X-Factor: Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree

St. Louis Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree, who played at Georgia and is from Newnan, is in his first season playing middle linebacker.

Ogletree, who has 80 tackles and one interception, will be the X-factor when the Falcons face the Rams.

He’s the leader of a defense that gives up 345 yards per game and ranks 10th in the NFL.

“We just have a lot of guys that like to fly around and hit,” Ogletree said. “We want to make it tough on offenses to do things against us. We pride ourselves in being a top defense. We’ve come a long way from where we started at.”

Ogletree has been learning from Rams defensive adviser Mike Singletary, a Hall of Famer who won a Super Bowl and played 12 years for the Chicago Bears.

“It’s great to have coach Singletary here,” Ogletree said. “He’s been in the locker room with us since the summer. Just having him there and having somebody, with this being my first year as the (middle) linebacker, to have him in the room has definitely helped me a lot.”

The Falcons are aware of Ogletree’s work.

“You can tell that when he can key, diagnose and go, man does he have speed,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He’s another one, who could actually play two positions for them. He can match up on backs. He can match up on tight ends because he is so tall and long.”

Ogletree is impressed with the Falcons’ offense.

“Very explosive offense,” he said. “They have guys all over the field.”