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Falcons In A Rush To Get Dalton


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By Vaughn McClure | September 11, 2014 10:30:08 AM PDT

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Mike Nolan didn't make any excuses, but the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator was realistic in discussing why his defense didn't record a sack against New Orleans last week.

"We eliminated a lot of the potential pressures we were going to use because the things that Drew [brees] was doing took us a little bit out of our game," Nolan said. "I've got to give the guy credit: The frustrations that we had were really created by him. He did an outstanding job. He's a great quarterback, no question."

Generating a better pass rush against Andy Dalton is a goal for the Falcons on Sunday.

Indeed it was hard for the Falcons to rush four, blitz, or be effective with their twists because of Brees' footwork and ability to get the ball out quickly and the protection in front of him.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is no Brees, so the Falcons could have more success with their pressure this Sunday in Cincinnati.

"It doesn't matter who it is; I think the pass-rush plan every week should be to attack the quarterback," said Falcons outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi. "So regardless if you're an MVP or Pro Bowl quarterback, at the end of the day, the mentality is the same: that's to get the quarterback on the ground.

"We, as a front seven, have to try harder to continue to bring pressure on any quarterback that we play week in and week out."

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux provided the most consistent pressure in the opener, but he had a sack negated by a defensive penalty. The first time the Falcons attempted to blitz Brees, inside linebacker Paul Worrilow admitted he didn't time it correctly.

"We have some good [blitzes], and I think we can get some good ones this weekend," Worrilow said. "I think we can definitely do a better job, pressure-wise, this week than we did last week."

The Falcons will face another quarterback capable of getting the ball out quickly in Dalton. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Dalton did not get sacked as he attempted 38 passes in a 23-16 victory. Dalton averaged 5.7 yards per attempt in passes to players other than top receiver A.J. Green, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

The Falcons have to be aware of the quick screens Dalton likes to throw. They have to be alert of running back Giovani Bernard as a threat out of the backfield; he caught six passes last Sunday and was targeted 10 times. They have to prepared for Dalton running the no-huddle. And they even have to be cautious of a few read-option plays Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson likes to sprinkle in.

But when Dalton takes his five-step drops or sits back and scans the field out of shotgun, the pressure has to be there. If not, Dalton might have repeated success throwing the deep ball to Green, an elite receiver.

"Andy Dalton is a very physical and competitive quarterback," Massaquoi said. "We've got to be great in our disguises and even better with our pass rush to try and get him on the ground."

The offensive line the Falcons will have to contend with isn't too shabby, either, with Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith at the tackles, although Smith is battling a shoulder injury. Massaquoi said familiarity with the Bengals' line might help the defense's cause.

"Their tackles are not bad," he said. "We actually went against them in training camp last year. They've pretty much got the same offense, the same tackles.

"I pretty much have a game plan in line about what I want to do, starting with speed, ending with power, and just trying to get Dalton on the ground."

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By Vaughn McClure | September 11, 2014 10:30:08 AM PDT

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Mike Nolan didn't make any excuses, but the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator was realistic in discussing why his defense didn't record a sack against New Orleans last week.

"We eliminated a lot of the potential pressures we were going to use because the things that Drew [brees] was doing took us a little bit out of our game," Nolan said. "I've got to give the guy credit: The frustrations that we had were really created by him. He did an outstanding job. He's a great quarterback, no question."

Generating a better pass rush against Andy Dalton is a goal for the Falcons on Sunday.

Indeed it was hard for the Falcons to rush four, blitz, or be effective with their twists because of Brees' footwork and ability to get the ball out quickly and the protection in front of him.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is no Brees, so the Falcons could have more success with their pressure this Sunday in Cincinnati.

"It doesn't matter who it is; I think the pass-rush plan every week should be to attack the quarterback," said Falcons outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi. "So regardless if you're an MVP or Pro Bowl quarterback, at the end of the day, the mentality is the same: that's to get the quarterback on the ground.

"We, as a front seven, have to try harder to continue to bring pressure on any quarterback that we play week in and week out."

