Falcons coach T.J. Yates: ‘I’m really enjoying it’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Former NFL quarterback T.J. Yates (Pope HIgh) is in his first season with the Falcons as the passing-game specialists.

He recently updated the Atlanta media on how things are going.

Here’s what he had to say:

On his role on the staff: “I’m primarily with the receivers, but at practice I work all of the positions, all skill positions. I’m kind of floating around a little bit, but it’s been good. I’m really enjoying myself here and enjoying the role that I have. It’s been it’s been a good situation so far.”

On if he’s done some work with backup QB Josh Rosen: “Yeah, a little bit here and there. That’s primarily with (quarterbacks coach) Charles (London) and rags (offensive coordinator Dave Ragone). They work with them on a day to day basis. But you know, when he first got here and we’ve been around very similar offenses before. He’s been around a few, so he always picks my brain on certain quarterbacks stuff just from you know experiences in different offenses and what he thinks. Charles and Rags they handle the quarterbacks for the main part, but if Josh ever comes to me with questions, you know, we got a pretty open staff. We try to help each other out as much as possible, especially with the quarterbacks.”

On Rosen being behind Matt Ryan: “It’s really good, honestly, for him to be behind Matt. He is such a hard worker. He’s such a freakin pro like, and he’s even said it to me like he’s never really been around a guy like that and how he works, how he studies, how he prepares and everything. So being around Matt, being on our staff, you can see his growth and maturity already.”

On what the passing game has done well. Next steps: “It’s obviously different than what we’ve had here in the past. You know, Dirk Koetter in the past had a different offense than ours. Art has a different offense from any other coordinator or head coach in the league. So, you know, the expectation of the same exact thing as before in the passing game is not going to be the same. So, we have a little bit different style here. It’s more everybody’s getting involved. It’s position-less football. You can take any of our receivers, the majority of any of our tight ends, shake them up, throw them at any position on field, and they’ll be able to go run every single route. It’s more of a everybody knows the concept. Everybody understanding the entire field and all 11 positions. So, you know, are offensive, everybody’s offense can always be better. Have more yards. Score more points, all that stuff. So, we’ve been getting better as the year goes on and are continually getting better. We’ve had some ups and downs. Just like everybody does. We’ve seen some really good defenses…. we’re continuing to grow and gel together as an offense. The coaches are figuring each other out. Coaches and players are for figuring each other out. It’s a growing process. I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

On spreading the ball around: “Arthur, that’s one of his mainstays and what he believes in that anybody can play any position or going to spread the ball around and put some stress on the defense not being able to hone in on one or two players. If you have nine different guys are going to catch the ball like that’s going to be pretty tough to defend. So, we’ve got guys that can do that. Receivers, tight ends, running backs, that can play all of the positions and do all the things in our offense. So, it makes it very multiple.”

On the play of Russell Gage: “Yeah, just getting to know Russ. However many months we’ve been here has been good and seeing his game from afar from the past and coming in and see him work every day. He’s an extremely talented player. He’s a young and a joyful kid to be around. Just kind of coming into his own as far as being one of the main guys in the offense. Before he was kind of the third piece behind the two other guys. So, now he’s stepping into a role where he’s the main guy. We’re figuring out different ways to use him. Like I said, He’s multiple. He can play in the slot. He can play outside, third down….we know we got to do a better job of spreading the ball around and getting him some targets and get him some touches. There’s a lot of things that he can do better to, to help himself out. So, it’s not one thing on one person, it’s everybody.”

On keeping the passing game move without Calvin Ridley: “It’s going to be a collective thing. On an individual level, you cannot reproduce Calvin’s production without Calvin. He’s an explosive player for many, many years. One of the most explosive players in the league. So, they try to do it with one person, it’s just not attainable. So it kind of fits into our mold of this offense. It’s going to have to come from everybody….we have to fine that production with many other people.”

On how he’s enjoying his role on the staff: “I’ve known Arthur for a long time. He was (graduate assistant) my freshman year in college…. He had just finished playing at Carolina during my freshman year. So, I’ve known Arthur for a very long time. There’s other guys here on the staff that I’ve known. Coach (Dave) Brock that I work with on a day-to-day basis, he was the wide receiver coach at Carolina at that time. I played for Charles London when I was in Houston and there’s a lot of other guys on the staff that everybody has a past with. So, it’s been great for me. I’m really enjoying it. Part of my day-to-day basis, is a lot of game planning. Working with the receivers. Kind of floating around to different positions while we’re out there on the practice field. So, it allows me to have a lot of flexibility and do a lot of different things. I’m really enjoying the staff.”

On the play of Cordarrelle Patterson: “He’s an absolute swiss army knife. He can do just about everything. He obviously comes with receivers when we’re running routes sometimes. He’s with the backs and with the quarterback. I mean, he’s, he’s all over the place because we lined him up in so many different positions. On the sheet, he’s a running back, right. You know, but he split out wide. He will run the ball. He’ll block. He will do just about everything. Going into it, we didn’t really realize how much of a blessing in how good he can be and how many multiple things he can do. And obviously he’s had a very good amount of production so far this year. We hope to continue that in using his abilities all over the field.”

On when they realize what Patterson could do: “I don’t think he’s ever really been used that diversely before in his past. He’s been kind of just like he was in England, he was strictly a running back. But the creativity that Arthur and Rags have to be able to move him around and the history that Rags’ has had with him in Chicago has helped. He’s been open and willing to do absolutely everything we’ve asked him to do. And that’s obviously part of it to, a guy that’s not stubborn enough to say he wants to play one position and do one thing. He’s open to doing anything to help the team out, help the team win and help us off let’s go and he’s doing it.”

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Atlanta Falcons schedule and scores

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington 34, Falcons 30

Falcons 27, Jets 20

Bye Week

Falcons 30, Dolphins 28

Panthers 19, Falcons 13

Falcons 27, Saints 25

Next four games

Falcons at Cowboys, 1 p.m. Sunday

Patriots at Falcons, 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18

Falcons at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28

Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5