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Falcons' Paul Worrilow Intent On Becoming Playmaker In New Scheme


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Falcons' Paul Worrilow intent on becoming playmaker in new scheme

Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer

When Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Paul Worrilow huddled with new position coach Jeff Ulbrich this offseason, the goal was to establish a play-making mentality rather than being satisfied just playing a role.

For a guy who led the team in tackles the last two seasons, such a conversation might have seemed a little discomforting. However, Worrilow took Ulbrich’s words to heart, particularly coming from a guy who played 10 seasons at linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers.

Worrilow knows his coach believes he’ll excel in the Falcons' swarming, attacking 4-3-under a defense that incorporates some 3-4 personnel tendencies.

"It’s all about knowing when you can take your shots and knowing where your help is," Worrilow said. "I think in the past, it was like, 'This is my responsibility and this is where I’m going,' instead of taking those shots.

"[in this defense], you know what the offense is doing; their tendencies and you know where your help is -- where you can take a shot and you’re not going to hurt the team and the integrity of the defense. It allows you to take those chances and play a lot faster. You want to make plays that change the game. That’s why you’re out there."

Worrilow, undrafted out of Delaware in 2013, collected 269 total tackles his first two NFL seasons. He realizes none of those statistics really matter when you're playing on one of the league's worst defenses and making tackles down the field. He's also taken measures to improve his tackling, realizing he's missed his share.

"I'm buying into everything [the coaches] have installed," Worrilow said. "We've had a huge emphasis on tackling; being taught a way that you really haven't been taught before. It's a lot of detail, which is good. It's going to be a good payoff."

Worrilow is known as a highly intelligent player on the field. Off the field, he continues to put more time into studying tendencies, as Ulbrich encouraged him to do.

"I’ve learned a whole lot since Coach Ulbrich came in," Worrilow said. "Getting a different perspective from him has been a big thing. He’s been somebody who has had to prepare for these games. The things that he’s seen … I mean, I feel like I’m light years ahead of before.

"I’ve always put in a lot of time. Now, I feel like I’m more dialed in to the things that I need to be."

Worrilow dropped weight and improved his flexibility this offseason to better prepare himself for the style of football coach Dan Quinn desires.

“He is one of the guys that define grit,'' Quinn said of Worrilow. "He just won’t back off. When you go and see him, and the communication that he has, he is always trying to improve. That part of the game you see it all the time. He is very critical of himself, but at the same time he is really developing into a leader."

Worrilow appreciates the high praise but doesn't seek it.

"Those are not the things you pay attention to," he said. "I'm just keeping my head down, trying to be vocal out here, and just staying focused on the immediate: what I can do today."

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The fact that Worrilow would not have to cover the entire middle third of the field by himself with the addition of Schofield, Durant, Reed and Beasley will improve his game. I think he will be fine this season.

Yeah, I think that playing in a more confined space will help him a lot. Gotta solve those missed tackles, though!

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While I have been critical of Worrilows performance at times I'm happy to say I have never been able to criticize his work ethic.

I hope he does well in the new system.

I'm going to go ahead and say this so flame me if you want... I think there's a bit of the Brookings effect going on with Worrilow. Because he's white I think he gets a little more praise and a little more criticism than he should probably get.... Fair or unfair.

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I'm going to go ahead and say this so flame me if you want... I think there's a bit of the Brookings effect going on with Worrilow. Because he's white I think he gets a little more praise and a little more criticism than he should probably get.... Fair or unfair.

I don't see it that way at all.

I see it as we had this totally unknown undrafted FA sign with us, end up being a full time starter at LB and leading the team in tackles his rookie season, and doing same second season. This is one heck of a story and he completely desrves the admiration the fanbase has given him for it. Jessie Tuggle was similarly admired early in his career before he became all world for almost exactly the same thing.

I hear criticism asll the time about his inadequate coverage ability and average lateral sideline tio sideline speed. I agree 100% with the criticisms but feel under the right scheme he'll tear it up. It was ridiculous how he was used last year with only 2 LBs on the field.

