Atlanta Falcons: Nolan thinks Eagles’ offense is a ’sleeping giant’

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan (right) talks with head coach Mike Smith during a June practice. He has not had much success against Peyton Manning in past.  JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan (right) talks with head coach Mike Smith during a June practice. He has not had much success against Peyton Manning in past. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan would like to see the defensive line become more active in stopping the run.

Too many runs are reaching the second level of the defense and that has contributed to the missed tackles and unit’s inability to stop the run. The Falcons are giving up 143.8 yards rushing per game, which ranks 28th in the league.

Here are some excerpts from Nolan’s weekly media session:

Q: What makes the Philadelphia offense tick?

A: They have very good skill players and a very good scheme. They’ve been good for a long time. …They’ve got very good wide receivers. Michael Vick has been a very good addition. They are very explosive on offense. The West Coast offense is geared to get the player the ball as quickly as possible. I think they do a great job of that. Outside of the deep balls that they throw, it’s a diverse attack.

Q: How do you view DeSean Jackson and Macklin as a wide receiver tandem?

A: They are as good as there is in the league. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. They are different from our guys. But I think they are very good. Jackson has outstanding speed. I remember when he came out of Cal. He was right across the Bay from us at the time. He’s probably as quick and fast down the field as anybody. He’s very good in that respect. Macklin also has very good speed, but he’s a bigger guy. They are very competitive players. A guy that is not mentioned that much who does a great job for them is (Jason) Avant in the slot. He’s an outstanding player. He doesn’t start, but does start in their 11 personnel (1 back, 1 tight end, 3 wide receivers) and that’s their base personnel anyway. They’ve got three very good ones on the field most of the time.

Q: The Eagles have compiled a lot of yards (379 per game), but haven’t scored a lot of points (17.2 per game). Do they have a hard time finishing drives?

A: It’s surprising when you watch the tape. It’s surprising to me that they haven’t scored as much because they move the ball very well. I don’t know exactly what their issue is. They’d know best what it’s been. They are a sleeping giant in a lot of cases as far as their offensive output. They have always been good on offense. They have been good since Andy (Reid) got there. Marty Mornhinweg, who does a lot of the offensive work, but doesn’t get much credit for it, does an outstanding job game-planning. He’s one of the top coordinators in the league. I think he’s got as much to do with their prowess as anyone.

Q: How do you fix the missed tackles?

A: For one, you don’t want as many balls on the second level. There are a lot of balls on the second level. But outside of that, a lot of it takes focus. It’s no different than stripping the ball and getting turnovers. If you’re not thinking about the ball, it surprises you when it becomes available. It’s the same thing with tackling, if you’re think you’re a secondary kind of a player and not a primary guy then sometimes a tackle will surprise you and you won’t have a great path to the ball. We did do a poor job last week and it hasn’t been a strength for us this season. We’ve had some better games. We’ve missed our share. It’s just something that you have to keep working on.

Q: Can the return of Corey Peters help the run defense?

A: It’s good to see him back out there. I’m kind of anxious to see him work. I’m kind of eager to see how he practices as well, but he did have a significant foot injury. We have to ease him back into things. But like I said, I’m eager to see him out there. It’s uncertain right now if he’ll be (active) or not.

Q: Are you worried about Asante (Samuel) going against his old team and maybe trying to do too much?

A: I worry about everything. From my point, it’s just a big challenge to play these guys. But it’s a thing where they are going to feel that they can do some things on Asante as well. They are going to come at him with things that they think are his deficiencies. You have to always take that into consideration when they are on offense. If you just look at what you do well and try to do your thing, they are looking at you in a different way. You have to turn it around and get in position to have a good game, which I think he’ll do. He’s great. Asante is a Pro.

Q: What is your evaluation of Eagles new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles?

A: I think Todd is one of the more intelligent coaches in the NFL. He’s very smart. I believe he’s a Temple grad. He is smart. I’ve coached with him twice. I coached with him at the Jets for a year and I coached with him the last two years in Miami. The very first thing that comes to mind is that Todd is a bright guy. He’s been hoping to get the opportunity to be a coordinator. He’s interviewed over the last several years a few times and it just hasn’t worked out. I think he’s anxious to do it and eager to do a good job, which I think he will. Until a guy does it, it’s hard to really say what his capabilities are because putting it together is one thing. Calling it, is another thing. So, we’ll have to wait and see. As far as, the Xs and Os, that type of thing, he’s as good as anybody.

