Mykal Walker: ‘We are going to run a bunch of stuff’ on defense

Falcons linebacker Mykal Walker comments on what are the changes from last season’s defense to this year under a new coaching staff.

Here’s what Falcons linebacker Mykal Walker had to say after the second mandatory minicamp practice Wednesday:

On learning a new defense in his second year: “It’s going good. I felt I’ve grown a lot from last year’s staff. Coming into year two, I think it’s going really good for me.”

ExplorePhotos: The Falcons at minicamp Wednesday

On what he hopes to improve on: “Just my understanding of the game. Being able to read faster. Becoming a professional. Get me a better routine like in the offseason, after games and after practices. Have a good routine is what I’m hoping to improve this year.”

On processing information faster: “I think this playbook kind of complements what we do out here. We run a lot. We run fast. This defense gives us that freedom to run around and make plays. I think just being here every day with this new coaching staff and players, I’m starting to get my own little spin on things. I’m starting to see things faster and break on the ball a little better.”

On his interception at practice (on Wednesday): “Each day you get a little bit closer. (Linebackers) coach (Frank) Bush always says that get 1% better. We were close to the ball, closer to the ball and then today was a day for the defense to come up with a couple of them. Just being able to go against our offense and being able to go against those guys every single day is making us better.”

On looking back on his rookie season: “Obviously, you want to build off that and improve. I mean, I just tip my hat off to my last year coaching staff. Coach (Dan Quinn), my position coach (Jeff Ulbrich) and A.D. (Aden Durde), those guys really helped me out and molded me. That’s just my biggest thing. I just want to say thank you to those guys. Going forward, with this coaching staff, I feel like it’s kind of a rookie year, too. Being that I have a new coaching staff, this is my next rookie year. Anything that I do, I give a lot of credit to last coaching staff, especially my linebacker coach. Now, he was a huge one for me.”

On what the defense needs to do better: “I think just our understanding. Once we get our understanding of this playbook. ... Our coaches do a really good job of setting things up for us. Even our defensive coordinator (Dean Pees). We didn’t run this at Tennessee, but we ran this back with the Ravens. I think that is something where he sees what we have and it kind of complements our defense. Just being able to understand them and what they want to get done, that’s going to be huge for us.”

On the different roles for the linebackers: “The biggest thing is that it’s simple, but complex. (There’s) not a whole lot of thinking we have to do. But it’s … like coach Pees says, ‘we’re going to be multiple with everything.’ We are going to run this. We are going to ran that. We are going to run a bunch of stuff. But it’s almost like we simplify it for the linebackers. That’s the biggest thing for us that’s going to help us out for the linebacker corps, they can take a little bit off our plate so that we can fly around.”

On getting a lot of playing time as a rookie: “I think what anybody in this league would need is confidence. It boosted my confidence a lot coming from last year and I’m just ready to get on this team, show what I can do and prove to this coaching staff that I can go out there and make plays. I think it’s a huge deal to go out there with no camps and be able to play. Now, I’m coming in here with a foot in the door. I think that’s going to be huge for me. I’m looking forward to it.”

On playing with Deion Jones: “It’s huge, Debo is so much more for me than just a player to watch. He’s a big brother to me. We’ll go get food together. In the locker room before games, we’ll sit there and talk about life. It’s not about what we have to do on the football field all the time. It’s huge for me. Then also having Foye (Oluokun) over there with me, those two I think are one of the best (duos) in the game, linebacking corps. Me being able to bring what I can do to the table and improve that linebacker group, that’s huge for me. To be able to take a little piece from Foye and a little piece from Debo and make my own game.”

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