2013 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

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group