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Pro Bowler Desmond Trufant getting beat deep will help Falcons in long run


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http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/21973/pro-bowler-desmond-trufant-getting-beat-deep-will-help-falcons-in-long-run

 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Desmond Trufant made a mistake, and his teammates will benefit from it.

The Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl cornerback, who was rarely targeted by opposing quarterbacks last season, was beat deep last Thursday night when Cleveland Browns quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor got a couple of steps behind him on a 50-yard touchdown reception from Robert Griffin III. Trufant relaxed for a second, and that second proved costly.

"There's always a standard," Trufant said. "I have a standard. We have standard. I didn't meet that on that play. I know I'm better than that. At the same time, I've got to move on. That's just part of being a corner. Sometimes, you get got sometimes. I just bounce back and, yeah, I'm ready for this week."

Yes, Trufant has moved on to this week, but the play won't be forgotten. Not by Trufant. Not by fellow starting cornerback Robert Alford. Not by any of the defensive backs in the meeting room.

Secondary coach Marquand Manuel won't allow it. He knows how valuable Trufant's uncharacteristic preseason slipup could be to the group's overall success in 2016.

"It's good, and people don't understand this, but when your guy who is the ultimate pro and competes at every level and it happens to him, that makes everybody accessible to the coaching lesson," Manuel said. "Everyone. It's like, 'Now, I can't take any play for granted.'

"Trufant taught everybody in the room -- Jalen [Collins], Robert [Alford], Keanu [Neal] -- he taught everybody in the room, 'If it can happen to the guy we call elite who comes and competes at every level, it can happen to me.' So it's a learning, teachable moment for everybody."

Back during organized team activities, Manuel cautioned all of his defensive backs, including Trufant, not to overlook any receiver despite the receiver's reputation. The Pryor play was a prime example.

"Even when it happened, we made eye contact and I said to [Trufant], 'That's exactly what I told you when we first got out of OTAs, right?' And he said, 'Yeah, it is.' And I'm like, 'Sooner or later, you're going to believe what I'm saying. And when it happens, you're going to believe what I'm saying.' The message was you've got to finish plays. You can't relax on guys you think you know you can cover."

Trufant and the rest of his defensive backfield will have plenty of challenges during the regular season with the likes of Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, Tampa Bay's Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, and New Orleans' Brandin Cooks and Coby Fleener in the NFC South alone.

The rookie safety Neal learned his own lesson against the Browns when he got beat by tight end Gary Barnidge for a 29-yard touchdown.

"Just a wheel route, he's on his man, out of phase ... don't look back," Manuel explained. "It's a chest-to-chest, ball-combat moment. When you're out of phase, don't look back. But that's OK. It's a learning, teachable moment."

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I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Tru is very good but he is not infallible.  He misplayed the ball.  It happens.  QBs throw picks, RBs fumble, WRs drop, DBs fall down or misplay the ball, LBs and DL miss tackles.  Let's see if Tru continues to get burnt repeatedly and then let's make a big deal of it.

Edited by Monolith2001
Mispelling (bad keyboard)
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28 minutes ago, Monolith2001 said:

I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Tru is very good but he is not infallible.  He misplayed the ball.  It happens.  QBs throw picks, RBs fumble, WRs drop, DBs fall down or misplay the ball, LBs and DL miss tackles.  Let's see if Tru continues to get burnt repeatedly and then let's make a big deal of it.

He didn't misplay the ball he slowed down. Or relaxed like he said. When I saw it I was like, "what is he doing", but it's a good lesson to learn in preseason. The other corners needed to see that. 

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Don't underestimate "small" moments turning into big gains.

We saw the opposite of that last year with Hankerson dropping passes while we were winning.

Small moment turning into a big loss eventually. This can turn into a big gain if treated right. I appreciate the approach and good to great coaches know how to use these moments.

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56 minutes ago, Monolith2001 said:

I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Tru is very good but he is not infallible.  He misplayed the ball.  It happens.  QBs throw picks, RBs fumble, WRs drop, DBs fall down or misplay the ball, LBs and DL miss tackles.  Let's see if Tru continues to get burnt repeatedly and then let's make a big deal of it.