Q: Is Michael Vick playing much better against the blitz?

A: Michael does a good job of moving around. He keeps plays alive. The thing with Michael and the blitz is that he’ll make two or three guys miss. That’s the challenge when you do blitz. That’s why some guys don’t blitz him as much. It would be the same against Cam Newton. It would be the same against any guy who can move. …When the player is an elusive guy you. … have to pick your poison.

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130 comments Add your comment

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
10:58 am

First! Go Eagles!!

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
11:06 am

Third like the Aints! Go Birds!

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
11:07 am

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
11:13 am

a sleeping giant? LOL! Yeah, right! Your defense isn’t much better than the Saints defense.

tay

October 24th, 2012
11:15 am

YALL JUST HATE THE Falcons!!! why come on our page go to ur own team page.

to real

October 24th, 2012
11:26 am

@ seen ur out of ya mind we top 3 in takeaways and we top 10 in scoring def which means yea we have gave up a lot of yards but dont give up many ponits and @ anytime can cause a turnover and take dat football away where is dem saints cant stop a high school football team get ya facts sh8

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
11:35 am

to real: “we have gave up a lot of yards but dont give up many ponits”

LOL! How well do you think that will work out for you in the long run?

Esquire

October 24th, 2012
11:36 am

SuxThisBZERO
October 24th, 2012
11:13 am

a sleeping giant? LOL! Yeah, right! Your defense isn’t much better than the Saints defense.

********************************
Eagles defense is ranked 12th, Caints 32nd………………32nd as that would be last place……as in the very back, as in nobody is worse, as in why show up Sunday, as in Manning is gonna have his way with you.

BLEAUX CAINTS

Paper or plastic………………..!!!

Go Denver!!

GO MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!

Esquire

October 24th, 2012
11:46 am

SuxThisBZERO…..Glad to see you have accepted and grown to embrace the destiny of the 2012 edition of the Caints. Us Falcons fans are delighted with your teams demise………!! By the way……we are 6-0……….and you are what…..2-4……REALLY……..too bad!! 6-0 in your face Sux (for short). Don’t forget that N and D on your keyboard don’t stand for Notre Dame!! And come Sunday 2-5 won’t feel really all that different!

Esquire

October 24th, 2012
11:46 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:46 am

I suppose that the Falcons could put some kind of a bounty on Vick.
That should slow the Eagles down quite a bit.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:48 am

I suppose that the Falcons could put some sort of a bounty on Vick.
That should slow the Eagles down quite a bit.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:50 am

Why does this particular blog, always seem to be malfunctioning?

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:52 am

I suppose that the Falcons could put some sort of bounty on the Eagles QB.
That should slow them down quit a bit.

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
11:52 am

Demise? Is the season over? LOL! Count those eggs birdhead. They’re about to be made into an omelette.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:52 am

REAMing aints

October 24th, 2012
11:54 am

Seen, full of excuses as usual, whining about your coach, asst coach, GM being gone. Why do you think they’re gone? Because they created the most embarrassing team the NFL has ever had to deal with! Seeing Vilma on the field Sunday was the personification of just how classless and low the aints organization really is. I understand you can’t change the past, but the fact that you still root for this version of the aints goes to show how unthinking and classless you are behaving. Show some class. Admit when they did wrong, don’t support cheating, pay for injury, classless thugs. Demand a better version of your team. Don’t drop so low that you’re left to come up with lame excuses for this bunch of scum. I’ve been a fan of the NFL since 1965, and never have I seen an organization that embarrassed the NFL more than these aints. You deserve better. Demand better. Be classy and don’t follow the leader when they’re clueless morons.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:54 am

This blog kicks out any comment that mentions the name of the Eagle’s starting QB?
That, is ridiculous.

Dirtybird82

October 24th, 2012
11:56 am

It took the aints winning two games (barely winning the last one) and getting to 2-4 to get that loser and reject known as Seenthisb4 to return. Are you really that optimistic that your team is a competitor now? I don’t think you should be. When y’all learn to stop the run and the pass and at least break .500 then you can say something about a 6-0 team (1.000 winning percent). What a loser!

