Atlanta Falcons

Dirty Bird Chit Chat

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On whether he has an update on OLB Ade Ogundeji’s injury:

“Just have to get another opinion. We’ll just have to see. I’ll know by tomorrow.”

On his process of making cut decisions with position depth in mind:

“There’s a lot that goes into it. There’s no perfect answer. Sometimes, you try to make the best answer for the team. If there’s been a pattern that’s continuing to happen – you weigh it all. Even [with] some guys, it depends on how quickly they can return because it is important, especially [for] some of the younger guys that need to play and do enough to make the team. It’s a fine line. Everyone’s a case by case. That’s the best answer I can give you.”

On whether he has specifics of OLB Ade Ogundeji’s injury:

“It’s whatever you want to call it. It’s right in there in the ankle and foot area. When you get in there, it can be complicated. I think you need to get multiple opinions and so we just don’t rush to judgement. By tomorrow, we will know for sure.”

On what went into the decision to release ILB Mykal Walker:

“We are very thankful for how hard a lot of guys have worked for us. Every player in here, Terry and I meet with. It’s an unfortunate part of the business; there’s transactions. That’s why I say you have to enjoy the time when you’re with people. There’s no ten-year job in the National Football League but you can enjoy the time that you’re with them, just like in every situation. Every situation, every roster move we make, we try to make with the best interest of the team and that’s what we did there.”

On whether ILB Mykal Walker’s release was related to a scheme change:

“You’re trying to find some specific reason. We love everything Myke did, just like we do with so many guys that have come in here. We’ve made a lot of transactions, some out of necessity, it’s just the way the league is now. Some of it is things we couldn’t control. That’s not the case with this particular one but we are appreciative of everything he did. We wish Myke well.”

On whether DL Ta’Quon Graham was at practice:

“He was out there today.”

On the preparation across the building for the second preseason game:

“We’re still in training camp. Everybody says there’s a conventional wisdom; you don’t game plan. It’s not a regular-season game. Nobody’s really doing the dress rehearsal or whatever you’re doing because you’re weak. If you do that, then you’re going to slow down a lot of progress. We need a lot of reps. You put a plan in but as you rep it, you’re still in training camp mode. There’s some things we’ll do to make sure we’re good with the plan as we get closer to that game but you just manage both. You’ve got night walk throughs where you’re allowed to do some stuff too so that’s kind of how we manage it. But every team’s probably a little bit different. But nobody’s in there like you’re going in for Week 1 and have a super intensive game plan, situational, stuff like that. You’re trying to make sure you play competent football and execute but you have to have some sort of plan.”

On whether he thinks the team is on track:


On whether he has specific traits on this roster that are different from previous teams he’s coached:

“I think one that is painfully obvious is that we have to be one of the bigger teams in the league. Just walk by our defensive line. Even if you take Calais [Campbell] out of the mix, Calais might be the biggest player in the league – maybe that tackle from Baltimore. There’s probably a few but that would be the obvious one. I’m thankful for all the players we’ve had here. There’s been a lot of transactions as we transition but each year is different. But certainly, that would be the one that’s passed the eye test there.”

On the physicality of this defense compared to previous teams he’s coached:

“I’m not going to get into comparisons. It’s like you’re trying to compare family members. Who’s your favorite sibling or who’s your favorite kid? We’re not doing that. I may give you a ranking of my brother in-laws, I have no problem doing that.”

On how the new roster cut changes effects his roster management:

“We got into a conversation about this yesterday. I think each year is different but certainly, it helps. Even the question about the game plan stuff like in training camp, when your numbers get shorter and you’ve got a couple of guys that are a little nicked up or whatever, your rep count gets low. Then a lot of times, a lot of opportunities are missed from some of those back ends and you may be healthy in the DB room but then you may be short a couple of linemen, so you’re trying to weigh how many reps you can get. If you only have nine o-linemen available, then maybe you have to do more seven-on-seven and you want to get more teamwork. There’s so many little logistical decisions that you plan in practice that helps. I told you yesterday it’s one person’s opinion, but I think it’s good for the game. It helps you develop players and you’re talking about health and safety. It certainly lets you practice cleaner, in my opinion.”

On whether he considers that a player he releases could be picked up by another team:

“Sure, that’s taken into consideration.”

