Atlanta Falcons: Dan Quinn wants better running, third-down play


Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn addressed areas he wants to see improvement following the bye week. Two of those areas were rushes and third down plays.

It wound up being a rather well-timed bye week for the Atlanta Falcons. After losing edge rusher Vic Beasley, Jr. to injury, they saw right tackle Ryan Schraeder and safety Ricardo Allen go down with concussions. All three of those players missed their lone loss of the season against the Buffalo Bills.

Then during the game more injuries happened as wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones went down and couldn’t return. It became too much to overcome and a 16-10 loss was the result.

Sitting at 3-1 now, the Falcons have no reason to hang their heads. They’re still right in the AFC South race with the 4-1 Carolina Panthers and reinforcements are coming as Schraeder, Allen and Jones should all be suited up this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

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Getting healthy isn’t the only thing the Falcons tried to do during the week off. Head coach Dan Quinn took a long look at what the team has done thus far, and how they can approve. He spoke with members of about some areas he feels the team can improve — which included running the ball and playing well on third-downs.

"“We think we made strides in the run game,” Quinn said Monday according to Will McFadden of the team’s official website. “I think we can continue to make more (strides) in that way. We know it’s such an important factor of what we are, so with that part we think we can even get better.”“Third down is one (aspect) that we wanted to improve upon in specific distances to make sure that part is really coming to life. Those were like two things we thought we’re doing well and can improve upon.”"

Other areas Quinn touched on included tackling better and creating turnovers. At this point, the Dirty Birds are minus-four in the turnover margin, something that won’t lead to sustained success. The missed tackles have also been problematic, but it’s not uncommon with such a young team

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Quinn won’t allow youth to be an excuse though. The Falcons currently have a top-10 defense statistically, and they believe they can still get better. That’s exactly what they hope they were able to do during this much-needed time away from the field.