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
11:57 am

Who is this troll that commented just after me @11:52am?
What is his game?
Is he some kind of a moron?

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
12:07 pm

@11:56am……….”It took the taints winning two games(barely winning the last one)”

I will have to disagree with that statement, in my opinion, the saints barely won(more like given) both of those games.
The Chargers had just intercepted one of the Munchkin’s passes for a pick six, and were on the verge of burying the saints, when the play was called back, because one of the Charger’s rookie rushers, had barely tapped the saints QB’s faceguard with his helmut. It was another NFL giveme for the saints.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
12:20 pm

Can anyone explain why it is illegal to push a reciever out of bounds when the QB is in the pocket, and why IT IS legal to push the reciever out of bounds, after the QB has left the pocket?
What is the difference?
How does this rule nullify illegal contact down field?
It looks like a NFL Catch-22 to me.
Saints could have easily lost that game, if not for this ignorant rule.
They were lucky. Once again(with the NFL’s help).

MfG

October 24th, 2012
12:21 pm

You saints fans kill me. your defense is a sieve, your offense turns the ball over constantly, and you have the nerve to talk about other teams. get your own house in order before criticizing your betters!

DJ Sniper

October 24th, 2012
12:34 pm

Wait, did Seen just say that the Falcons defense isn’t much better that the Saints’ 32nd ranked defense? Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

It’s funny how Seen wasn’t anywhere to be found during their 0-4 start.

Capt. Kangaroo

October 24th, 2012
12:40 pm

It looks like this SeenThis is the only saints fan stupid enough to show up on these Falcons blog, what-with their team playing like a bunch of high schoolers.

North FLA Falcon

October 24th, 2012
12:40 pm

NFL network said this morning that Vick is very effective running and passing when the other team DOES NOT blitz. Look for us to rush 3-4 guys and “spy” him … count on the corners to cover tight and wrap up! I predict at least 2 turnovers for the Falcons … if we have fewer than 2 we win this game by 7.

Falconfan90

October 24th, 2012
12:47 pm

Seenthisb4, as I recall it worked out for the Saints well in 09″ when they went to the SB. They were ranked 28th in total defense that year giving up a total of 357.8 yards a game and an avg. of 122.2 on the ground ranking them 21st in the league. They benefited from taking the ball away giving it back to their offense just as we’re doing now.

Michael M .

October 24th, 2012
12:48 pm

Atlanta – 24 Eagles – 20
thats all that will matter………………………………………………

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
12:52 pm

@Capt. Kangaroo: Don’t let those high schoolers embarass your professional team this year. Don’t be so quick to go for it on 4th and 6 inches against that 32 ranked defense. Of course, since your coach does fear that Munchkin so much, you’ll probably will go for it, and come up short, again….
I wonder what record the Munchkin will set against your team, in your house this year? LOL!

kd

October 24th, 2012
12:52 pm

we cant even talk about the falcons without it being so much hate in the air!!! Why cant yall just let the Birds shine??? i agree though, the eagles can catch fire at any minute, they could be just as explosive as us, especially having vick in your corner, the man still has a presence in atlanta and he has been gone for years

kd

October 24th, 2012
12:53 pm

i agree though, the Eagles can catch fire at any time, especially with vick at the qb position

Just Sayin.....

October 24th, 2012
12:54 pm

Shady McCoy may have 200 yards by the half.

Just Sayin…..

kd

October 24th, 2012
12:55 pm

i agree, why the hate??

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
12:56 pm

@Falcantfan90: You are correct, it did work out in 2009.

But there are one major distinction between your team now, and the Saints in ‘09. The Saints had the number 1 ranked offense then. And the number 1 ranked QB. And an offensive genius at the helm. You guys got any of those? I think not.