Good point. I've seen numerous plays where Norman, Peterson, and Sherman have been burned as well. Doesn't make them bad corners. It's really not a big deal

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1 hour ago, TheFatboi said:

He didn't misplay the ball he slowed down. Or relaxed like he said. When I saw it I was like, "what is he doing", but it's a good lesson to learn in preseason. The other corners needed to see that. 

I completely agree that this is a good lesson.  If you ain't on top of things, things will go bad even to the best.  I saw the "relaxed" comment and I think I will will take "he misplayed the ball" over he "relaxed" (which sounds like he quit on the play).

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I'm more confused on the comment about Neal and ball-combat. He could have been tighter, but on a wheel route Inthink he's almost always going to be in a trail coverage position. Griffin dropped the ball almost straight down and way ahead of the receiver, who made a great fingertip catch. I don't know many DBs that can stop a perfectly lofted throw like that, other than to recognize the route and position ahead of the WR - or knock it away as he brings it back to his body. That's the only "ball combat" opportunity I can see on a perfect throw like that. 

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1 hour ago, Monolith2001 said:

I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Tru is very good but he is not infallible.  He misplayed the ball.  It happens.  QBs throw picks, RBs fumble, WRs drop, DBs fall down or misplay the ball, LBs and DL miss tackles.  Let's see if Tru continues to get burnt repeatedly and then let's make a big deal of it.

No one said it was a big deal. They said it was a teaching moment. That's what coaches do, they teach. Here they are teaching and hoping their DBs learn from their mistakes and mistakes of others.

Experience is the greatest teacher of all. Getting beat was their experience in preseason. That is the  best time it could have happened.

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I don't understand why it's a big deal. It's preseason and their still getting into game shape. Just like Ryan and his picks in training camp, everyone loses their mind because he threw a few int's. Just calm down. Tru messed up on that play and said he learned from it. Just move on no big deal. Plus, Pryor is a rookie, maybe he wasn't expecting him to be as fast as he was. Either way it's fine at least he's getting it out of the way now.

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2 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

Every corner gets beat eventually. Learn from it and move on

Exactly. Deion got beat every once in a while. The one thing he DIDNT do is sleep on any opponent. Or relax because eventually he's gonna get tried. This should be tru's lesson of never relax on any opponent. Whether he's a true wr or a converted qb. Treat them all the same. As if they're all Julio. 

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1 hour ago, Monolith2001 said:

I completely agree that this is a good lesson.  If you ain't on top of things, things will go bad even to the best.  I saw the "relaxed" comment and I think I will will take "he misplayed the ball" over he "relaxed" (which sounds like he quit on the play).

Absolutely. And that's what it looked like to me. Like he gave up on the play cause he didn't expect griffin to try it and didn't expect Pryor to have that extra burst at the end. 

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47 minutes ago, usmcdirtybird said:

I like this comment.  Also, I like the coaches thinking because one bad play can result into a downward spiral.  Play every play to the best of your ability.  Worry about that play and not the next or previous.  

I agree.

It sounds as if some of our fans need a teaching moment themselves.

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3 hours ago, Monolith2001 said:

I'm not sure what the big deal is.  Tru is very good but he is not infallible.  He misplayed the ball.  It happens.  QBs throw picks, RBs fumble, WRs drop, DBs fall down or misplay the ball, LBs and DL miss tackles.  Let's see if Tru continues to get burnt repeatedly and then let's make a big deal of it.

Plus, it was preseason.

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3 hours ago, ATLFalcons11 said:

Don't underestimate "small" moments turning into big gains.

We saw the opposite of that last year with Hankerson dropping passes while we were winning.

Small moment turning into a big loss eventually. This can turn into a big gain if treated right. I appreciate the approach and good to great coaches know how to use these moments.

And we saw it on a 3rd down play last year with Winston as well. 

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Once is not a problem. I'm interested in seeing who he gets this week. Kenny Stills balled out last week but Jarvis Landry caught 110 passes last season. Plus, DeVante Parker is the closest thing that the Fins have to Pryor's skill set (but with better hands). Dropping a long ball on your best corner is always going to be scary because (depending on the offensive play being run) he's less likely to get help from the safety if he's the one trusted to lock down his side of the field. But I'm not worried about Tru. 

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