By Itoro Umontuen | The Atlanta Voice
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.—The Atlanta Falcons are coming off the bye week 3-1 and they face the Miami Dolphins, a team that is 2-2 through the first quarter of the season.
Atlanta will have defensive end Vic Beasley, Jr returning from the injured list and Falcons head coach Dan Quinn couldn’t be more excited to see last season’s sack leader return to practice.
“For the first one, we have to take it through the week and see how he does,” Quinn said. “We’ll get a good progress Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and make sure he can really do his thing. For him, that’s exploding and really hauling. We’re excited to get him back on the field, but the main thing is let’s see where he’s at day-to-day, and keep improving as we’re going.
“I was very impressed this offseason with the work he put in as a rusher,” he continued. “I thought we saw some of those examples in the first game and a half for him where he was able to hit the quarterback [and] have some production doing that. First things first, let’s get him healthy, and he’s worked hard at that over the last two weeks to put himself in a spot to have a chance to go this week. I’m anxious to see him out on the practice field, full speed, and going.”
Quinn did not say whether Beasley would play Sunday.
Wide receiver Julio Jones is expected to practice throughout the week and play Sunday, barring any setbacks.
A major point of emphasis for Quinn is the turnover margin. He loves to be on the plus side of the ledger because it’s a team stat.
“To be in the plus, you have to create turnovers,” Quinn said. “We dropped a few interceptions, we have to be mindful of the forced fumbles due to sacks. So, I like how the defensive line is playing. We’ve demonstrated how hard it is to win when you’re in the minus.
For teams over the first five weeks that were minus three, their records were a combined 1-15,” he continued. “Those aren’t good odds. We happen to be the one. That’s not how we live, and that’s not how we go. Yeah, it’s an emphasis for us, but it’s an area I know we’ll get corrected. As we move forward, I would anticipate that number switching and going on the plus side as we go.”
Two players to watch for the Miami Dolphins are quarterback Jay Cutler and Jay Ajayi.
Dolphins QB Jay Cutler gets rid of the ball extremely quickly. Quinn said in his Wednesday press conference the defensive line will have to affect him, getting him off of his launch point. Quinn says he gets rid of the ball within 2-2.5 seconds after receiving the snap.
Cutler threw four games has completed 82-of-131 passes for 706 yards. He’s thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions.
“I wouldn’t say it changes anything, but you’ve got to know to get your hands up and you don’t get frustrated in the fact that it’s coming out so fast,” Atlanta Falcons Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett said. “At the end of the day, there’s going to come a time on a play where’s he’s going to have to hold it and you’ve got to be ready for that moment. You can’t let it discourage you as a rusher thinking the ball’s coming out too fast. You prepare for it and expect the ball coming out fast.”
Miami running back Jay Ajayi is ninth in the AFC with 261 rushing yards on 76 carries through 4 games.
The Atlanta Falcons will host the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl will provide the play-by-play, commentary and field reporting respectively for CBS. John Hussey will be the referee.