On how much help he thinks it will be to have bigger players up front helping DL Grady Jarrett:

“It depends on what scheme you want to run. It depends on your rush plan. There’s so many different front combinations that people play, the third down. Then you go back to the history of the league and just look, and a lot of it – and I’ll just say it because I got biased opinion – working with Dick LeBeau and some of the stuff people started doing with the fire zones and now you’re getting all of these hybrid looking fronts. There’s a lot of different logistics that go on third downs. That’s what you see with young offensive linemen and young quarterbacks, it’s the biggest difference. It’s kind of like a chess match on those critical downs. When you’ve got more personnel packages than usual, that certainly helps every player, especially upfront, trying to get matchups. That’s the game. There’s certain guys that you say, ‘Hey, your whole protection scheme has to – we’ve got to focus on this guy.’ If we don’t, then it’ll be a long day. When you’ve got a lot of people, they got to account for that certainly helps you.”

On the progression of OL Ryan Neuzil:

“[He’s] one of the many guys in our program that’s just gotten better year after year, taking advantage of every opportunity – whether that’s inside the weight room, the things we do on the practice field, off the field. He’s got a lot of persistence, smart player, taking advantage of every opportunity as he’s improved. That’s the name of the game and that’s our job as coaches and it’s fun to see somebody like that is that guy consistently go back there and prove it. As I said, I just hope his ego doesn’t get too big.”

On what he’s learned about the depth he has at cornerback:

“Some of those guys play inside, they play nickel, they play corner, they can play safety. They can play all kinds of different positions for us. There’s not a fix depth chart. Those are our DBs. Guys go in and at. Around the league, that’s pretty standard. But all those guys, I thought they played well the other night. I thought they did some good stuff when they were out there. That’s what you want. You want good competition. It brings out the best in people.”

On his thoughts on the safeties:

“We have a lot of good players back there. We have a lot of guys competing back there: Chattman, [DeMarcco] Hellams, Lukas Denis, [Micah] Abernathy. I mean Dee Alford’s played multiple spots. We just brough Bless Austin in. Breon Borders, Nate [Natrone] Brooks, Darren Hall – all these guys are out there competing.”

On whether S Cliff Chattman had a sack in the preseason game at Miami:

“[Natrone] Brooks did. How many did we have? [Nate] Landman, AK [Arnole Ebiketie], Mike Jones Jr. added one. I know Brooks he had one.”

On the impact of ILB Tae Davis:

“You feel Tae out there. Certainly, you could feel him in the game Friday night. You feel him on fourth down. I think he’s made a lot of improvements on the defensive side too. He’s had a pretty good camp but you certainly felt him the other night.”

On releasing ILB Mykal Walker:

“I’m going to be honest with you, I love Myke. There’s been a lot of guys I love to coach. Why are we focused on him? We’ve made more transactions than anybody. I’m just curious, is there something I’m missing? We had a lot of guys who started in 12 games and we couldn’t – I’m just saying, it’s a year-after-year thing. There’s so many things. It’s not just this player, that player. There’s a whole big picture involved in it and there’s a lot of factors. We have a lot of guys that we sign back or have other opportunities elsewhere so that’s why I was a little confused. We love Myke but there’s been a ton of players that we’ve had the privilege to coach. Again, you try to make the best decision for this team and that’s what kind of guides you.”

On what he wants to see from QB Desmond Ridder in the second preseason game vs. Cincinnati:

“Go out there, execute and improve. We’re not going to try to scheme up some chunk plays so we can feel good about some trick play or something that like for some hype video or whatever. We need to execute, improve, take another step, get ready, feel the pocket so he’s ready to go Week 1. That’s the thing you can’t see during practice – the consequence of holding the ball too long or you don’t move up, execute through your reads, all that stuff. Managing the offense. Those are the things. Maybe I’m messed up but I don’t think between me and [Bengals Head Coach] Zac Taylor, we’re going to try to trick each other. We’re going to try to execute, come up with a good plan and see if we can improve and get ready for the season.”

On how much the between DL Calais Campbell and DL Zach Harrison is helping on the field:

“All those guys. I mean it’s a whole room. You don’t take advantage of it. I told some of those young guys that it’s not just on the field, off the field, how they handle stuff, we’ve got great veterans in there. Like go ask them what they’re routines are, their habits, how they take care of themselves, sleep, all that stuff. Use that wisdom that’s in the locker room. Hopefully, they take advantage of it [and] don’t waste it.”

On whether OL Ryan Neuzil taking first team repetitions is due to OL Drew Dalman coming back:

“We have an individual plan for everybody. Just like we wanted TQ [Ta’Quon] Graham to do today and same with Drew. We try to be smart. I thought Drew got some good work. It’s just day by day. Trying to make sure it’s the right thing for the player and for the team.”

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