'To-Do' List Set as Falcons Look to Right Ship

If you're a task-driven person, lists are likely your best friend, utilizing them to prioritize what needs to be done and when. Lists are also used in the process of fixing problems, identifying what exactly is preventing desired success, before showcasing resiliency to resolve the issues.

Roughly 19 hours after the Atlanta Falcons walked off the field at the Georgia Dome, following Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Chicago Bears, Falcons head coach Mike Smith addressed the media in his weekly Monday press conference, identifying the keys to fixing the team, including:

• Better execution on third down, both offensively and defensively
• Limit, if not eliminate, explosive plays — those covering 20-plus yards
• Improving protection of Falcons QB Matt Ryan
• Eliminate dropped passes
• Put more pressure on the QB with better rush lanes
• Eliminate busted coverages in the secondary

"I'm ultimately held responsible, but we have to do it as a team," Smith said. "We're in this together and we've got to make sure that what we do on the practice field translates to the game field. If guys go out and perform in practice, they're going to get an opportunity to do it in the game and we're going to look at every possible combination. We're evaluating players every day that they're out there and we've got to be accountable to each other as coaches to players and as players to coaches."

As for the "when" the team's problems need to be fixed, the answer is now, days before the Week 7 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, followed by three more games, each away from the Georgia Dome.

Smith later went on to further emphasize specific areas the team will address, including the eight explosive plays it allowed in Sunday's loss, totaling 231 yards, and, offensively, doing a better job of looking the ball in to prevent dropped balls, which plagued the Falcons in Week 6.

"Every guy in here is not playing the way we expect him to play," Falcons WR Roddy White said Monday. "We have to execute better and whatever play is called, we have to go out there and execute it the right way. All 11 guys have to go out there and do their job."

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