Brian VanGorder on the Falcons’ tackling

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) sits on the field after being sacked by Falcons defensive end John Abraham in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago. AP

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) sits on the field after being sacked by Falcons defensive end John Abraham in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago. AP

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder was not pleased with the missed tackles against the Bears.

He felt his unit was a bit jittery and too anxious to play against the Bears.

“We didn’t have the right intensity and it showed in the tackling area,” VanGorder said. “Now, having said that, we’re behind in tackling. We just haven’t had that many opportunities to tackle. I think you probably will see that throughout the league right now.”

100813 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gives the thumbs up as the Falcons take the field for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.     Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100813 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gives the thumbs up as the Falcons take the field for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons rarely practice tackling and under the new practice rules, they are allowed just one padded practice a week. If they don’t tackle well against the speedy Philadelphia Eagles at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome, the game could get out of hand.

“We’ve got to get it emphasized,” VanGorder said. “Obviously, we’ve got to practice it. It’s just different when it’s live.”

Hayden, Sanders close: The Falcons hope to get cornerback Kelvin Hayden and safety James Sanders ready to play more against the Eagles.

Both players were signed on Sept. 1. Sanders played on special teams against the Bears, while Hayden did not play in the game.

“We are going to look hard at them this week,” VanGorder said. “Obviously, we’ve got to get better. If they help us get better, then they’ll be contributing this Sunday.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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107 comments Add your comment

MountainMan

September 14th, 2011
7:22 am

Yakkity Yak.

magicharp

September 14th, 2011
7:26 am

Gotta play better this week.

Bubba Bean

September 14th, 2011
7:34 am

Sanders would be and upgrade over DeCoud, stone hands. When he was drafted, he had only 1 int. in four years at Cal. Now we know why, he can not catch.

Jgsbirds

September 14th, 2011
7:37 am

and these are “tipped” balls–just floating in the air waiting to be picked. but hey he did knock one down-the other he managed to kick up in the air and almost have it caught by another wide open bear receiver.

fsufalcon

September 14th, 2011
7:39 am

it’s going to be a long year for the falcs….the “work in progress” is going backwards, and the long lay off with the lockout hurt more than we realize…

I usually just read but....

September 14th, 2011
7:39 am

Bears seemed to know how to tackle. I would like to see the Falcons play with that kind of intensity.

Jay Cool 4daBirds

September 14th, 2011
7:51 am

The one thing that hurts the Falcons defense more than anything is that “pick us apart zone” they play in, especially on third downs. Abraham is a pass rusher not a coverage guy. Vangorder needs to stop being cute and let the defense go out and make plays.

@king_of_peons

September 14th, 2011
7:51 am

More excuses.

D-Bird

September 14th, 2011
8:04 am

One pissed off fan! Just tiered of excuses. Atlanta wants to win and win now!

Matt from MN

September 14th, 2011
8:08 am

Stop TALKING about it and DO it!!! So sick of this crap. How can you play professional football and not be able to execute a fundamental skill like tackling? BVG better get it together and soon, or he and Mularkey can both be out on their cans.

The Real Falcon

September 14th, 2011
8:08 am

All the teams are playing under the same rules.
How many missed tackles did Chicago have?
When Turner fumbled it was from one man making the stop and the next man
going for the ball.

Bruce

September 14th, 2011
8:12 am

Since they can only practice one day a week with pads I think starting next year the starters will Play more during the preseason games to work on tackling.

Season Ticker Holder

September 14th, 2011
8:12 am

VanGorder need to address the soft zone defense he calls on third downs. I would like to see the Falcons play pressing man defense on third and long. And, stop letting receivers run free and find soft spots in the zone.

Sandy from Atl

September 14th, 2011
8:19 am

I agree with Matt from MN. The Falcons, in all the 30 years I have been trying to enjoy their games, have been sloppy on tackling. That has always been their #1 downfall. Their ability to tackle and get the job done has been pi_ _ poor to say the least. It looks as if when they attempt to make a tackle they are afraid of getting hurt so they shy off the runner. #1 area that needs a major overhaul is tackling. Then once that is fixed work on the offensive line. Weak blocking and uninteresting to watch.

Infamous

September 14th, 2011
8:27 am

If Biermann as a DE can one-hand a tipped ball for an INT an then turn and run it back for a touchdown. I expect DeCoud as a DB to catch at least one of the two tipped passed that he dropped. #inexcusable

mountain_jim

September 14th, 2011
8:29 am

I agree with Season Ticket Holder that focusing on tackling while ignoring the crappy soft zones he employs on 3rd and long shows BVG is not the sharpest knife in the drawer… Still, I sure hope DeCoud and Owens are replaced this week, as that is bound to help.

