1. Move Jamaal Anderson to defensive tackle. Again, he has supplied next to nothing in the way of a pass rush. (Except for a roughing call against Tom Brady on Sunday, which was kind of funny when you think about it. Jamaal? Roughing somebody?) But he’s pretty good against the run; if he weren’t, he wouldn’t still have a job. The center of the Falcons’ line was pushed backward in Foxborough, suggesting Thomas Johnson and Trey Lewis aren’t the answer in Peria Jerry’s absence. Could J.A. be?
2. Play Lawrence Sidbury at defensive end. This is a bye week, which means the Falcons’ coaches have time to tinker. Sidbury came hailed as the steal of the draft. Time to put him to work. The defensive line hasn’t had a sack in two games.
3. Find a role for Jerious Norwood. Michael Turner managed only 56 yards against New England and fumbled for the second time in two weeks. He’s still a big-time player, but Norwood can be big-time, too. Two weeks should give him time to heal from the head injury suffered on the opening kickoff against Carolina. This is the third different coaching staff that has paid lip service to Norwood’s talent. It’s time to Mike Mularkey and Co. to find a more frequent application.
4. Resolve to stretch the field. Matt Ryan has completed 60 passes in three games. His longest gain is 27 yards. The Falcons must find a receiver who can get downfield, and Ryan has to find him when he does.
5. Resolve to get urgent. “Urgency” is the watchword for 2009, and it could stand some sharpening. The Falcons forced four turnovers against Miami in Week 1, two against Carolina in Week 2, none on Sunday. Safety Thomas DeCoud could have intercepted a Brady pass in the end zone but didn’t. John Abraham had a hand on Brady before the quarterback stepped forward and found Chris Baker for the clinching touchdown. Too many plays went unmade. The Falcons need to make them.