. Execution has been the notable difference in 2017, but Atlanta is focused on fixing that moving forward, not talking about the past.
ESPN.com: Allen – No players-only meeting needed to end skid
As people outside of the organization scramble to understand what's happened to the Falcons during their three-game skid, those inside of the locker room trust the plan they've put in place. Thus, as free safety Ricardo Allen told ESPN's Vaughn McClure, there’s no need for a players-only meeting.
"No, we don't need one because we're grown men and we know what we've got to do," Allen told McClure. "We understand: We're not winning games. We understand we've got to tighten up. That's point-blank, period. It's not like a surprise. We understand what we're messing up.
"It's not like we're just going out there and all s--- is just going bad. It's small things, and those small things come back to haunt you. We've been here before. We've lost games before because of doing that s---. But we also have gotten it right before and started winning. That's all we have to do."
NEWS ON THE FALCONS' OPPONENT: New York Jets
ESPN.com: Morris Claiborne's road to elite status runs through Julio
Julio Jones has made some of the very best defensive backs on Earth look silly at times during his stellar NFL career. Now with the New York Jets, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne could be tasked with guarding the Falcons' No. 1 receiver on Sunday afternoon. The Jets are very thin right now at the cornerback position, and Claiborne is really the only player they have capable of hanging with Jones, writes ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
"I can't rank myself nowhere right now. I'm not a Pro Bowler yet," Claiborne said when asked to compare himself to the elite cornerbacks in the league, according to Cimini. "Those guys are three-time and four-time Pro Bowlers. I'm working to get there, but I don't feel like I'm far behind."
Limiting Jones on Sunday would be a good place for Claiborne to start.
BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFC SOUTH
*Tampa Bay Times: *Bucs place defensive end Noah Spence on injured reserve
Tampa Bay will be without one of its top edge rushers for the remainder of the season, as second-year defensive end Noah Spence was placed on injured reserve due to a recurring shoulder injury, according to Rick Stroud of the *Tampa Bay Times**. *
In addition to placing Spence on IR, the Buccaneers also announced the signing of veteran defensive end Darryl Tapp and cornerback Deji Olatoye, who was on the Falcons' roster earlier this season and has played seven games in Atlanta over the past two years.
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