The Atlanta Falcons came off of their bye week ready to work. The team is preparing to face the Cardinals in the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
Fresh off their bye and in good health, the Falcons returned to practice Monday to begin preparations for their next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Atop the NFC South with a 6-4 record, Atlanta is garnering lots of attention as a legitimate playoff contender. Inside the walls of Flowery Branch, however, the players aren't thinking about what could happen in January.
Instead, they remain concerned with the work that's right in front of them.
"We just got to stay together, take it day by day, focus on today, focus on this practice we're going through and continue to get better each day," SS Keanu Neal said. "Just embrace the opportunity and continue to work. Not looking too far to the future, just looking at the now, focused on the now and doing right longer."
The Falcons kept this mindset during their week off, as head coach Dan Quinn issued a "club-wide" challenge to find ways to improve. Quinn made sure to connect with his players over the break to discuss this challenge, and by staying productive away from team headquarters, the Falcons were able to hit the ground running on Monday to kick-start a productive week.
"We have a real clear identity in terms of our team," Quinn said. "The way this team is really connected, the brotherhood that we have, the way we love going after the ball defensively, taking care of it offensively, attacking at all three phases, and the last part is that finish. That's finishing drives, finishing halves, and finishing games. That's going to be my message in terms of the things that we can do better."
Quinn also stressed the importance of fan support. Atlanta hasn't played a game at the Georgia Dome since Oct. 30, and with a chance to earn their seventh game of 2016, the Falcons are excited to return home to face the Cardinals.
"The last part for us down this home stretch our fans are part of our brotherhood," Quinn said. "Let's see if we can take the top off this Dome and send it out in the right fashion. We're looking forward to an awesome week in terms of the things we want to improve upon and getting ready for our game against Arizona."