Here’s what Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel had to say on Wednesday:
On the Bears offense:
“Very explosive offense. A lot of people don’t talk about that part of it. ... They had just as many explosive plays in the run game as we did. Very talented running back. A lot of people don’t understand that this league is built on running. We’re pass happy but built on the run.”
On Bears quarterback Mike Glennon:
“Having played Glennon a few times since I’ve been coaching, he’s a precise quarterback. He’s going to go out there and do precisely what the coaches are asking him to do, and he’s a true competitor. It’s going to be a challenge from that standpoint.”
On Bears running back Jordan Howard:
“He’s a downhill runner, has a dangerous jump-cut and it goes back to competing. You watch a guy who has a negative run and he gets right back up on second-and-11 and comes right back downhill as if it didn’t happen. It’s going to take more than one guy to tackle him.”
On if he’s worried about tackling in the opener:
“Historically, the first-game tackling is the main issue for every team in the league and playing a back like him is going to be detrimental to everything we do from that standpoint. It’s going to take more than one guy. We’ve got to be fundamental and that’s get the guy on the ground.
“Every technique that we talk about ... and effort and finish.”
On his first regular-season game as defensive coordinator:
“It’s been a blessing to work with the guys I work with; not only the coaches but the players from the standpoint of watching the ability to teach and give back not just on the back end like I’ve always done, but up front.
“Meeting with those guys, talking with (defensive line coach Bryant Young), it’s been a blessing. I couldn’t ask for anything different.”
“I wouldn’t say different because we prepare like it’s a championship week. As far as the overview of everything, when you’re on the back end you’re in the line of fire every play so you kind of understand everything that is going on. I would say that it’s been an exciting challenge understanding how they’re going to try to attack the defense, and understanding that there is no perfect call. You’ve just got to go out there and play fundamental football, and know how we do it down in and down out.”
On expectations for rookie Takk McKinley:
“I wouldn’t say my expectations. We have a standard, so I wouldn’t say my expectations. Just our standard. He came in late and we’re very pleased with where he is right now. Coming in and adapting to our true brotherhood is very different. We love him to death, but he had to become a part of it.
“It’s going to be a trending upside and you guys will see it as we go forward.”
On rookie linebacker Duke Riley:
“The exciting thing about that question is Duke Riley, when he came on his visit, was a kid that you know knew was not going to shy away. The cool part is he has 10 other guys around him [so] that he doesn’t have to do it by himself. Everybody wants to put a bulls-eye and watch him, but he’s going to be amazing.”