Season Ticker Holder

September 14th, 2011
8:32 am

VanGorder should tell Sean Weatherspoon that he is no longer in college were he was able to knock running backs down with his shoulder. In the NFL you have to run through your tackle and wrap up!

Michael M.

September 14th, 2011
8:35 am

I know whats wrong with the Team…………they have not opened up on the Dr. Phil T.V. show!

Atlbeast

September 14th, 2011
8:35 am

We have a team full of nice guys and no animals that’s what we have for they are bland at best our deff. has no attitude….Our offense is what it is ” offense ” no more no less I don’t think it will be enough this season we are above avg. but not by much…..

Gumbo

September 14th, 2011
8:35 am

Hey BVG, what is it again that you see in DeCoud? He has been awful for awhile…..

Shirley

September 14th, 2011
8:38 am

Very disappointed in the secondary play and the tackling overall. Not to mention the offense….awful. Many Falcons fans are upset and the team leadership is starting to seem like it doesn’t get there’s a problem.

Dinosaurs

September 14th, 2011
8:41 am

We have prehistoric offensive and defensive schemes. We are still using the same offensive and defensive concepts as in 2008. We should be playing these concepts perfectly now if that is the answer.

john

September 14th, 2011
8:43 am

BVG still can’t coach. He set back Ga. Southern football 5 years and he has been doing the same to the Falcons. Hey Brian, go find a job at some high school somewhere… (We’ve been VanGordered!!)

OC/DC Dinosaurs

September 14th, 2011
8:46 am

WEEK#1: The Atlanta Falcons was the only team in the NFL of 32 teams not to score an offensive touchdown.

Seen (The Aints) This (get obliterated) B4 (by the only sub-.500 playoff team in the history of pro football)

September 14th, 2011
8:50 am

Cut Decoud, Owens, and Baker, and start planning the Superbowl Parade on Peachtree Street.

joe white

September 14th, 2011
8:58 am

PLEASE RAP UP FELLAS AND LINE BLOCK BETTER.but since todd mcclure back our line should be fine.

Michael M.

September 14th, 2011
8:59 am

They shocked us in week one with a opening loss, think they gonna shock us in week two with a Big Win! We all are dissapointed and feel let down cause we want a Superbowl Championship so bad in this town. They have the team and talent to win the thing and we as fans need to stop cutting them down and start supporting them. I for one believe they going to turn it around. The first 6 games of the Season will dictate whether they can get to the playoffs again this year, if they can win 3 of them I think they might make it into the playoffs.

Bear

September 14th, 2011
9:14 am

Every player needs to watch Lofton takle. Only player that knows how to hit and wrap up.

ddawgdavis

September 14th, 2011
9:21 am

BVG needs to go. Scheme doesn’t fit well to NFL life.

Littlebird Jr.

September 14th, 2011
9:23 am

The DREAM TEAMS—UGA, Braves, Falcons—all dream of being a champion, just never produce. Keep on dreaming yet they keep on LOSING.

JSS

September 14th, 2011
9:24 am

Bear
September 14th, 2011
9:14 am
“Every player needs to watch Lofton takle. Only player that knows how to hit and wrap up.”

Was that before or after he took the bad angle and finally caught up with the play?

E Glaze

September 14th, 2011
9:25 am

Excuse me, but did he just make excuses for the defense? That plus his play calling tells us exactly why the defense is as bad as it is. Tackling? Come on now! Every person on that defense is a pro and this should be the LAST thing we should be discussing. Eventually Smitty is going to have to take over the deensive play calling because Van Gorder simply isn’t getting it done.

lombardi

September 14th, 2011
9:27 am

AtlBeast is spot on w/ assessment – there’s no hunger. And BVG = complete BS. It’s not like they grabbed a bunch of Flag FB players and said “Listen up laddies, this year we’re required to tackle. Now we know that’ll be an adjustment for you…..who’s that crying back there?…..you’ll be ok Sean, don’t worry.” We have a former top drawer DC as Head Coach – what the hell are he, the other coaches and TD evaluating when they watch the camps, the film of these wimps? “Oh he seems like a nice fellow.”

EXCUSES A PLENTY

September 14th, 2011
9:27 am

YOU CAN NEVER TALK YOURSELF OUT OF WHAT,YOU BEHAVE YOURSELF INTO!!!!

