Falcons Expect Some Unknowns with New Philly DC

Falcons Expect Some Unknowns with New Philly DC

Jay Adams

Published October 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Todd Bowles creates some unknowns the Falcons will have to prepare for this week

News came last week, when the Eagles were also into their bye, that head coach Andy Reid would be replacing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo with position coach Todd Bowles. As soon as that happened, a wrench had been thrown into the Falcons’s preparations for Philadelphia.

With six weeks of tape to comb over, the Falcons coaching staff had been preparing for Castillo and his tendencies. Bowles taking over means the Falcons will suddenly have some extra unknowns to get ready for.

“It’s harder to look at tape. You’ve just got to look at the guys for who they are and not necessarily the scheme, because some things might change,” running back Michael Turner said Monday. “You don’t expect them to change a whole lot, but we are going to expect some unscouted looks.”

That’s the sentiment that resounded throughout the locker room about the subject Monday. The Falcons will expect a few looks that they haven’t seen before on the tape they’ve got on the Eagles, but it isn’t much different from any other game.

The main unknown will be Bowles tendencies. Save for three weeks last year when he served as Miami’s interim head coach, Bowles hasn’t spent much time in positions of shot-calling during his career. Widely expected to be one of the NFL’s brightest up-and-comers in the coaching ranks, Bowles hasn’t ever called defensive plays, which means the Falcons can’t study his calls in different situations.

Still, there isn’t a ton of concern.

“Somebody asked me that the other day, and it’s a bit of a challenge, but there’s not a whole lot that somebody can come up with that’s new,” center Todd McClure said. “It’s football. You can only line up so many guys, but they’re going have some little things and it’s just like every game. They’ll come out with a couple things that we haven’t seen and we’ll make our adjustments on the sideline and be ready to go, but it definitely can present a little bit of a problem.”

Bowles coached last year with Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and defensive backs coach Joe Danna with the Dolphins, so there is some familiarity there. For the Falcons, however, containing Bowles and his defense is much more about them than the new coordinator.

“Most of it is about us. We’ve got to go out, and we have to execute,” head coach Mike Smith said. “… We’ve got to be prepared for some unscouted looks, and I don’t think there will be a mass change in what they do philosophically because they’ve invested so much time into the scheme that they’re running.”

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