New Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is bringing a new culture to the team, and this was point of emphasis in day one of OTAs.
With the rookie and veteran minicamps finished, Quinn was pleased to finally have the entire team together for practice.
“To have everybody here, that’s where it gets to the challenging part,” Quinn said. “To find out all the unique stuff that a player has, and that’s what we do on the field, to coach the guys and get the corrections right, find out what they do best and try and draw it out of them.”
“Defensively, all the calls we have are to go after the ball,” Quinn said.
And it also helps when the attendance is so good.
“I’ve been thrilled by the attitude of the team. You can see how tight these guys are, and I think that’s a big factor to it.”
Quinn has spoken about making the team fast and physical, and this was evident in the first OTA practice today. Playing hard and fast in practice will benefit the team when they are out on the field for real during the season. Falcons safety Charles Godfrey believes so:
“The practice speed is fast so when we get out to the game everything is slow, but we’re still fast because we’re used to practicing that way. It’s good for us,” Godfrey said.
It’s not only about the speed and physicality, but also about the mentality of the team. A key trait of the Seattle Seahawks’ defense is the way they swarm the football quickly. This is clearly something Quinn is looking to translate onto the Atlanta defense, but he believes the football needs to be the focus in every department, including offense.
“It’s about the ball—the offense, how much can they regard it and protect it,” Quinn said. “It’s not just the quarterback or the receiver, it’s the left tackle and the center who are responsible.”
What about on defense?
“Defensively, all the calls we have are to go after the ball.”
So far, so good for the Falcons this offseason. They have acquired the right talent, and now it’s about implementing the philosophies and schemes ahead of the new season. Quinn is on a mission to change the culture in Atlanta, and the attitude and attendance of the players today shows that they all right behind him.