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux provided the most consistent pressure in the opener, but he had a sack negated by a defensive penalty. The first time the Falcons attempted to blitz Brees, inside linebacker Paul Worrilow admitted he didn't time it correctly.

"We have some good [blitzes], and I think we can get some good ones this weekend," Worrilow said. "I think we can definitely do a better job, pressure-wise, this week than we did last week."

The Falcons will face another quarterback capable of getting the ball out quickly in Dalton. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Dalton did not get sacked as he attempted 38 passes in a 23-16 victory. Dalton averaged 5.7 yards per attempt in passes to players other than top receiver A.J. Green, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

The Falcons have to be aware of the quick screens Dalton likes to throw. They have to be alert of running back Giovani Bernard as a threat out of the backfield; he caught six passes last Sunday and was targeted 10 times. They have to prepared for Dalton running the no-huddle. And they even have to be cautious of a few read-option plays Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson likes to sprinkle in.

But when Dalton takes his five-step drops or sits back and scans the field out of shotgun, the pressure has to be there. If not, Dalton might have repeated success throwing the deep ball to Green, an elite receiver.

"Andy Dalton is a very physical and competitive quarterback," Massaquoi said. "We've got to be great in our disguises and even better with our pass rush to try and get him on the ground."

The offensive line the Falcons will have to contend with isn't too shabby, either, with Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith at the tackles, although Smith is battling a shoulder injury. Massaquoi said familiarity with the Bengals' line might help the defense's cause.

"Their tackles are not bad," he said. "We actually went against them in training camp last year. They've pretty much got the same offense, the same tackles.

"I pretty much have a game plan in line about what I want to do, starting with speed, ending with power, and just trying to get Dalton on the ground."

One thing's for sure we won't be as scared to blitz Dalton as we were against Brees. Something tells me Nolan may get a little more creative this week with the dialing up blitzes

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Good read. I personally like Nolan giving Brees the props for just playing THAT good.

Yeah... if all the stats show that blitzing Brees ruins a defense, then then don't blitz Brees. Although I wish we could get pressure on him otherwise, I'm glad our DC understands not to try to blitz him.

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Guest King Jigsaw

Read the thread title, thought we were trying to trade for Dalton before this Sunday's game.

TD: "A little thing we like to call strategy."

MS: "Something we've been aiming to execute for a while."

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Guest Negatorris

I loved Bryan Cox on Hard Knocks but his addition has not impacted our DL one bit, unlike the addition of Tice. Nolan better figure something out quickly.

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Guest Negatorris

Eh, a bit early to say that I think...

You're crazy.

Just what I've observed from preseason up until now. Do you see a difference from last year? We got beat by the run and we couldn't rush the passer.

I'm not imagining this sh*t.

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Just what I've observed from preseason up until now. Do you see a difference from last year? We got beat by the run and we couldn't rush the passer.

I'm not imagining this sh*t.

There was no where to run in the middle, it all had to go outside. Our run defense is much improved over last year. Problem is our OLBs right now but I think that'll get fixed over the course of the season. Brees was also under pressure quite a bit but he did what he does, sliding and avoiding pressure and getting rid of the ball in time.

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There was no where to run in the middle, it all had to go outside. Our run defense is much improved over last year. Problem is our OLBs right now but I think that'll get fixed over the course of the season.

Not to mention the defense was committed to stop the pass against the Saints, Safeties were deep almost all the game. Against Bengals, focus should be on stopping the run and take the play action deep ball away.

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Good read. I personally like Nolan giving Brees the props for just playing THAT good.

I don't know. I don't see the Seahawks praising quarterbacks for not being able to get pressure. They attacked the best quarterback in the game after the best season in history on their terms. I do agree that with the rule changes an elite quarterback with a good line can rarely be touched. You just have to hope your quarterback is as good or better. Luckily ours was last Sunday.

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I don't know. I don't see the Seahawks praising quarterbacks for not being able to get pressure. They attacked the best quarterback in the game after the best season in history on their terms. I do agree that with the rule changes an elite quarterback with a good line can rarely be touched. You just have to hope your quarterback is as good or better. Luckily ours was last Sunday.

Tom Brady's line must be pretty pathetic this year.

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