Atlanta Falcons: Coordinators give mid-term reports

Mike Nolan, Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter (Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

Mike Nolan, Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter (Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Halfway through the exhibition season, the Falcons’ new coordinators, Mike Nolan and Dirk Koetter, gave an update on the progress on the implementation of their new schemes.

“We still have a lot of work to do because you want to detail things out,” Nolan said. “There is a big difference between our first group and our backups. Some guys need to step up as far as the backups go.”

The starting offense has played well while working heavily on the passing attack.

“We are definitely improving,” Koetter said. “You want to get better each time you go out there. But there is still plenty of stuff that we need to work on. I think we’re on the right track and making progress.”

The starters have handed the reserves a lead in both exhibition games, but the backups haven’t been able to hold the fort. The Falcons’ seven-game losing mark in exhibition games is the longest active streak in the league.

But the starters will play into the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sun Life Stadium.

“I would say that there’s some good and bad,” Nolan said of the defense’s overall play. “You actually want some adversity to show up in the preseason because that’s the reality of the regular season. We’ve had some of that.”

The defense had three three-and-outs in the opener against Baltimore.

In the second game against Cincinnati, they had some missed tackles and leaky pass coverage with cornerback Asante Samuel getting beat on a double move route by Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green.

“It’s hard to say or gauge where we are,” Nolan said. “But I’m not disappointed with the group at all. I like their energy.”

Nolan places a higher value on the practice time than on the exhibition games.

“Because not every team, including Kansas City, who we open with, is going to do what they are going to do in the opener,” Nolan said. “So practice is critical at this point. I think we’ve responded really well in practice. Putting the two together, I’m kind of in the middle. You don’t want to get too high or too low.”

The offense has been dazzling at times, but the unit has also stalled inside the 20-yard line. Matt Bryant had to kick two short (20 and 22 yards) field goals when drives stalled against Cincinnati. Koetter would prefer touchdowns.

The unit has started fast in the two previous games. Koetter wants to see how they come out to start the third quarter against the Dolphins.

“Let’s see if we can get off to a fast start in the second half,” said Koetter, who noted that the Falcons are putting together a mock game-plan for the Dolphins. “We’re changing some things up; formations and the motions. We want to see how they handle the mental part of it.”

THE LATEST NEWS

Running back Michael Turner still a weapon

Falcons thin at left tackle after Will Svitek goes down; out for season

Falcons finally get fiesty in practice; a couple of fights breakout

Akeem Dent returns to practice; will play against Miami

OTHER NEWS

Dominique Davis in hunt for No. 2 quarterback position

GAME STORY: Bengals 24, Falcons 19

SIDEBAR: Matt Ryan won’t call himself an elte QB after completed 18 of 21

Asante Samuel admits to relaxing on A.J. Green’s touchdown catch

A.J. Green and Julio Jones shine in exhibition game

VIDEO: Matt Ryan, Lousaka Polite featured after loss to Bengals

VIDEO: Post game presser with head coach Mike Smith

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50 comments Add your comment

Brian

August 21st, 2012
6:00 pm

it will be interesting to watch esp what happens at LT.

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
6:10 pm

It would be nice in that pic up there if they was holding the Super Bowl Trophy too instead of that Falcon Helment, but that’s another story…………………………….

Runner-

August 21st, 2012
6:13 pm

Cant wait!!!!!

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
6:15 pm

I know……………..I threw a bone out there and the dogs will come running, ha !

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
6:51 pm

Smith finally hired “2″guys who are more intelligent, wiser, and better football coaches than he is! Just may save his job!

steven a smith

August 21st, 2012
6:53 pm

When you look at the picture, who looks the “dumbest?” Coach Smith hands down!

Greg Mendel

August 21st, 2012
7:07 pm

“So practice is critical at this point. I think we’ve responded really well in practice. Putting the two together, I’m kind of in the middle. You don’t want to get too high or too low.”

Name, rank, serial number. Another scoop.

