There are some good quotes in today's press conference transcript on Hondo's Blog from Rod Marinelli, Falcons Head Coach, and Matt Ryan.
Some points that caught my attention:
Matt Ryan has no idea what's about to hit him, multiple times, in multiple ways, on Sunday. My favorite part was where Rod talked about physical pressure being obvious, but that he loved mental pressure just as much. To a defense making a QB think they are about to be hit is just as good as almost hitting him. How often do we see a QB dumping it off or throwing an ill advised pass when there's no one near him. Rookie's starting their first game are most susceptible to this.
I laughed out loud to the answers Rod had to some of those questions. Example:
On Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith’s guess that the Lions will run many blitzes to get to Ryan: “We’re just going to do what we do; no change; same shorts, same shirts, same socks.”
Translation: Would you also like a copy of the game plan?
Good read, and a lot to glean.
In regards to the Falcons as well, there are serious concerns about two aspects of the team, outside of a rookie QB: O-Line and DB's They had poor passing D against very mediocre passing in the preseason, and it is apparent the coaching staff is already trying to set up for the press conference after they lose by talking about how hard it will be for any team to defend Roy and CJ. We'll see.
While Turner is billed as the center of the Falcons offense, look for a lot of run blitzing and loaded boxes to stop Turner and force the Falcons to win through the Air -- and with the revamped Lions Secondary, that is a match up I like.
I also look for the Lions Dline to do very well against an inexperienced Atlanta Oline and QB. If they have trouble pressuring Ryan, it will not portend well for the rest of the season. On the other hand, anything short of a truly dominating (double-digit sack game) should not set off cries of best Dline in the league. They should get pressure on Ryan without blitzing all the time, and force him into mistakes. But if the dominate, then we have a guess they will at least be able get good pressure on average lines, and hold their own against the better lines.
My fear is that after 4-0 preseason, and all that is going against Atlanta that the players are overconfident and look ahead. Not likely considering the grit they have shown so far, but it is a possibility and cannot be discounted.
Looking forward to Sunday. Go Lions!!