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How Falcons offensive coordinator Zac Robinson is preparing as a first-time play-caller 

During offseason trainings, Zac Robinson has simulated live-game play calling to prepare for his new role this upcoming season. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons offensive coordinator Zac Robinson will don the headset for the first time as a new offensive play-caller this upcoming season. However, Robinson has been preparing for this moment since Raheem Morris met him when he was just an assistant quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Rams, and Morris came in as the defensive coordinator in 2021.

Since then, Morris watched Robinson get a taste of play calling in previous Rams' training camps. Now, this offseason during the Falcons' organized team activities, Robinson had the chance to simulate that role with his own offense.

"All those things just naturally come with more reps and trying to get a feel for our guys, our personnel, our players," Robinson said. "It'll be constantly evolving, but it'll be fun to finally see when it matters and get into that flow."

In OTA practices Robinson said they'll go some periods scripted. He'll pull out a mini call sheet and work off of that for the day. He's able to practice live-game situations and get more comfortable finding a rhythm through different variables. For example, what flow is quarterback Kirk Cousins in? What is the defensive front showing? What does the coverage look like on the backend?


While it has been Robinson making the calls, it's been a joint effort to help the coordinator get comfortable. Both Morris and Falcons defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake have played a role in Robinson's offseason development. Morris spent the last four seasons as a defensive play-caller, and even though this will be the first time Lake has called a game in the NFL, he's done it at the college level. They've been in Robinson's shoes before.

"Jimmy Lake helps me out a ton just about learning his scheme, what he's seeing from us," Robinson said. "There's good collaboration with that."

Robinson has also learned from watching Rams head coach and offensive play-caller Sean McVay for five seasons, including a Super Bowl win in 2021-22. Robinson closely observed McVay's preparation and has taken pieces of that process into his own.

"Sean (McVay) is such a unique play-caller, leader, the way he sees the game. To say there's a few things that stick out, it's really everything from the last five years," Robinson said. "I know in terms of his process and how he went throughout the week, I've talked to him about it, but I've watched it more than anything."

As Robinson gets more comfortable as a play-caller through offseason install, there's only so much that can be simulated in non-padded, no-contact practices. A new challenge will emerge when training camp begins and as preseason leads into Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sept. 8.

"Whether I realize it now or realize it when the season starts, all these little things are kind of adding up," Robinson said. "There's gonna be a lot of things over the summer that I'll continue to do and make sure that once we get to training camp you get some clarity on exactly how you want it to look from the call sheet, who's up in the box, who's down on the field, what's that communication going to look like on game day. So, that we're rolling once we kick this thing off."

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