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Falcons made plans to stop Newton, but that was when healthy

Carolina Panthers quarterback Newton breaks away on a touchdown run against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of their NFL football game in Charlotte Reuters

Like a lot of staffs, the Falcons went back to campus this offseason to learn how to better defend read-option principles, and running quarterbacks in general.

That meant trips to Clemson and Vanderbilt, but all the scheming in the world might not be able to cover up a lack of key personnel, with Cam Newton and the suddenly sharp Panthers on deck.

“You have to be prepared because it only takes one to go to the house,”  Nolan said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Two of the key pieces of the Falcons’ plan to stop Newton (who gashed them last year for 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns in two games) won’t be able to help. Versatile defensive end/tackle/linebacker Kroy Biermann’s on injured reserve, and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon isn’t eligible to come back from injured reserve/designated for return.  They were key to the system the Falcons wanted to put in place against Newton (as well as Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick).

“You have to be more disciplined against that style of offense than your typical running game, because everyone has a one-on-one [matchup],” defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said,   “You’re playing against 11. Usually when the quarterback hands the ball off, you’ve got 11 defensive guys playing 10.”

Or in the Falcons case, seven or eight that they planned on having.

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10 Responses to “Falcons made plans to stop Newton, but that was when healthy”
  1. joetoronto says: Oct 30, 2013 10:07 AM

    That must have been when everyone though Newton was good.

    Right, Darin?

  2. jacobslatter says: Oct 30, 2013 10:36 AM

    The DE they draft in the Top 5 of the 2014 draft will really help out though.

  3. epmckenna says: Oct 30, 2013 10:53 AM

    I didn’t realize the Falcons were the only team in the NFL with injuries. Seems like the Packers and Patriots have a lot of injuries, yet they continue to play well. Maybe the Falcons just aren’t as good as people thought.

  4. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 30, 2013 11:12 AM

    Injuries are no excuse. The team leading their own division (New Orleans) lost three defensive starters before the regular season even started so I don’t want to hear this garbage about injuries.

    The Falcons bad decisions by the GM finally caught up with them. All of the cool sports cars (offensive weapons) in the world aren’t worth crap if you put them in a garage (offensive line) that collapses with a little rain.

    Atlanta is going to be hurting for some time due to the fat contract they gave the QB who has ONE (1) playoff win.

  5. granadafan says: Oct 30, 2013 11:32 AM

    Put a safety spy on Newton.

  6. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 12:12 PM

    Ilovefoolsball… You cant even compare the saints injuries to the falcons. You guys lost a bunch of back ups for the year. Oh thats terrible.
    The equivalent would be losing Jimmy Graham for the year, Darren Sproles not playing all year. Losing both your left and right tackle and losing your 2 best defensive players. You know yall would suck too if you lost all those players Instead yall lost a bunch of back ups. Just be grateful you guys haven’t had he injuries tge falcons have (no team in the NFL has). enjoy the NFC S title this year cause you know it wont be that easy next year.. Plus Brees and Payton have never won it back to back

  7. blueballzny says: Oct 30, 2013 12:27 PM

    You mean the Falcons didn’t sign Osi this past off season to help stop the run? But he was so good at it in N.Y.!!!

  8. sreavis73 says: Oct 30, 2013 3:58 PM

    I hear Peppers is available. lol

  9. slammincamnewton says: Oct 31, 2013 12:33 AM

    Carolina runs 5-6 read option plays a game. Probably wouldn’t have gotten you far anyways pigeons.

  10. 504in860 says: Nov 1, 2013 2:24 AM

    Let’s face it, the Falcons had been mighty lucky to avoid the injury bug over the years.

    Luck ran out.

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