New Falcons coach Dan Quinn met with the media at the Indianapolis scouting combine on Thursday and discussed his plans for the team's defensive players. The biggest news was that the team plans to move Prince Shembo back to outside linebacker. Shembo was drafted as an outside linebacker, but injuries on the defense required him to move inside. Shembo had 59 tackles for the Falcons in his rookie season, but he'll likely play more of a role in the pass rush from the outside. He had nine sacks as a senior at Notre Dame while playing OLB. Quinn also plans to use Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai on the inside. They split time between defensive tackle and end last season, but Quinn was impressed with their size at the tackle spots. Soliai had 29 tackles and a sack last season. Jackson had 22 tackles. Quinn said Dezmen Southward, who played exclusively at safety last season, will get a look at the cornerback position as well. Southward had 23 tackles, one sack and two pass defenses last year.
The Falcons have green-lighted all their probables for the Sunday game against the Steelers, including wideout Roddy White (ankle), who could play a huge role considering the absence of Julio Jones. The other cleared probables are guards Jon Asamoah and Justin Blalock, both with back ailments, wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot) and defensive tackle Paul Soliai (shoulder).
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hip) is the most notable player listed as questionable for Week 14 against Pittsburgh. other players deemed questionable were fullback Patrick DiMarco (illness) and safety William Moore (foot). Guard Jon Asamoah (back), guard Justin Blalock (back), wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot), defensive end Stansly Maponga (elbow), defensive tackle Paul Soliai (shoulder) and wide receiver Roddy White (ankle) were all labeled as probable. Meanwhile, cornerback Robert Alford (wrist) was the only player on the report ruled out for Sunday.
Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai returned from his shoulder injury in the second quarter at Green Bay.
Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai left the game at Green Bay in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. The team called him questionable to return.