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What They're Saying: The Atlanta Falcons

Posted Jan 4, 2018

Find out what the Atlanta Falcons' coaches and players had to say about the Rams ahead of their Saturday night matchup during Wild Card Weekend.

Each week TheRams.com will be taking a look at what Los Angeles’ opponents have to say about facing the Rams. Heading into Wild Card Weekend of the 2018 playoffs, check out what the Atlanta Falcons’ coaches and players had to say about their upcoming matchup against the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum: 

On what they remember from last year’s game against the Rams: 

“You said it, it’s not much of a different team than last year. It’s a lot of the same guys. A couple new faces. They are just playing at a really high level. Running the ball really effectively and making some plays in the pass game, so we just have to be really disciplined. I know that we really had our way with these guys last year, but at the end of the day they have a new coach, guys are playing with a whole new swagger about themselves, so I mean it’s a whole new team. We’re excited.”

- Falcons’ DT Grady Jarrett

On what stands out about quarterback Jared Goff and how he has developed:

“He’s been solid as far as leading them to this point. When he’s kind of comfortable in the pocket he’s a lot better than he is on the run. He does a really good job of managing the game and not making a lot of big mistakes.”

- Falcons’ DT Grady Jarrett

“I think like a lot of players, when you go from year one to year two, you can make a big jump. One of the things I thought that has really been strong and not surprised with Matt LaFleur there is his ability to take care of the ball, really good decisions, so I think that to me is – I knew he had arm talent, that was pretty clear, but now you see with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions, it’s the decision-making, where to go, when to give it out to somebody else. Those are the things that I’ve noticed and I’ve been certainly impressed by.”

- Falcons’ HC Dan Quinn 

On the challenge of facing running back Todd Gurley:

“For a guy who had his size, he had exceptional ability to put his foot in the ground and accelerate out. So he had kind of the combination of the make you miss and the ability to kind of size you up and run you over. What I didn’t know was how good a pass catcher he is, and that part of his game has really come through, especially when year when you see he has over 60 catches. He’s really proved he can handle the load in a big way. I know his first year it went like he had wanted and the second year not as good as he had liked, and I think maybe even got banged up along the way, but man, is he back to form. He’s an excellent blocker. He shows toughness with the ball and without the ball. So I really sense he’s really hitting his stride as a player, but it’s the ability for him to accelerate, and then if he wants to drop that shoulder and deliver a hit, he can.”

- Falcons’ HC Dan Quinn

On what he has seen from Mark Barron and Alec Ogletree on tape:

“They’re doing a good job. Both those guys are athletic. They can run. You mentioned Barron being a former safety, his athleticism shows up at the linebacker position. They’re both very physical, you see that. They’re both very good in the scheme and to fit the run, they do a good job of getting downhill and making some plays. They also do a good job in coverage, they do they cover well. I think their linebackers fit in well with the scheme that Wade Phillips has for them.”

- Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan

On what has changed on the Rams offense/defense from last year to this season:

“They’re making a lot of big, explosive plays. They’re doing a good job of dividing defense’s down the middle and that’s where Gurley is getting a lot of those runs. Getting into that second level — a back that big going that fast, you don’t want to let him get to the second level. He’s playing with a whole new motor about himself than the year before and guys upfront are playing really hard. So, it’s going to be fun. I’m excited.”

- Falcons’ DT Grady Jarrett

“They’ve got a lot of the same guys, it’s just playing very ferocious. They’re always around the ball. Their front seven is very, very physical. And on the backend, they are making athletic plays so we just have to do what we do and stay within ourselves.”

- Falcons’ WR Mohamed Sanu

On the Rams’ defensive front and how he would rate them against other units they've faced:

“They are very good. You know their front seven is good. They are physical, they do a good job within their scheme, they’re very sound. You know we’ve played a lot of good defenses, a lot of good front sevens and this is going to be another good challenge for us. But this defense is very good. They’re statistics and the way that they’ve played have shown that. We’re going to have our work cut out for us, but we’ll have a good plan and luckily we have a good offensive line — guys that play hard and do a great job.”

- Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan

On what DT Aaron Donald brings to the table:

“Well I think he’s versatile. He’s one of the better players against the run at the position they play him at but he’s probably one of the better interior pass rushers in the league. That creates some problems. I mean he’s just a great player. But we’ll have a plan to account for where he’s at and we certainly trust our guys up front to play well.”

- Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan

“We really value his quickness. My background is in defensive line, so why I think he’s so unique is he’s got the get-off of a defensive end. If he was just playing defensive end, he’d probably do just fine because he’s got that kind of quickness to get off the ball and get on the edge of a blocker. Then, when you add that kind of quickness inside – I think that’s what makes him so unique. He’s really well trained with his hands. You even saw that coming out of Pitt. He was almost like he was ready back then. Coming out of college he had that kind of quickness, that kind of hand use. You could say he was really well trained there. Man is he having a hell of a year and definitely somebody that’s earned our respect.”

- Falcons’ HC Dan Quinn