Check out what Falcons coaches and players are saying about the Seahawks before the two teams meet for Monday Night Football in Week 11 at CenturyLink Field, via atlantafalcons.com
Head Coach Dan Quinn
(On how has what Derrick Coleman went through in Seattle impacted him moving forward and how did you get him back…) "No doubt it did because any time you have a setback. We brought him in and we just kind of laid it out. We wanted to follow exactly what took place and how it went down. We thought because of our system, we needed a fullback that could get out and run and get out on the edges and have value on special teams. We thought 'hey, this dude, we are going to evaluate it as it goes.' He came into OTAs and really had a good OTA season. Now we move on to training camp and do the same thing. We were real specific with him in terms of what our expectations were and so he was aware of that heading into it, but from a special teams' standpoint, he was trained there by Brian [Schneider] that I really regard highly as a special teams' coach and he has done a good job. He has been productive as a special teams' player and a fullback."
(On if it's going to be strange to look at a Seahawks' secondary without Richard Sherman…) "I texted him just because of my respect for him. I was really bummed to see him not play and what I got back just totally spoke of the competitor that he is. As I tell JJ [Julio Jones], I like competing against him. It was like the perfect response from Richard because of the competitor that he is. He was disappointed that he's not going to play in that game because of the battle that he and Julio have. I thought that was so true to his identity as a competitor, so I'm sure I will find him before the game or after the game and wish my well for him for a fast recovery and get back out next year, better than ever."
(On what did Dwight Freeney add to your defense last season…) "He is a pro's pro. I'll tell you, I learned a lot from Dwight Freeney. As a coach, you can certainly learn from players. He is a 100 percent expert at what he does: his craft, his technique. I always respected players like that. From a defensive line standpoint only, I certainly think that Michael Bennett talked that way and lives it and what about this and I realized it quickly with Dwight, he had that type of knack. I would see him walking down the hallway looking at his iPad, just watching pass rush, so I was so impressed by the way he approached the game, his preparation and it really rubbed off on me in a positive way and the connection with him was really strong. We leaned on him for thoughts and ideas because he had that type of command of what he was doing. So, we have actually kept up this year and I'm really happy he is back playing because he is somebody that I think the world of. I'd be happy if he did well weeks ahead from now, not this week."
(On preparing for Russell…) "The hardest part to prepare for is some of the unknown. On some players you say, "alright he likes to, when he's scrambling to the right he may run it, when he's scrambling to the left he may remain a passer" but with him you know, anything goes in terms of where he may end up. Some people scramble to run, way back deep in the pocket when the play breaks down, some people remain a passer just as long as they can. He's got a little bit of both, he'll remain a passer when the opportunity is there for him to take a deep shot down the field, he's got a very strong arm he's willing to do that. That's on a designed pass play, on the designed runs that he's an option, threat. That way those are by design and if the look is there to pull it and run then he does. So, when you look at all of his yards they're not all on designed quarterback runs. Quite a few of them are on runs he extends himself on a pass play. So strong arm, excellent competitor, at his best when he's on the move and he's an excellent two minute player. He's got real command of what they do, how they do it and good chemistry with the receivers so it'll be a full challenge for us."
Quarterback Matt Ryan
(On playing Dwight Freeney…)"Obviously I haven't played with him. He's the pros pro, unbelievable in terms of preparation, ubelievable pass-rusher, good teammate so he'll be tough to go against for sure. I know those guys will be well prepared in that front seven and that D-line."
Wide Receiver Julio Jones
(On the game Monday…) "It feels like we're playing ourselves. We know they're going to fly around, have great speed, great intensity things like that and we're going to have the same thing. It's just about who makes fewer mistakes in this game."
(On Seattle's home field advantage…)"It's very different. The 12 man they have out there, the fans, they're very loud. You know, for me, it doesn't have an impact on me but it's my job to help the others around me to help them to make sure it doesn't affect their game as well. Because it can be effective, because it is that loud."
(On the Seahawks turnover ratio…) "It's one of those things. Keeping 11 guys on the field, on the same page at the same time due to the crowd noise. Offensively if you get off the ball later than normal, it's levels at the offensive line and you're in trouble already with the quarterback with the ball. Defensive ends and whatever they've got going on, being able to penetrate and get pressure up the field and they can create a lot of turnovers like that and also put a lot of pressure and stress on the quarterback to make him get the ball out of his hands quick."
Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett
(On the noise…)"It's a great advantage for them. The fans up there are intense. It's fun for me, you know, I like playing in intense environments. It's going to be pretty tough on the opposing, on the offense, those guys are going to be really loud. We can practice with sound and stuff but it's hard to duplicate that so at the end of the day it's an advantage for them but it's fun for me as well."
(On playing Russell…) "He's special in his own way. Especially when he scrambles. He scrambles to make plays and he's made them over and over again so that shows you that he has a trait and knack of making big plays. One of the best arms in the league as well, so I mean you've got a great group of receivers to throw to, some playmakers around him so it's a tough challenge. We've just got to be relentless in our pursuit trying to get him.
Defensive Coordinator Marquand Manuel
(On the Offense…) "It's a committee. That's the unique part of what they're doing. Outside of Russell being able to actually run it as well, it's a committee. J.D., take my hat off to him, does a great job. Rawls comes in and does a great job and if Lacy comes back it gives them that power of balance and I think the committee of those three guys plus Russell gives them a great run balance."
(On Russell's mobility…) "You say that with high regard. He has the ability to get outside the pocket, he's very athletic. I think the thing is amongst the other quarterbacks that scramble, he's still scrambling to throw but has the ability to really, really run it. I think that's the unique thing about Russell, he's really the ultimate competitor. A lot of people tell him that he can't and he's going out to prove it and we understand that. Understanding that within the first play, if you win that, within the play you've got to win the second play with this guy because it's never over. He does a lot so we've got to understand plastering, understanding that the play is not over, understanding that routes will be converted, and we have to do a good job of playing the second play."
(On Jimmy Graham…)"I would say that he's maximizing his opportunities. They've got enough guys outside, P-Rich, Lock (Lockett), to stretch the field, Doug, they've got enough guys to stretch the field and now he's just being isolated and you're in a one on one match with him. You know, you can't just sit there and wait on him and understand that he's the only guy. They've got multiple guys that can outstretch the field and Russ ends up finding them."
(On running against Bobby and KJ…) "First of all I take my hat off to those guys and what they've become. I came in after the year that KJ got drafted and I was there the year Bobby got drafted. To watch these guys excel and the defense to now become the leaders of the defense. It's amazing because you know they put the time in. The physical ability to cover what you ask a linebacker to do from that standpoint, not just smart but very instinctual. So we're going to have our hands full from that standpoint."