Falcons Get Back to Focusing on Themselves

Falcons Get Back to Focusing on Themselves

Jay Adams

Published December 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM

The Falcons have been in this situation before. They’ve been 13-3 heading into the postseason with the NFC’s No. 1 seed. We remember how that turned out.

Head coach Mike Smith has been intent on making the bye week before the divisional round playoff game different than it was in 2010. That year, Smith gave the team plenty of time off to rest and recuperate before what they thought would be a long playoff run.

Even before Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the Buccaneers, Smith has said that this coming week would be very different in that he plans to practice with the team quite a bit.

“We’re going to be in all week, it looks like,” tight end Tony Gonzalez said after Sunday’s game. “It’s not really a bye week; we just don’t play a game. That’s all it is. That’s what expected of us and he’s the bossman, and we’re going to come in and get after it because maybe it’s good to keep the wheels turning, keep the car running and make sure we come out and have a good showing in that first (divisional) round game.”

During this week’s practices, however, the Falcons will have one specific opponent they’ll be focusing on: themselves.

The coaching staff will be preparing for a multitude of potential divisional round opponents with the Falcons’ first postseason opponent of 2013 not determined until next weekend, but the players will be focused on improving their own play.

The Falcons are planning to go through a thorough self-scout this week and prepare to face each other for three or four days — something the players very much look forward to.

“The number one thing is the intensity from both sides,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said of the Falcons-on-Falcons practices. “Both sides want to do good, so it’s always great when you have a good defense and a good offense that can go against each other and compete, and it’s a friendly competition. It’s not, ‘We’re better on this side,’ ‘No, we’re better on this side;’ We help each other out and we get better that way.”

The Falcons are no strangers to Falcons-on-Falcons practices. They’ve had several this year and tend to come off of them well.

Those types of practices allow the Falcons to get back to basics and focus on things like their own techniques and fundamentals, instead of having to worry about game-planning for an opponent.

“You get back to things that have gotten you to the record you have,” Douglas said.

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