I think he'll thrive with 2 other LBs out there with him, LBs that can cover and let him be the tackling machine. He's an attack style LB, his strength is attacking the play in front of him.

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I don't see it that way at all.I see it as we had this totally unknown undrafted FA sign with us, end up being a full time starter at LB and leading the team in tackles his rookie season, and doing same second season. I hear criticism asll the time about his inadequate coverage ability and average lateral sideline tio sideline speed. I agree 100% with the criticisms but feel under the right scheme he'll tear it up. It was ridiculous how he was used last year with only 2 LBs on the field.

I think he'll thrive with 2 other LBs out there with him, LBs that can cover and let him be the tackling machine. He's an attack style LB, his strength is attacking the play in front of him.

I always said worrilow is fine as long as he attacks. On his heels was where he fell. The last system was to technical and thought provoking. The game is to be felt not thought. The coaches to the thinking, the players use instincts. The whole defense had to think more than use instincts last 2 years. Recipe for failure. Worrilow fits an attacking system so I definitely think he'll be just fine. All my complaints and what I saw with the last regime are coming out now. Notice how everybody is dropping weight too? Another thing that contributed to playing slow and lethargic. Heavy and too much thinking.
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I always said worrilow is fine as long as he attacks. On his heels was where he fell. The last system was to technical and thought provoking. The game is to be felt not thought. The coaches to the thinking, the players use instincts. The whole defense had to think more than use instincts last 2 years. Recipe for failure. Worrilow fits an attacking system so I definitely think he'll be just fine. All my complaints and what I saw with the last regime are coming out now. Notice how everybody is dropping weight too? Another thing that contributed to playing slow and lethargic. Heavy and too much thinking.

Well said my man.

For all of those people out there doubting Worrilow I am as close to positive as I can get that you will be happily proven wrong.

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Well said my man.

For all of those people out there doubting Worrilow I am as close to positive as I can get that you will be happily proven wrong.

No doubt. That's why I always scoff at guys that say get rid of this guy and that guy they're useless. Difference is I can see the talent they actually have. It's just being paired with the right coach and philosophy that same player can thrive. I said numerous times that some of the players that guys wanted cut but stayed will all of a sudden look like a player in their eyes. Worrilow is a player. He just needed to be in a system that fits his strengths. If you have that advantage NOW you can work on your weaknesses. I expect much improvement from him and the whole defense for that fact.
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No doubt. That's why I always scoff at guys that say get rid of this guy and that guy they're useless. Difference is I can see the talent they actually have. It's just being paired with the right coach and philosophy that same player can thrive. I said numerous times that some of the players that guys wanted cut but stayed will all of a sudden look like a player in their eyes. Worrilow is a player. He just needed to be in a system that fits his strengths. If you have that advantage NOW you can work on your weaknesses. I expect much improvement from him and the whole defense for that fact.

Bingo.

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Worrilow really needs to work on his tackling and angles. quiet as kept, Worrilow missed about 6 sacks last season by taking bad angles. in that Green Bay game he missed a chance to end Rodgers career but he missed and what makes it so bad Bierman missed a big sack that game too. I think Worrilow is gonna be almost Pro Bowl good in this new system

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Yeah, I think that playing in a more confined space will help him a lot. Gotta solve those missed tackles, though!

From the article:

"He's also taken measures to improve his tackling, realizing he's missed his share. "I'm buying into everything [the coaches] have installed," Worrilow said. "We've had a huge emphasis on tackling; being taught a way that you really haven't been taught before. It's a lot of detail, which is good. It's going to be a good payoff."

BTW is this new tackling technique the rugby-style with shoulder emphasis, rather than helmet/head technique?

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No doubt. That's why I always scoff at guys that say get rid of this guy and that guy they're useless. Difference is I can see the talent they actually have. It's just being paired with the right coach and philosophy that same player can thrive. I said numerous times that some of the players that guys wanted cut but stayed will all of a sudden look like a player in their eyes. Worrilow is a player. He just needed to be in a system that fits his strengths. If you have that advantage NOW you can work on your weaknesses. I expect much improvement from him and the whole defense for that fact.

Fatboi, do you think Kroy is any good? I value your opinion.
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