From a practice perspective, the second half of the 2014 regular season officially began for the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday as the team put on pads for the first time since its Week 8 loss in London.
Between then and now, the players had time to get away from football, but also had opportunities to watch and study film, assess what went wrong in the first eight games and channel all focus on flipping a 2-6 record into a playoff-contending season.
During his time off, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did all of the above — rejuvenated, reviewed and rested — including taking in some television, where he caught a valuable lesson during a "60 Minutes" segment on a Navy SEALS training exercise.
The SEALs were working on climbing and had been doing so for a couple of hundred feet, roughly halfway to their goal, when one of the team members began to panic, causing an instructor to scale next to him. The moment offered valuable insight that helped the SEAL and could prove beneficial to Ryan and his teammates.
"He said, 'Worry about the 3 feet around you and don't focus on anything else,' " Ryan said. "I think that's kind of apropos to where we're at. You can't worry about the 200 feet we have to go or worry about the 200 feet we've already gone; instead, we have to focus on the immediate 3 feet around us and control what we can control and if we have that zoom focus that they were talking about, I think that could really help us."