Atlanta Falcons: Run defense needs to improve quicklyon October 12, 2012 at
“Falcons coach Mike Smith has sounded the five-alarm fire siren. His team’s run defense needs to step it up real fast.
“That’s something that we have to do,” safety William Moore said. “It’s not even an option.”
Everything from the scheme to the personnel is being re-evaluated by the coaching staff.
The defense has given up 142.8 yards per game, which ranks 27th in the NFL. Denver’s Willis McGahee (113) and Washington’s Alfred Morris (115) rushed for more than 100 yards against the Falcons.
Despite a 5-0 record, the best record in the NFC, there is a sense of urgency about improving the run defense.
“To me personally, it’s embarrassing to be ranked where we are ranked because I know the type of guys that we have,” Moore said. “We have some tough running backs that we are going to be facing. It’s not being physical that’s the problem. …
“We have to figure it out, and it’s got to happen fast.”
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has three tenets to stopping the run: 1) Set the edge, 2) Create a wall and 3) Secure the cutback lane.
At different times, the defense hasn’t been able to accomplish those goals. Morris had success getting to the edge because the wall wasn’t created. There haven’t been many big cutback runs.
Nolan notes that the Falcons have played against five talented quarterbacks in Matt Cassel, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III and focused on stopping them, perhaps in lieu of their team’s rushing attacks.”
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