2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons to focus on themselves after 1-3 start

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-09-30 18:47

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Roddy White and Osi Umenyiora say that the Atlanta Falcons can fix their mistakes.

Coach Mike Smith says the team has no other choice after stumbling to a 1-3 start.

In losing consecutive regular season games for the first time in six years under Smith, the Falcons have a myriad of problems to correct.

Several starters are injured. Atlanta's red zone offense and defensive sacks per pass attempt both rank 28th in the NFL. The Falcons' defense ranks second-worst in third-down efficiency.

Quarterback Matt Ryan seems to be getting hit consistently in the pocket, and his throws are too often hurried.

``We had some protection issues, we had some routes that weren't run right, we had some drops, we had some missed throws,'' Smith said on Monday. ``I can assure you we are addressing it as a coaching staff with our team.''

White and Umenyiora say they're looking forward to practice Tuesday when Smith will have the starting offense and starting defense work against each other.

Atlanta gets an extra day of work this week with the New York Jets (2-2) visiting the Georgia Dome next Monday night.

White, along with defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, is the longest-tenured Falcon at nine years and doesn't like to think too much about the last time Atlanta was 1-3.

That was the infamous 2007 season under first-year coach Bobby Petrino, who quit after losing 10 of 13 games. It was also the year that quarterback Michael Vick was sent to federal prison on dogfighting charges.

White never imagined that the current team would lose three of its first four after beginning the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but he believes players can draw from the bitter experience of Petrino's tenure and avoid a similar lapse in morale.

``You just don't panic,'' White said on Monday. ``You are what you earn in this league, so we're 1-3. You just go out there and correct the problems that you have and get ready for the next game. We know at 1-3 that we can't get back to .500 after one game.''

The biggest problem facing Ryan, White, fellow starting wideout Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez is in the red zone.

With running back Steven Jackson sidelined by a hamstring injury, the Falcons seem like a one-dimensional passing attack deep in opponent territory.

In Sunday's 30-23 loss to New England, they scored just one touchdown in six trips to the Patriots' 20-yard line.

White was particularly frustrated by two critical incompletions. On a fourth-and-two at New England 7, Ryan was flushed to his left and threw on the run to White near the left goal line marker, but the ball sailed too far outside.

On the last offensive play from scrimmage, Ryan's pass in the end zone was too slightly too far for White to reach, and cornerback Aqib Talib batted the ball away.

``It's killing us right now,'' White said. ``It's something that we continue to work at, but we've got to do a little more and win some one-on-one battles, especially when it's time for one person to make the play when it's presented.''

Umenyiora, an 11-year veteran in his first season with Atlanta, was part of a pass rush that only hit quarterback Tom Brady twice all night, and the Patriots' star was 6 of 8 passing for 137 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The worst sequence came on the first two plays of the final period. Facing third-and-19 from the New England 12, Brady connected with Kenbrell Thompkins for a 26-yard pass, and the Patriots advanced another 15 yards when safety William Moore was penalized for a hit to the head on the same play.

On the next snap, LeGarrette Blount broke off a 47-yard run that pushed New England's lead to 20-10.

``They had a very good scheme,'' Umenyiora said. ``Play-action throws. Quick passes. It was pretty good.''

Umenyiora was irritated that the defense allowed seven of 13 third-down attempts to be converted, but he believes the team will benefit from a return to fundamental work this week.

``We've got to correct them,'' he said. ``We don't really have too much of an option.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow George Henry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group