The Falcons aren't the toughest team in football. There! I said it. That didn't hurt too much. But how do they remedy that?
Toughness in sports is a funky concept. You always hear about "tough" teams. But it's not just that teams have players who are physically tough. If you're in the NFL, then you're probably tough. You probably wouldn't have a hard time winning a fist fight against Dave. But heck, the same could be said of a 3rd grader hyped up on generic Ritalin.
More often than not, mental toughness is what we're really concerned about, right? Mental. Toughness. What the heck is that? I'm guessing it's some variety of mental fortitude; an ability to execute what you've practiced, even under pressure.
"I can't speak for anyone else but for me, and I'd say that's a fair criticism," Peters said. "When teams are having success running the ball like they had last year against us, I do take it personal. There's a few things that we need to do better, and being tougher is one of them ... [l]ike I said, we need to do a better job of tackling and that plays into toughness. That's why I would agree with [Blank's] statement."
There's work to be done, that's what Peters is saying. Peters himself has a tough road ahead, but so do the Falcons. For the Falcons, as a whole, they've got to execute better. They've got to put their talent and preparation together for better results, if that makes sense. I don't think Peters believes the Falcons are just incapable of tackling, because he, and the rest of his teammates, didn't start playing this game yesterday. They've got years of experience. What's missing is execution.
To a large extent, the coaching changes may help remedy the underlying problem with execution. Beyond that, it's going to come down to individual players, and by association, individual units. In a way, it seems a little too simple. But in my mind, it's just that simple.
What do you think? What do the Falcons need to do in order to become a "tougher" team?