Worrilow: ‘We want to be the tone-setters’

Falcons middle linebacker Paul Worrilow scored the first touchdown of his NFL career in the exhibition season opener against Tennessee on Friday at the Georgia Dome.

After defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux knocked the ball off Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, Worrilow darted to the ball, scooped it up and scored from 14 yards out.

“We preach running to the ball and that was just one of those situations where good things happen when you run to the ball,” Worrilow said. “I just ran up and saw that it was loose. It came right to me.”

The Falcons have focused on improving the linebacker corps this offseason. The Falcons added Justin Durant and Brooks Reed in free agency.

“We take a lot of pride in our room,” Worrilow said. “We want to be the tone-setters. We want to lead this defense. We talk about that, us as a group. The Sam, Mike and Will. That’s important to us and we’re going to come out and keep doing what we do in practice and turn it on for the game.”

Durant also had a turnover as he intercepted a screen pass off of Mariota.

“He read the screen real good,” Worrilow said. “Jumped in front of it and made a play. That’s what we talk about, making those game-changing plays in our room.”

The Falcons, who hope to get Reed back from a groin injury, would like to build on the strong start when they face the New York Jets at 7:30 p.m. Friday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

“Anytime that you can go out there play well and get live snaps against another team and bring people to the ground as a group, that’s going to build that bond,” Worrilow said. “That energy that we have before the snap and after the snap, celebrating, that’s what we want to build on.”