Richard Smith: Rotation Key for DB Development


Atlanta Falcons Defensive Coordinator Richard Smith met with the media after today’s training camp session.  Coach Smith believes that by rotating guys in the defensive backfield in camp, it will ultimately decide what is the right fit for the Falcons’ secondary.

-= Richard Smith: Who is the New Falcons DC? =-

Smith stated, “We’ve done a great job in the back end rotating guys to a lot of positions.  A lot of guys are playing the corner, they’re playing the nickel, they’re playing the safety.  And what we’re trying to do is get the right fit.  Right now I think the guys from the back end stand point they’ve been doing a tremendous job of that.”

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  • Going into training camp I had a feeling that a major point of emphasis on the defensive side of the football would involve cross-training all members in the defensive backfield.  Though DC Richard Smith and HC Dan Quinn specialize in other areas of the defense, Smith with linebackers and Quinn with the defensive line, both seem very excited with the talent they are working with in the secondary.

    While Atlanta Falcons fans may have to wait a few seasons for our own version of The Legion of Boom, I can see the secondary having a strong season for the Dirty Birds in Year One of the Dan Quinn Era.  Dan Quinn’s ability to develop a pass rush and Richard Smith’s previous experience as an NFL Defensive Coordinator (Houston and Miami) bodes well for the plethora of ballhawks Atlanta has in the secondary.  I expect players like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, and Jalen Collins to have plenty of opportunities to make plays on the ball in this defensive scheme.

    Richard Smith was a big proponent of many of the positional changes in the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary entering this season.  We’ve seen former cornerback Ricardo Allen transition from a 4th corner buried on the depth chart under former DC Mike Nolan to possibly becoming the 2015 Atlanta Falcons’ starting free safety.  Richard Smith also said that players like Jalen Collins and Dezmen Southward would have opportunities to compete at multiple spots.

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    Coach Smith talked about how impressed he is with both William Moore and Jalen Collins.  Richard Smith said, “What I’ve been impressed with William [Moore] is his size and his tough demeanor.  He’s in a linebacker’s body but he’s moving well.”  Though every day is a learning experience for a rookie like Jalen Collins, Richard Smith likes his “veteran-like attitude and his toughness.”  That should aid Collins in his development as a rookie since he has missed significant time due to injuries throughout the offseason.

    Being able to mix and match in the secondary should provide the Atlanta Falcons with great depth in 2015.  Injuries are part of the game but I do expect that the secondary will play a major part in this defensive turnaround here in the first season under the new coaching staff.

    Next: Devonta Freeman Takes Charge of 5th TC Practice

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