Ignition

August 21st, 2012
7:12 pm

From what I have “heard” Mike Smith is a brilliant football mind. I haven’t really seen that on the field but I hope to see it this year…

@spencaman

August 21st, 2012
7:25 pm

steven a smith, you are an absolute moron. Smitty is the first head coach in Falcons history with 3 straight winning seasons. Take you retarded opinions back to the Saints message boards, which use push pins at the local middle schools, then have a coke and a smile and shut the f#*k up!

Dr J

August 21st, 2012
7:54 pm

@Spencaman, actually we’ve had 4 straight winning seasons. We’ve had winning seasons ever since he and Ryan have been here.

Grimey

August 21st, 2012
8:39 pm

We need to give Dominique Davis some time with 2nd string

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
9:55 pm

Trollology 101
Attempt to ignore that you’re wass has been reamed, pretend nothing has happened even though anti-troll has given you butt whuppin[’ of which you won’t recover without wince.

Seen This B4

August 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

@Esqueer: What’s a matter? Still mad you lost your backup LT Will Svitek for the season, at practice?!!

Seen……amateurish even for you……tisch tisch tisch limp glove slap to the face.

BLEAUX SAINTS!!!

Just Sayin.....

August 21st, 2012
10:04 pm

Samuel on 2nd string? Looks like Dimitroff got it wrong again.

Just sayin…..

SirReal

August 21st, 2012
10:06 pm

I think we’re in the middle of the road right now as far as overall D and offense. Offense MUST finish drives with TDs. Defense MUST get off the field on 3rd down and WRAP UP!!!
Esquire….I hear ya but lets not even bring someone in thats not there. You’ve put this up on two blogs tonight and its starting to look like you’re obsessed with that underling.lol He likes when you do stuff like this so kets not give the any any picnic food. ;)

Thanks for all the hard work D Led!!!!!
Thanks for the report D Led

Just Sayin.....

August 21st, 2012
10:06 pm

@Spencaman why is it taking so long to win in the playoffs? Even Jim Mora Jr. did it in his 1st season.

SirReal

August 21st, 2012
10:07 pm

Correction* Lets not give the ANT any picnic food.

ernie robb

August 21st, 2012
10:16 pm

DD really has played well enough to get more playing time with the 1st or 2nd unit. He is really blowing the doors off of JPW and Rojohombre. Could eventually be a good back up to MR. He has done pretty good in spite of the bad help that he has had on the field. First team defense is also looking very good. Jerry P had a pretty good game too.

falCANS

August 22nd, 2012
1:02 am

I KNOW OUR BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER BETTER BE ON HIS NATURAL SIDE. BRENT GRIMES = SHUTDOAN!!! . Keep him onn the left

Nique

August 22nd, 2012
1:22 am

I’d take Spoon over Grimes all day as out best defensive player & I wouldn’t call him shut down either. He’s a good cb but the reality is that there are maybe 3 real shut down cb’s in the NFL & he ain’t one of them.

& Grimy i agree with you D. Davis needs 2cnd team reps this week!

Wings

August 22nd, 2012
6:52 am

The offense has stalled inside the 20 yard line when the offense is centered around Michael Turner. He is a used up and out of place RB.

Paddy

August 22nd, 2012
7:11 am

Wings……There are many Falcon fans that have some reservations about Turner. Lets wait till the games count and watch him close.

Jimmy Crack

August 22nd, 2012
7:16 am

“I would say that there’s some good and bad,” Nolan said

“We are definitely improving,” Koetter said.

That’s not a mid-term report. It’s an general opinion about the 2012 Falcons shared by about 95% of the football universe who have eyes.

Smitty is teaching the new coaches well about how to annoy fans by speaking for 5 minutes and saying NOTHING.

Stepchild

August 22nd, 2012
7:24 am

Get ready Smitty….one of those two standing next to you with their hands on the helmet will have your job soon.

Saints R.E.A.M.

August 22nd, 2012
7:26 am

Mularkey is already working magic down in Jax with their young QB. Soon you guys will have to give him credit for all he did down here for Matt Ryan. Now that Matty is off of the baby food, we will see if he can handle adult food and succeed…….or will Koetter have to chew it up for him and shrink the playbook.

If you can’t decipher that message it refers to getting the ball downfield.