E Glaze

September 14th, 2011
9:32 am

Talent for the Falcons certainly isn’t an issue. It’s the coordinators and their schemes where there’s the problem

Tell it like it is

September 14th, 2011
9:32 am

After 45 years,i don’t no what to say anymore,looks like the same old Falcons to me,bad QB play,shoty tackling,bad coverage in the defencesive backfield,bad offencesive line play,no coaching&game planing.yep same old falcons!

OSAMABIN_FALCON

September 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Falcons get it together this week or we are done for the year!!!!

OSAMABIN_FALCON

September 14th, 2011
9:37 am

Let Mike Smith take over the Defense cause I don’t feel like getting Embarrased on National TV like last year I was at the Green Bay game and it was awful don’t let it happen this year too on Sunday when Philly coms to town we need to RISE UP!!!

MJM

September 14th, 2011
9:43 am

VanGoober has got to go.

houstondawgfan

September 14th, 2011
9:43 am

Van Gorder is really lost here in the NFL., the Falcons should have replaced him when Rob Ryan was available. They are not too many Nfl defenses that allow a quick slant and/or a quick screen score for TD’s two times. It’s adjustments and BVG seem like he doesn’t know what to do when the other Nfl off coodinator is out-smarting him.
Correct to say :
BVG = Excellent College D-coordinator, below average NFL D-coordinator, just look at the ranking in the last three year.

Hate to say it but, we will not make it to the Superbowl with him as the coordinator, (only if Mike Smith takes over the play calling)

MJM

September 14th, 2011
9:44 am

Enter your comments here

SirReal

September 14th, 2011
9:47 am

Finally, other fans are seeing hat some of us have said since he got here. The guy is just in over his head. Period. Andy Reid will prove it again Sunday night. Never liked him to lead the defense….BUT….ultimately its SMITTY who approves these schemes. We have to hold him accountable too whether we think he’s a great guy or not. I know this has been a tense week at Flowery Branch b/c our team played like dainty flowers against the Bears. Good thing it happened early so hopefully (cautious optimism) they will.

SirReal

September 14th, 2011
9:48 am

Blah blah blah. I’ll feel better about the D when he’s no longer coordinator.

Clothspin on my nose

September 14th, 2011
9:48 am

“we’re behind in tackling. We just haven’t had that many opportunities to tackle. I think you probably will see that throughout the league right now.”

No, I haven’t seen that throughout the league, certainly not on the other side of the line of scrimmage on Sunday! BVG seems ready to accept poor tackling as the norm, instead of insisting it be done correctly. These guys have been tackling all their lives and suddenly they forget how? REALLY?? Thats your excuse?
Also, I don’t know how much longer I can stand BVG’s philosophy of hold ‘em for two downs then let them have 15 yds. on 3rd. Whats wrong with bowing up on every down?

I've been watching the Falcons since they came to Atlanta

September 14th, 2011
9:49 am

Will someone please explain to me why my post was rejected??

SirReal

September 14th, 2011
9:53 am

@Clothspin on my nose I couldnt agree more. Well said.

Matt

September 14th, 2011
9:56 am

It’s was ugly, but that was a single loss and hopefully we build off of it. We started last season with a road loss too. It’s too early to panic and even if Atlanta loses against Philly this week, it’s STILL too early to panic. If the team is 0-4 though, then you can hit that button.

Say It Aint So

September 14th, 2011
10:03 am

As I mentioned in another blog, the Birds maybe heading into can’t have back to back winning seasons. How the hell can you give those type of excuses as a DC. Thats terrible. From a fan who grew up a mere blocks away from Fulton Co Stadium and have watched the last 30yrs, I’m tired of the BS. Atlanta has to be the worst place to be a sports fan Thanks Braves, Falcons Dawgs and Hawks. We got lucky when the Thrashers left town.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

September 14th, 2011
10:09 am

NEWSFLASH TO BVG – QUIT PLAYING SO MUCH ZONE COVERAGE especially on 3rd and long situations. Let the CBs bump and run from the line of scrimmage to disrupt the pass pattern of the receivers. At least that way the D-line might have a better chance for a QB sack.

honest_abe

September 14th, 2011
10:17 am

soft zone this and soft zone that … shut the hell up people. zones work but you need to get to the qb. chicago has one of the worst offensive lines in the league. i didn’t see big play ray edwards do a damn thing! who’s fault is that? thomas dimitroff. can we please lay blame at the feet of someone who deserves it? yes bvg is out of his league but we need more talent on that side of the ball.