What Dan Quinn had to say on Wednesday

Falcons coach Dan Quinn spoke to the media after the team’s walk-through on Wednesday.

He noted that Vic Beasley (hamstring),Courtney Upshaw (ankle) and Ryan Schraeder (concussion protocol) will not practice.

Here’s what he had to day:

“Today we’ll have a couple periods where we’ll have some good-on-good going against one another, and I’ve told our team that our confidence does come from our preparation and that allows us to play well when we put out like we do today.

“I’ll give you a couple injury updates, who won’t participate today; that will be [Vic] Beasley, [Courtney] Upshaw and [Ryan] Schraeder – Beasley with a hamstring, Upshaw with an ankle and Schraeder in the concussion protocol.

“Past that, everyone is there.”

(On tackle Ty Sambrailo, who filled in for Schraeder at right tackle and will start against the Lions) 

“One, I was really pleased in about 10 days with him getting up to speed on the offense. You can imagine the challenge of coming in and [working on the] right side, left side . . . so from a communication standpoint, he was really on point. Not easy to do with all the formations and shifts that we do have.

You can tell all the hard work he’s put in, and the urgency, the cutoffs on the back side. He does have that experience . . . We’re pleased to see him get started. Today, he’ll get the full complement [of work] with Ryan missing today, and to get more with Matt [Ryan].”

(On Takk McKinley’s progress, and his role moving forward)

“I think you guys see he really does have the power. He’s not just a speed rusher who can stay outside. He’s got the ability to collapse and push a pocket. We love the physicality that he plays with.

“We’ll feature him both on the right side and the left side; he’s equipped to do that now. With Vic likely to miss this week that will be something where his reps will increase.

“We’re fortunate to have rushers like Brooks [Reed], and AC [Adrian Clayborn], [Derrick] Shelby and [linebacker] De’Vondre [Campbell] has come along with more of that versatility.

With Takk, we knew he had speed and was a tough competitor. We probably couldn’t tell as well off the UCLA tape and can see now the power that he can generate as a rusher. Sometimes in college in a zone-read style of play, you’re staying at the line of scrimmage. Now, you’re really getting to see the best version of himself, the speed, the physicality.

He is really equipped to play NFL defensive end. It’s a hard challenge to evaluate the college guys sometimes because they all play in the option, especially in some conferences.

“There’s no limitations on strength or how he’s doing.”

(On Derrick Shelby getting 39 percent of the defensive snaps)

“He’s a big part of the defensive package, and we’ll get him some more in the nickel. He and Brooks will often rotate, and he’ll get some more in that work this week. That’s where we feature him the best, he’s almost a 280-pounder so when he gets some momentum going, he’s another guy who can rush with some power.”

(On the Lions’ looks)

“They do so much of their game at the line of scrimmage, and they’re trying to find premier looks for plays, and two plays, and change them at the line. There’s a handful of quarterbacks in the league that can do that.

There will be some new looks that we’ll have for sure, but we’re committed to getting our cleats in the grass and attacking. There are still some things in the game plan that we haven’t shown in the first couple [games] that we worked hard on in the offseason, so we haven’t done those yet.”

(Like the balance in the offense?)

“Yes, the personnel groups that also present some challenges because there can be two running backs in there with four-receiver sets, big packages, so when you defend us there’s a lot of groups that you have to go through so you go through the motion and the shifts . . . it’s a challenge. We’re really fortunate that Matt, especially with whatever comes his way, is able to get us on the ball, get the shift, get the motion . . .

“Matt Schaub’s a big factor in that. He’s the one behind the scenes peppering Matt Ryan with questions about formations and shifts so it’s a really cool balance that the two of them have, and the relationship that they have to help get each other ready.”

(Differences in running backs Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah)

“I wouldn’t say their mirror images for sure, and Riddick in his career has been such a factor in the pass game, and that’s one of the things that really stood out to us in how they use him in that way.

“I actually worked out Abdullah when he was coming out [of Nebraska] . . . and the bounce-out, cutback style . . . he’s got excellent hands coming out of the backfield so both of their running backs play in a style more like our guys do; they’re equipped to catch it out of the backfield, and bounce out or cutback.

“When you have a change-of-direction back, or player who can extend plays – and Golden Tate is another, although he’s a receiver – those two in specific (Abdullah and Tate) are catch and run guys.”

(Are you concerned defending running backs who catch passes?)

“Not concerned. We know it’s a part of it. The good news is we have two guys [in practice in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman] who help us [prepare]. There could be some completions down low so that’s where our tackling has to come to life, where our compression tackling and it’s not a one-man tackle.”

(On defensive end Ziggy Ansah)

“First of all, it’s the length. He’s a taller guy, but he has speed. He’s got really long arms where he can keep a tackle at bay. He plays on both sides, he’s got an excellent motor, and although he’s a big guy he plays like a speed guy, like a 240- or 250-pound guy but he’s quite a bit bigger than that . . . he’s really a quick rusher.”

(On the Lions defense)

“In the two games that I’ve seen, I’ve really seen their secondary tackling well. That part, it seems to me, has gotten stronger. More time in the system together as players. The nickel’s done a good job, the safeties can tackle real well.

“They added (Jarrad) Davis at linebacker, who I think is a good tackler. That part feels like they’re really playing fundamentally sound.”

(On Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his mobility)

“It’s the second play, when the contain gets broken our mindset is the second play just began. There was a quarterback in here running around last week who did that as well, so it’s very much in the same athletic style where the player can create and throw on the run and extend plays.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us, but you better be able to finish your rushes because he’s not going to just stay where you want him to be. He’ll be in different spots, and move and be active and accurate.

“Another part of the offense, they have a very good screen game . . . and wideouts that are good catch-and-run guys.

Anytime that you can get the ball into a playmaker’s hands quick . . . those are good offensive plays.

“If it doesn’t feel right, [Stafford] can change protections, change a play. There’s a strong group of QBs who have that type of command and presence and these two guys certainly have that – getting in the best play and out of a bad play.”

(On former Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow playing with the Lions)

“When I think of grit, he’s one of the guys that I think of [to] where he just doesn’t back off. He’s one of the guys who was in here early every day and as a chief here, he got a real big responsibility in helping with developing Deion [Jones] and De’Vondre.

“I wish he could see the development . . . see where they’ve come in a year’s time [after] having a mentor like Paul with them. It was a real factor.”

(Is it interesting that Lions coach Jim Caldwell mentioned center Alex MAck without really being asked about him?)

“It is; usually it’s the offensive line in general and the communication that goes. He plays with such effort and it’s admired by a number of people, the way he wants to go finish downfield and it really jumps out on tape, the effort and strain that he plays with.

“We all know he’s tough. He played with a break in his leg, and to battle.

“What you can’t appreciate is that a guy the size that he is, to have the quickness downfield, to get on linebackers and stay on them.

He keeps it pretty simple; I’m just going to go play as hard as I can on every play. Honestly, it does come out like that a lot. His style really comes through on tape.

“They really have to be in concert with the quarterback.”

(The development of linebacker De’Vondre Campbell)

“I said to his position coach that it’s really good to see him come into his own as ballplayer and as a man in finding his voice here. It’s been really strong . . . the strain and physicality that he plays with.

“He’s bigger, he’s stronger, and he’s finding his voice as a leader and that toughness provides lots of versatility for us. I’m really proud of the start that he’s had so far and feel like he’s really about to take off.”

Compiled by contributor Matt Winkeljohn.