The Union Recorder

Local Sports

January 4, 2013

Falcons use bye week to work on themselves

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Everyone wants to know if the Atlanta Falcons can finally win a playoff game under coach Mike Smith.

The Falcons whiffed on their first three tries, but now they're back as the NFC's No. 1 seed with a 13-3 record for the second time in three years.

Any reason to think this time will be different?

"It's a more determined attitude," running back Michael Turner said. "We know nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed."

The Falcons learned as much the last two years, getting blown out at home by Green Bay and failing to score an offensive point in an ugly road loss to the New York Giants.

Those embarrassments, as well as the playoff defeat at Arizona four years ago, gave the Falcons a reputation as underachievers.

"We've got a zero in the win column in the postseason and until we get that rectified, they have some right in saying what they're saying," free safety Thomas DeCoud said. "But I think if we come out and play hard and play sound, I think we'll get that first playoff win."

Smith, now in his fifth season, made several changes to the approach he used when Atlanta earned a bye in 2010, deciding this time to schedule a 75-minute session on the field each day and lessen time in the film room.

Because the Falcons won't know their opponent until Sunday, Smith wanted his players to concentrate solely on improving their craft.

For offensive players, the focus was to improve the timing of pass routes, blocking in the run game and the protection of quarterback Matt Ryan.

Defensive players worked on refining their techniques after last week's loss to Tampa Bay in the season finale. Buccaneers running back Doug Martin broke off three gains totaling 83 yards as the Falcons failed to get off blocks and took improper pursuit angles to the ball.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 07-31 12U state champs_2.tif 12U All-Stars end 51-year drought

    Baldwin County’s 12U All-Star baseball team is “living the dream” after scorching through the competition to win the Dixie Youth State Championship July 23 in Trenton, Ga., punching a ticket to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in less than two weeks.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • State amputee golf tournament this week

    The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.

    July 10, 2014

  • Kalie Todd.jpg Elite Gymnastics posts strong showing at nationals

    Competing on the national stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. June 11-15, Elite Gymnastics posted some of its best results in program history at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gymnastics National Championship.

    July 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-26 Jayla Waller.jpg Former Bravette to play for Georgia College

    One of the most decorated players in Baldwin High School girls’ basketball history, Jayla Waller advanced to the collegiate level competing for Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. this past season as a freshman.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-21 Ramsey.JPG Amateur golf talent turns pro

    Professional golf is unforgiving and expensive.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-14 GMC summer basketball.jpg Bulldog basketball busy this summer

    Georgia Military Prep School boys’ basketball coach James Lunsford is notorious for working his players year-round to become better athletes and better students.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2312.JPG Ross a future star

    The numbers speak loudly for David Ross Jr.

    June 11, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-06 Blackbelt.jpg Mother-daughter combo make history at local karate studio

    History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_1061.JPG Youth explore tennis during GC camp

    Georgia College's tennis courts appeared to be a busy place on Wednesday afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • coach k camp.JPG Coach K's Soccer Camp kicks off with sweat

    Kids attending Coach K's Soccer Camp get their cleats dirty day one.

    June 3, 2014 3 Photos