OC Posted September 10, 2015 Share Posted September 10, 2015 http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/15785/falcons-preparing-for-eagles-rapid-fire-offensive-attackO'Brien Schofield knows what to expect Monday night.The Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker is one of a handful of players on the roster who have faced a Chip Kelly-coached Philadelphia team. Schofield played in Seattle last year -- where current Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator -- when the Seahawks defeated the Eagles, 24-14, in Week 14.In that game, the Eagles' uptempo, quick-strike, no-huddle, spread attack managed just 139 yards and two scores on 45 total plays, which was 257.8 yards, 15.6 points, and 25 plays less than their season averages. The Seahawks won the time of possession battle, 41:56 to 18:04, as Kelly's offense sputtered against Quinn's suffocating unit.Of course the Falcons don't have the same type of defensive playmakers Quinn had with the Seahawks. The approach shouldn't change, in Schofield's opinion."In Seattle, we were really good on first down, and that was able to slow them down as far as how they could go at their pace," Schofield said. "I think we're going to be prepared, man. We've got enough bodies to roll in and substitute however we need to. But we're practicing that pace right now in practice. ... It's nothing we can't practice."The simulation of the Eagles' uptempo style started Monday."Immediately, we're looking at the sideline," Schofield said. "But we have checks. Like Paul [Worrilow] and them know certain calls -- if we don't get a call out at a certain time -- what to call as a defense. But immediately after the play, we're all looking to the sideline."Once things get going and we're out there, you have to force the negative plays, which stops the fast-pace offense. To me, they use the fast-paced offensive after they get positive yardage and explosive plays. They try and hurry up and get back on the ball. But if you're going to hurry up after a negative play, that's probably going to be in the defense's favor. ... We have to play well on first and second down and put ourselves in a good position."Worrilow, the middle linebacker and defensive signal-caller, talked about his role against the Eagles' uptempo offense."It's still the same procedure for me, for the most part," he said. "It doesn't matter how fast they go. As the signal-caller, I'm responsible for getting the front lined up and any additional adjustments. It's just going to be a greater emphasis on being ready for the next play when the previous one is over."There have been some significant changes to the Eagles' offense from what Schofield encountered last season. Sam Bradford is at quarterback now rather than Mark Sanchez, meaning a lot more accuracy and a little more mobility for read-option capabilities. Reigning rushing champ DeMarco Murray is at running back now rather than LeSean McCoy, with Murray having big-play ability but not the same elusiveness as McCoy. And the Eagles no longer have Jeremy Maclin, but still have a pretty dangerous receiver in Jordan Matthews.Not to mention small wonder Darren Sproles, who is capable of creating mismatches against linebackers and causing fits all over the field.If the Eagles are able to play their fast style without many interruptions and score touchdowns in the red zone, it could be a long opening night for the Falcons. Bradford was rather sharp in the preseason, completing 13 of 15 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns in 32 snaps played.The Falcons have more depth along the defensive line than in recent years, so that could play a major factor in keeping fresh bodies to throw at Bradford. Expect more of the nickel defense to combat the spread. And there should be plenty of energy coming from rookie first-round draft pick Vic Beasley, whose speed and athleticism can help disrupt the Eagles' flow."In college, I played against uptempo teams like North Carolina," Beasley said. "I think it's going to be a big challenge because a lot of us haven't had the experience against that type of offense, especially for the first game. So, it's going to be something we're going to have to adapt to. If you get stops, you can limit them. But if they get going, they can be pretty tough."Schofield believes the fast pace and loud sounds of the Falcons' daily practices also have helped the defense better prepare for the Eagles."I think the fast-pace practice and the music make it harder to communicate and really forces you to really be clear with your language," Schofield said. "We're going to be fine. We've got good leadership starting with guys like Babs (Jonathan Babineaux) on the defensive line. When it's all said and done, it's going to come down to us, individually, just applying what we're doing in practice. We can't go out there in the game and start making stuff up because they're going fast. We've got stick to the game plan." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.