The falcan’ts don’t have what it takes to go the distance, not the defense, not the stamina, not the horses….

kd

October 24th, 2012
12:58 pm

Why cant we shine without the hate? Thats like the raiders or the lions fans coming on our blog saying how sorry the falcons are? But like i said before, the eagles can be dangerous, we cant sleep on them

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
12:58 pm

@STB4……….11:35
regarding giving up yards and not points…..
It seems to be working very well right now but lets look at how its working for you
1. 2-4 (I could stop there but lets go on)
2. Cant stop anyone on D…
3. 32nd in the NFL as a D…..( cant get no worse than that)
4. When was the last time you gave up less than 20 points?
5. When will you not have to outscore EVERY TEAM on your remaining schedule to win? Because you sure cant rely in your D to win just one!
6. Hey the referres just gave you another call…..be happy!
Lets face it you stink and you can only hope to average 40 points a game to win…..and even with that you giving up 41 so things dont look to good in those rose colored glasses do they?
RISE UP!

Suwanee Jim

October 24th, 2012
12:58 pm

Nolan kissing some SERIOUS Eagle butt!

North FLA Falcon

October 24th, 2012
1:00 pm

2 guys handed the Aints their SB win: Brett Favre for throwing a stupid INT at the end of the NFC championship game, and Hank Baskett (Kendra’s hubby) for fumbling the onsides kick that opened the 2nd half of the SB.

to real

October 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

@seen in tha long run dats wat matter gettin off tha field force takeaways and dont give up ponits tha last 3 superbowl teams wasnt great on def yards wise but they made plays when they matter tha most #1 def yards wise dont mean ish

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

By the way STB4….You dont have any of those things you mentioned…..and you 2-4. So that makes you a heaping pile of stinky boo boo!
The Nation is getting rowdy! Its Wednesday and Rise Up time is close!

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
1:05 pm

Hmmm, if it weren’t for our D pushing the tampa player out of bounds, the TD reception would have counted….so, I guess our D won that game….and the refs got that one correct. What they screwed up on was the INT Harper clearly caught, the ball never touched the ground.

Keep trying Answer This, sooner or later you’ll make a relevant statement.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 24th, 2012
1:07 pm

PLEASE OH PLEASE….. DO NOT RESPOND TO THE “LOWLY AINTS’ BLOGGERS”. DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!!!

If you don’t respond to their comments they tend to go away. The NOLA Aints’ Blog doesn’t even get as much traffic from Aints fans because so many of the citizens of the NO area can’t read or write.

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
1:09 pm

The Nation? LOL? You guys got what? About 5 different falcan’t fans on this blog? 5, 6 tops? LOL! A Nation? A city of what? 2 million? They got 5 fans on the blog! That’s not a Nation, that’s not even a dozen!!! Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, nation! ha, ha, ha,ha. Dat’s rich!

Michael M .

October 24th, 2012
1:10 pm

Eagles were deemed the ” Deam Team ” last year after they went bankrupt going for so-called talent………………….look at us ……………………6 – 0 Atlanta Falcons……………we are the real ” Dream Team ” after years of adding players and a new DC and OC they are finally there……………on top of the entire NFL ! It is onwards and upwards …………………one game at a time !

As for the sorry Caints, they are a joke of a Team ! Manning is going to take that sorry defense that can’t tackle of the Caints and take them to school…………look out Bag- Heads…………another lost is coming , only this one the Officials wont save your butts this time ! ………………………………………….

kd

October 24th, 2012
1:11 pm

@ answer this- you really couldve stopped at #1,but hey some people clearly still dont understand

to real

October 24th, 2012
1:11 pm

Matt ryan right now @ dis point is a top 5QB and could very well end up MVP dis year we take wat tha def gives us bottom line is u cant takeaway everybody we can beat u deep short or med range in our passing game and we can beat u on tha ground we can play any style of football we need to dat wins us dat game

kd

October 24th, 2012
1:13 pm

@ Micheal M- In like your enthusiasm, but let not use the name dream team! you see what that has gotten those SHE-GLES.hahaha

Just Sayin.....

October 24th, 2012
1:14 pm

@Michael M.

Actually the Eagles have over 20 million over the cap and the Falcons have some 1.5 million.

Just Sayin…..

Michael M .

October 24th, 2012
1:15 pm

So right …………….It is just so nice to be number one for a change and last time I checked they are number 1 on the Power Rankings also………..been a sweet start this Season ……………………….

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
1:16 pm

And you are here why?