|The Falcons say they're not concerned about Philadephia's newly hired defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. (US Presswire)|
The Falcons aren't overly concerned that there isn't any game film on defenses overseen by Eagles' new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo heading into the Eagles' Week 7 bye, but Atlanta coach Mike Smith is confident that whatever defensive schemes they run on Sunday won't be a drastic deviation of the first six games.
“There will be some unknown. There will be some unscouted looks,” Smith conceded, but for the most part, the Falcons feel like they know what's coming. “I've known Todd a long time. He's an excellent coach 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.”
What the Eagles do philosophically is win the battle at the line of scrimmage and pressure the quarterback, but that hasn't been the case this season which likely prompted the change.
“The talk seems to be that they are going to become more of a pressure team,” Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “They have not been a big pressure team in terms of how many guys they rush. If I was reading between the lines I would say they are going to blitz more.”
It doesn't take a lot of reading to see the basis of Koetter's prediction. Last season, the Eagles were tied for first in the NFL with 50 sacks but six games into this year, they have seven sacks, tied for the second-lowest in the league.
Reid is hoping that by installing Bowles, the Eagles' defensive backs coach since January, Philadelphia may be able to generate more pressure in the pocket.
Their inconsistencies along the defensive line could be a victory for the Falcons, whose rushing attack, led by Michael Turner, has looked stuck in the mud through six games.
The Falcons have averaged just 86 rushing yards per game, the fourth-lowest total in the NFL. Smith said the bye week gave the team a chance to get back to its fundamentals, which for the Falcons, means having an effective rushing attack.
For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSFalcons.