Five takeaways from Falcons coordinators’ press conference Wednesday

Falcons special-teams coach Marquice Williams speaks to members of the media at the Atlanta Falcons Practice Facility, Wednesday, February 14, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Falcons special-teams coach Marquice Williams speaks to members of the media at the Atlanta Falcons Practice Facility, Wednesday, February 14, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz /

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ three coordinators, Zac Robinson (offense), Jimmy Lake (defense) and Marquice Williams (special teams) addressed the media Wednesday. The trio discussed expectations for the offseason, schemes and more.

Here are five takeaways from the conversations with Robinson, Lake (both first-time NFL signal-callers) and Williams:

Lessons learned in Los Angeles: Robinson couldn’t name one particular part of Rams coach Sean McVay’s coaching style that he plans to implement with the Falcons. Instead, he described it as a “collection of things” that he took away from his five years with the Rams.

He pointed to the leadership principles, packaging plays and the marriage of the run and the pass as examples of what he learned from McVay that he will use as a first-time NFL play-caller.

“I learned a ton from him, not only football-wise, X’s and O’s, but off the field as well,” Robinson said. “His process of what he does on Friday night leading up to a game and how he wants to sequence the game … he’s obviously very special in that regard.”

Lake wants to run multiple schemes: Lake said the “nice, easy answer” is a base 3-4, when asked about what defensive scheme he wants to run, but he pointed out that he plans to run multiple as well.

Lake noted that he and recently hired coach Raheem Morris have been a part of different schemes, and he wants to be able to match whatever personnel an offense puts on the field.

“You can see us in a lot of different fronts with various coverages, and we’re going to lean all over our experience that we’ve had over these years and also some of the stuff that the 2023 defense did here as well,” Lake said.

Lake added that things will boil down to what players do best and what’s going to present tons of problems to their opponents.

Patterson’s uncertain future: An impending free agent, Cordarrelle Patterson’s production declined in 2023 after an electric 2022. His kickoff-return average dipped from 31.6 to 21.9.

However, Williams had nothing but praise for Patterson, emphasizing how special of a player he is.

“Those are conversations and those are questions that are going to (general manager) Terry (Fontenot) and coach Morris, when it comes to that,” Williams said. “CP did a hell of a job for us his three years here, whether you talk about his role on offense as well as special teams. He helped us win games, and he made impactful plays.”

Last season, the team was without running back Avery Williams, who tore his ACL during team OTAs last offseason after leading the NFL in punt-return average in 2022. Marquice Williams believes Avery Williams can handle both punt- and kickoff-return duties.

Excited to use Robinson, Pitts: Zac Robinson’s first exposure to Bijan Robinson was a shell-shocking one, seeing the then-Texas running back torch Oklahoma State, Robinson’s alma mater, with 181 all-purpose yards in 2022 during the Rams’ bye week.

Now that he has the running back at his disposal, he can’t wait to utilize his talent.

“With the ball in his hands, there’s so many things he can do. There’s nothing he can’t do, and that’s what gets you excited,” Robinson said. “I get goosebumps thinking about it because knowing that we still have a couple months to wait, but certainly excited to work with a guy like Bijan.”

Robinson doesn’t have an offensive scheme nailed in place yet, but does expect to use players such as Bijan Robinson and Pitts in a multitude of ways.

NFL’s transition from two backs to one: Although Lake has never called plays for an NFL, he didn’t see a huge difference in calling plays collegiately and professionally. The only contrast he saw was the NFL offenses’ use of one running back instead of two.

He pointed to past collegiate offensive schemes ”trickling up” into the NFL as the reason behind this change.

“There’s actually a lot of recall of some of these offenses that we have to stop that I’ve seen before,” Lake said. “With all the spread, open offenses that have happened in the last decade, all those college quarterbacks are graduating from college, and guess where they are coming? The NFL.”

Lake worked as the Rams’ assistant coach last season, helping the quarterbacks understand what opposing defenses were trying to do to their offense. He said it allowed him to grow by working with the offense.