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Defense must ‘hunt like dogs’ for turnovers


Goober Pyle
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Uh oh, I'm posting another DLed artical. Only reason I'm posting is there are some quotes from Richard Smith, who actually exists and isn't a figment of DQ's imagination. Still, since this is the second DLed artical I've copied and pasted on TATF today, I must now burn my computer in holy oil and beg mercy from all that is holy. No clickable link for DLed this go 'round.

 

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith wants to cut his defense loose against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday in Orlando.

While Smith was pleased with the thunderous tackling in the exhibition opener against Washington, he felt last week’s performance against Cleveland, which included two long touchdown passes, was sub-standard.

But the one thing that has bothered Smith and coach Dan Quinn the most? The defense has yet to force a turnover.

“To do that, you have to hunt like a dog to get them,” Smith said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “You have to be conscious of it. We haven’t been able to get that done.”

The Falcons ranked 27th overall in the league in turnover-ratio in 2015, with 30 turnovers and 23 takeaways (15 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries) for a minus-7. Carolina stormed to the Super Bowl with an NFL-best plus-20 turnover margin.

Despite winning both exhibition games, Quinn made it a point to note that the Falcons lost the turnover battle in both games.

At the start of training camp, players were racing to the ball and trying to knock it loose. As practices started to pile up, defenders have not gone after the ball with the same zeal.

“We are emphasizing it,” Smith said. “We are coaching it hard. We have to get the players to perform and get that done. Hopefully that will happen this week.”

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, with two sacks, has been the star of the defensive line in the exhibition season. Smith also noted that defensive end Brooks Reed is playing well. The Falcons have high hopes for tackles Grady Jarrett and Derrick Shelby as well.

“I’ve been pretty impressed with Jarrett’s pass-rush stuff,” Smith said. “He’s giving us a little bit of juice inside.”

Shelby, who was signed in free agency, is adjusting to playing tackle in the nickel defense. He was a defensive end for four seasons with the Dolphins.

“He is still working at it in terms of trying to get comfortable with where we are trying to play him,” Smith said. “I know that he hasn’t been pleased with his performance, but it will come. It means a lot to me because it means a lot to him.”

While the Falcons are hoping that Vic Beasley and Dwight Freeney will bring outside speed rushes to the nickel defense, the linebacker unit has the seen most competition.

The Falcons could go young with a unit of Beasley at strongside, Deion Jones at middle linebacker and De’Vondre Campbell at weakside. If the young players falter, veterans Philip Wheeler, Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon are available.

Arguably, all of the veterans have out-played Beasley, a second-year player, and Jones and Campbell, who are both rookies. But the competition will go down to the final exhibition game.

“When you have a young player, every play is a learning experience,” Smith said. “When you have veteran players, they have already been through it. But I’ve been real pleased with their performances.”

The secondary is making room for rookie Keanu Neal at strong safety. Ricardo Allen, a converted cornerback, is primed for his second year at free safety after leading team with four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble recovery) last season.

“Allen has done a really good job,” Smith said. “He’s much more confident. A year ago, he was trying to learn the position. Right now, he knows he belongs. I like his swagger, demeanor and his leadership role.”

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Just now, Goober Pyle said:

Uh oh, I'm posting another DLed artical. Only reason I'm posting is there are some quotes from Richard Smith, who actually exists and isn't a figment of DQ's imagination. Still, since this is the second DLed artical I've copied and pasted on TATF today, I must now burn my computer in holy oil and beg mercy from all that is holy. No clickable link for DLed this go 'round.

 

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith wants to cut his defense loose against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday in Orlando.

While Smith was pleased with the thunderous tackling in the exhibition opener against Washington, he felt last week’s performance against Cleveland, which included two long touchdown passes, was sub-standard.

But the one thing that has bothered Smith and coach Dan Quinn the most? The defense has yet to force a turnover.

“To do that, you have to hunt like a dog to get them,” Smith said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “You have to be conscious of it. We haven’t been able to get that done.”

The Falcons ranked 27th overall in the league in turnover-ratio in 2015, with 30 turnovers and 23 takeaways (15 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries) for a minus-7. Carolina stormed to the Super Bowl with an NFL-best plus-20 turnover margin.

Despite winning both exhibition games, Quinn made it a point to note that the Falcons lost the turnover battle in both games.

At the start of training camp, players were racing to the ball and trying to knock it loose. As practices started to pile up, defenders have not gone after the ball with the same zeal.

“We are emphasizing it,” Smith said. “We are coaching it hard. We have to get the players to perform and get that done. Hopefully that will happen this week.”

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, with two sacks, has been the star of the defensive line in the exhibition season. Smith also noted that defensive end Brooks Reed is playing well. The Falcons have high hopes for tackles Grady Jarrett and Derrick Shelby as well.

“I’ve been pretty impressed with Jarrett’s pass-rush stuff,” Smith said. “He’s giving us a little bit of juice inside.”

Shelby, who was signed in free agency, is adjusting to playing tackle in the nickel defense. He was a defensive end for four seasons with the Dolphins.

“He is still working at it in terms of trying to get comfortable with where we are trying to play him,” Smith said. “I know that he hasn’t been pleased with his performance, but it will come. It means a lot to me because it means a lot to him.”

While the Falcons are hoping that Vic Beasley and Dwight Freeney will bring outside speed rushes to the nickel defense, the linebacker unit has the seen most competition.

The Falcons could go young with a unit of Beasley at strongside, Deion Jones at middle linebacker and De’Vondre Campbell at weakside. If the young players falter, veterans Philip Wheeler, Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon are available.

Arguably, all of the veterans have out-played Beasley, a second-year player, and Jones and Campbell, who are both rookies. But the competition will go down to the final exhibition game.

“When you have a young player, every play is a learning experience,” Smith said. “When you have veteran players, they have already been through it. But I’ve been real pleased with their performances.”

The secondary is making room for rookie Keanu Neal at strong safety. Ricardo Allen, a converted cornerback, is primed for his second year at free safety after leading team with four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble recovery) last season.

“Allen has done a really good job,” Smith said. “He’s much more confident. A year ago, he was trying to learn the position. Right now, he knows he belongs. I like his swagger, demeanor and his leadership role.”

I just wanted to point out that line from the article. My guess is it's easy to get "outplayed" when you aren't actually on the field. And that's not a criticism of Beasley, who I think is going to be really good this year, but more a criticism of DOL and his subtle digs at certain players. My take on the rookies is that I'd rather get beat with speed and talent if it's a situation that can be a learning experience with a rookie or young player than to get beat with an "experienced" player who lacks the speed or talent to  make the scheme work.

 

Just Goober's $0.02.....

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Well good sounds like the D is good to go in the sack. No need to go a hunting for them for sure.

 

So not much in the sack and throw on top of that turnovers are on the decline.

I bet they would find more turnovers if they start recording more sacks. Funny how the two can work hand in hand. Could we get a turnovers are over rated in here please?

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