The overabundance of penalties is on everybody’s mind after Sunday’s disaster of a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Dan Quinn confirmed on Wednesday that the Falcons do have additional referees on hand in practice to try to limit the penalties this week.
So what are those officials looking for?
“Playing in their normal positions, whether is a side judge, line judge or umpire, to make sure, if there’s anything that they see as they’re calling the game, I want it called and emphasized, just so a player doesn’t practice any bad habits or techniques that a referee could see,” Quinn said. “On a screen play, we had an illegal block above the waist … didn’t look like a foul, but if that’s how it’s called, that’s a foul. We want to make sure, coaching wise, player-wise, we’re really emphasizing the exact way it’s called.”
Here’s everything else you need to know about Wednesday’s practice.
Quinn did confirm that Grady Jarrett and Takk McKinley would be limited this week, but said they’re “trending up.” Jarrett, in fact, was held out of practice. Also notable is Calvin Ridley, who was limited with a hip injury.
- #68 G Jamon Brown (hand)
- #5 P Matt Bosher (Right Groin)
- #18 WR Calvin Ridley (Hip)
- #59 LB De’Vondre Campbell (Ribs)
- #76 T Kaleb McGary (Knee)
- #98 DE Takkarist McKinley (Knee)
Did Not Participate
- #25 RB Ito Smith (Concussion)
- #38 RB Kenjon Barner (Concussion/knee)
- #97 DT Grady Jarrett (Toe)
On the sense of urgency: “100 percent. One hundred percent we do. More of it, to say, what I had mentioned earlier. We’ve got to get the part where we just get to fight one team. If we do that, we know what we’re capable of, but because we haven’t done that, we’re in the situation we are where we’re sitting at 1-2. For us, that we know is correctable, and that’s what we’re intent on doing. The urgency for us, for sure, is on point.”
On Ricardo Allen post-Achilles: “Yeah, for sure. In both cases, he’s played fantastic in the middle of the field. No seams and no posts inside, that’s his number one job. The communication piece, for a guy who was already excellent at it, has definitely even ramped up more to say, ‘Alright, how can he have more opportunities to go make plays?’ I just feel like he’s getting started on some things. I’m very excited about where he’s headed. He’s had a good start to it.”
On Kaleb McGary: “Number one, I’ve been pleased with his toughness. To have two separate issues come up, one related to his heart, to come back, and then the Jacksonville game, to come out and get ready to go. So intently wanting to go, then to have an injury in the Philadelphia game, ‘That ain’t holding me back. I’m coming back in.’ Limited practice time and performing well in the Indianapolis game, he’s really starting to hit his stride. We’re encouraged by where he’s headed. Not just from the size, but I think where I think he can go to. By no means do I think this is a fully developed player. I think he’ll keep improving as he’s going.”
On improving the penalty situation: “It’s about getting back on schedule. Obviously, nobody wants to commit these penalties. You let the guys know they made the mistake, and you move on from it. It’s about what we do the next play. I think we had a number of them where we got bumped back, and it was either first and 20, or second and long, and we were able to chip away and get us into third and manageable which is the key. I think we converted a bunch of third and extra longs, 10-plus last week, which was great, but it’s not sustainable throughout the year. You want to be in short-yardage in third and six or less. I thought we did a nice job of chipping away after we had those penalties, but we certainly don’t want to put ourselves in those situations.”
On Calvin Ridley: “He’s been in the mix for us throughout the year. It’s just one of those games. The ball found other guys. That happens. When you have as many talented players as we have, and guys that are making plays throughout the game, the ball is going to find different people at different times. The thing I love about Calvin is we had a critical third and two or third and three late in the game, had hadn’t had a touch and runs one of the best under routes on the left side for us. In that situation, where he hasn’t really had a bunch of plays, but he was consistent and really clutch for us when we needed it. That’s what all of our guys are about. The ball is going to find him throughout the year. He’s going to make a ton of plays for us.”
On Austin (not Trevor) Hooper: “I think Austin has played really well for us. He’s been very consistent in the pass game. He’s very reliable. When we target him, he’s coming down and making plays with the ball. We’re happy with what he’s done, and I expect that to be the case all year with the talented guys we have around. We have a number of guys who have been consistent for us, but the ball has found him through the first three games, and he’s done a great job with it.”