It was Competition Wednesday in Flowery Branch, and let’s hope the team got a little better today after Sunday’s abysmal showing against the Vikings. Dan Quinn said that for the team, Competition Wednesday couldn’t get here soon enough.
“Certainly, this week, to get back on the field with the guys, that process is fully underway. We certainly, over the last couple of days, evaluated and identified where mistakes were made. That’s the fun part about it,” Quinn said, via a transcript provided by the team’s media relations staff. “The fresh canvas begins again, and it will be up to us to define our outcome come Sunday night. Introducing a good portion of the Philadelphia plan as it goes in today. First, second down, little bits of third down to go, but some familiarity scheme-wise… NFC team to go through, coaching staff wise and some of the players. Lots of great matchups all over and that’ll be a lot of what we talk about today. Their featured players, how do they use them, how we’ll go attack… it’s always a fun way to start the week.”
I wasn’t at Flowery Branch, because I’m sick, so it’s a bit of a lighter report today. Here’s what we learned from Wednesday’s practice.
Falcons injury report:
- DT Deadrin Senat (back)
- T Matt Gono (back)
- G Wes Schweitzer (shoulder)
Did not participate
- WR Russell Gage (concussion)
Eagles injury report:
- DE Derek Barnett (shoulder)
- DT Fletcher Cox (toe)
- QB Nate Sudfeld (left wrist)
Did not participate
- LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee)
- T Jordan Mailata (back)
- Russell Gage is still working through the league’s concussion protocol after suffering a concussion on Sunday.
- It’s encouraging to see Matt Gono upgraded to limited participation, but as of right now Quinn says the plan is still to rotate at the RT spot.
- Julio Jones was at practice and there’s nothing to worry about there.
Head coach Dan Quinn:
- On the anniversary of Sept. 11: “Just want to take a quick moment today to remember a day that all of us will certainly never forget, and those whose lives were lost and thousands more affected by that. Definitely a tough day today. We spent some time talking to that day with the team. Now that it’s 18 years, some of the newest members of the team were four, five and six years old. Giving some experience about that and what it meant and what took places and planes and high jacking. We kind of went through the whole process. We just thought it was important for everybody to reflect and remember on that day.”
- On what the Falcons are up against on the ground this week: “I thought the way they’ve featured the running backs through the years, I’ve been impressed by that. Inside, you see so much of their inside zone with [Jordan] Howard. They’ve got some gap schemes, which would mean whams and traps and ways to have direct hitters to go. [Darren] Sproles continues to impress. He is quick, he is tough, and he is more than just that. He’s got return stuff, he can make you miss, he’s a complete player. The rookie [Miles Sanders], we’ve had a good evaluation. Obviously, we were looking at running backs for ourselves heading into the draft, so he’s somebody that we spent a lot of time going into and looking and evaluating running and the passing game. He was certainly a complete player in our mind. They feature, like most teams, the running backs in their own unique ways and do the things they do best. For a long time, they’ve had a good screen package in Philadelphia and I thought the screen game, their red-zone packages were things that have jumped out to me through the years.”
- On DeSean Jackson having a ridiculously great Week 1: “Yeah, he certainly did. It’s the speed that’s always jumped out. Had a chance to see him up close because of his time in Tampa. Part of what makes Philadelphia difficult to defend, you’ve heard me say this through the years, who’s the unique player that you say, ‘Okay, this person, you have to make this person not have it.’ They feature their tight ends in a very aggressive way. Whether it’s [Zach] Ertz or [DeSean] Jackson up top, or [Darren] Sproles out of the backfield, they’ve got a full arsenal of guys that they use. Kind of like our offense, if you put too much attention to one space, look over here, you’re going to get hit over to the other side. His speed and how they’re featuring him in the offense, it certainly looks familiar. He’s a guy that we know well and know how fast he is. That part of his game certainly looks like it’s always been.”
- On the Eagles defense: “The numbers would certainly indicate that, what you reported. I would say, one, most defenses that have good success are usually from inside or built in the front. I think when you talk about Minnesota and Philadelphia, those are usually the things that you talk about first. How they have ways to affect the quarterback. The really good defensive lines are both affecting the quarterback and doing that because they’ve created some third down in longs to do that. I think that would be a good start for what those two teams have. Past that, I don’t know the similarities between the two coordinators. As you’re going back through, we expect to attack them, we expect to play well. On those instances that you’re talking, certainly by those scores, not the case.”
- On Jamon Brown moving to right guard: “He’s got plenty of experience into that. He’s always had good quickness off the ball, even for a big guy. That’s what I would expect to see him, in our wide zone game, him coming off and playing strong at the line of scrimmage. In pass protection, we’ll get tested. Especially inside, they’ve got guys that can push the pocket. It’s nice to have a guy with Jamon’s strength and size to be able to combat that.”
- On Devonta Freeman’s snaps: “As it worked, on that one, we had just kind of got out of what a normal offense would be when we got behind in the score. That’s really what it was indicative of, not anything past that. You don’t want to play in a game like that, but when into the second half and you’re behind, you’ve got to do something to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to move it to take the chances, to see if you can get more possessions. Usually, you have somewhere in a game, between 10-12 possessions total. We had one that went for like 14 plays, one that went for 11 with no points at the end of it. It’s like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do something now to hurry it up and get going.’ Part of his game, we didn’t get a chance to get in a rhythm like we’d be accustomed to because we’re just trying to get back into it. That was the story.”
- On rotating players at the RT position: “We don’t plan to stay that way, but as long as the communication is right. If it was a concern about that, we wouldn’t do that. Once we feel like, from a condition standpoint, ready to take it over the whole time, I think Kaleb [McGary] will do that.”