Statick

August 22nd, 2012
8:27 am

Mularkey is on the verge of not having a running game, so the only magic you’ll be seeing down in JAX will be that offenses’ disappearing act.

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

Mikey

August 22nd, 2012
8:41 am

It is so nice to see a head coach with such knowledge and confidence to hire brilliant offensive and defensive coordinators. Most head coaches prefer to hire dopes that won’t threaten their jobs. I think Mr. Blank is a strong enough business leader to know that this is how you get better and how you win against the big boys in the NFL. We are seeing continuous improvement and the off-season work and study by all three phases are evident. They aren’t yet where they need to be but are well on their way. Continued training and practice should make them even better. What a great organization… GO FALCONS!

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

Mike is Back

August 22nd, 2012
8:51 am

Dled, I know it’s early…However, it appears obvious that Mike Smith has upgraded at both coordinators positions…I expect some struggles alone the way…I’m encourage by what I seen so far.

Heck, as long as we beat them friggin Aint’s…IT’S ALL GOOD.LOL

GO BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

Just Sayin.....

August 22nd, 2012
9:06 am

Same issues….same comments since 2008.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 22nd, 2012
9:10 am

SirReal — You’re welcome. You make good points on the redzone offense and the tackling. We reach the kids that I work with to HIT, WRAP & LIFT!!!

SirReal

August 22nd, 2012
10:05 am

D Led- Exactly my friend, exactly. :)

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

FalconUGAFan

August 22nd, 2012
11:09 am

@saintsREAM….How astute (please note sarcasm)…we’ve said that about MM all along…he did some pretty good things early on with Ryan. That is where he excels, but pushing to the next level, maybe not so much.

We are all expecting Mattie to take the next step this year…time to take off the training wheels and see what he can do. Feel free to read any number of past articles and comments concerning this very topic…nice try though.

Mack

August 22nd, 2012
12:39 pm

After 2 preseason games a couple of things have stood out to my untrained eye.
M. Ryan looks to have improved his long ball accuracy.
D. Davis looks like a keeper and has made the other 2 guys look bad.
M.Turner does not impress.
1st team Offense and Defense looks much better than I expected for this time of the year.

steven a smith

August 22nd, 2012
12:47 pm

How much genius and intelligence does it take to call Michael Turner “up the middle.” Does it take a real football mind for
this worn out conservaive approach to football??? Looks like
teh reencarnation of “Vince Lombardi”

steven a smith

August 22nd, 2012
12:48 pm

Mike Nolan should be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons football team!

Falcon James

August 22nd, 2012
12:55 pm

I think the first team offense and defense look pretty good for this stage. As we have seen in years gone by, the Wins in preseason are not important. I remember last year we struggled early on with the defense trying to make shoulder tackles. They back to the same thing this year. The second sting looks week on both sides of the ball. I understand why the decision on who to cut is going to be hard. At this point the coaches could just draw straws.

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

August 22nd, 2012
1:04 pm

Why dont the Flacons try 2 trade 4 Morice Jones Drew? Caoch Kotter no him real well and he could paly rite a way. We dont need Tippy Toes Turner N E more if we could get MJD.

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

August 22nd, 2012
7:04 pm

Except we probably cant pay mjd and the jags wont want turner maybe a pick but if we still have turner we cant pay mjd and we really dont need a money hungry back that cant wait for his big due till he plays out the contract that he and his agent agreed to i respect his play ability but he has no sense of integrity

Th

August 22nd, 2012
7:52 pm

So now we have a “throw it around the field” team coached by the guy brought in to play basic, hard-nosed, run-first then play action football. If Smith stays out of the way, this might work, but I am withholding judgement until the regular season games start.

Last year Turner caught one pass per game. Make it three per game this year and an inside screen to Julio every game and I will feel more optimistic.

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

Saints R.E.A.M.

August 23rd, 2012
6:59 am

We teach the kids that I work with to HIT, WRAP & LIFT!!!…………………….

DLed, that’s what we teach too except we add one last thing……..Throw em down!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2012
8:14 am

Saints R.E.A.M. – That’s mean and nasty. I like it. If you lift them, they are going down too!

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]

[...] Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up [...]