If you were hoping for a bold new plan for improvement to come out of Wednesday’s Falcons practice, you’ll be disappointed.
“Obviously, after Monday, we hit on some things individually that all of us would work on and heading into this week. That’s really where our focus is right now,” head coach Dan Quinn said prior to practice. “That’s why we have energy. You’ll feel it in the locker room, you’ll feel it at practice because of this … where we need to get to get our football aligned like we want to. Certainly a good test for our team this weekend. More than anything, our focus on right here, right now and what we’ve got to do.”
I think we’d all agree that we’d like to see that energy carry over to the field of play on Sunday. I also think we’d all agree that it’s hard to be optimistic about that given how the team has looked so far throughout the season.
The injury report didn’t have much good news on it, either. Not only were Jamon Brown and Alex Mack held out completely on Wednesday, but Wes Schweitzer — the primary backup for both — was limited with a knee injury.
Here’s everything you need to know from Wednesday’s practice.
- #71 G Wes Schweitzer (shoulder)
- #76 T Kaleb McGary (knee)
- #97 DT Grady Jarrett (elbow)
Did Not Participate
- #33 CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (groin)
- #38 RB Kenjon Barner (knee)
- #51 C Alex Mack (elbow)
- #68 G Jamon Brown (concussion)
Notes & Quotes
- Dan Quinn on his job security: “I’d say I honestly work on how our team improves. I spent most of my time thinking that way. ‘How can we do it better? How can we tweak this? How can we work that? How do we feature the guys in the best way?” Any time I would spend away from that would be one-hundred percent not productive for me. I’ve always said, ‘Hey man, coach to win.’ That’s what I end up doing, that’s where I focus all of my time and attention, on improving our technique.”
- Quinn on the offensive line: “It’s been evident that we’ve needed that depth so far this year to have guys that can step in and fill where needed. That certainly was the case when Chris [Lindstrom] went down and moved Jamon [Brown] into that spot. When Jamon was injured in the game, we had to go through that again. Having depth at that position, hopefully, you don’t want to get into that space where you have to, you lose some of the continuity, but I thought an important piece to what we need to do offensively. Wes [Schweitzer] is definitely somebody at two spots that we have always counted on. Good versatility played the game at guard and at center.”
- Quinn on stopping DeAndre Hopkins: “For sure, it’s the catching radius. This is a really aggressive player. That’s one of the things that make him difficult to guard. He’s got speed, he’s got really excellent hands. The ball could be thrown high and outside where only one guy could catch it, and he has it. He’s got real hands. He’s shown it time and again how strong he is with the catch and aggressiveness. Definitely it helps to have guys like that who we work against in practice, guys like Mo [Mohamed Sanu] and Ju [Julio Jones] and Cal [Calvin Ridley] that really test you. It’s really important.”
- Quinn on the addition of Jonathan Cyprien: “We were hitting on early on, the offensive line depth, special teams earlier, if you remember, right at the start of camp we lost J.J. Wilcox. Ish [Kemal Ishmael] was at safety and we moved him back just because he’s such a good tackler and has such an impact and has good versatility in what we do. When Keanu [Neal] got hurt, we obviously had some interest in signing another strong safety who has had experience and size playing down in the box. That’s really where the decision came from. Ish and Cyp, both of them have good size, are good tacklers and we just wanted to make sure that we’re always kind of staying on top of it, making sure style and scheme and attitude of how we want to play stays really intact.”
- Quinn on being consistent: “It’s hard for everybody to be consistent because it’s not a one-time thing. You could play well for a game or two, but it’s the long haul. You don’t really get to measure it until you’ve gone through some things. That’s what makes it challenging. Can you have the fortitude and the discipline to stay with it time after time and again? It’s really like the definition of being gritty. Doing it over and over and over again and not getting bored doing it. Being right at the line of scrimmage, being right in our leverage of tackling. Those are things that take a lot of work, a lot of practice. With our own team, I even told them today, there are always things that you’re searching to try and improve upon. Whether it’s your hand placement, you’re leveraging, you’re tackling and all the way up until go time, you need to do that. Once you get there, take the training wheels off your mind and let it rip. That’s what I’m trying to focus the team on. They’re working their ass off to get their football right. Once we get on to game day, let’s make sure all the training, all the things we put in, let’s unleash it. We certainly have work to do. By no means happy with where we’re at right now, but I’m also excited about where we are. I think where we can get to, and why I’m energized, I like solving problems. I want to get it right. Those are things that light me up pretty good.”