The Falcons' defense improved in almost every statistical category in 2015, one being the secondary. But, where they might have seen the biggest change was in the overall mindset of the group, starting from tone-setting coaches like Marquand Manuel.
Manuel, Atlanta's secondary coach and senior defensive assistant, played in the NFL for eight years and understands firsthand what preparation and focus can do for an athlete.
His experience allows him to take a different approach when educating his current group of players.
Between Manuel's teaching style and the talent Atlanta possesses in their secondary, the Falcons made major leaps last season, starting with the 15 interceptions that ranked in 10th in the NFL. And while the improvement is encouraging, this particular group is committed to pushing the limit.
Going into the second year together, Manuel knows how he can get his group to where they ultimately want to be.
"We need to focus on the details," Manuel said. "There's a difference between me going out and watching a receiver and reading a receiver. If I watch a receiver, I am just watching them run and catch the ball. If I'm reading a receiver, I'm trying to see exactly what he's about to do. That's the detail part of what I'm doing. Where can I get lined up better? The details of how I line up, the details of my urgency. The details are what you start to see on the field."