ROBERT ALFORD’S WEEKLY DIARY

Falcons rookie Robert Alford will provide a weekly diary for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this season.

The Hammond, La., native, who played at Southeastern Louisiana, intercepted Saints quarterback Drew Brees in his NFL debut. This week, he’s getting ready to face Carolina and spend some time covering Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith.

Here’s his latest installment, as told to D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Everything is going good. I’ve been getting in the film room and watching film on Carolina. I’m just trying to make sure that I’m prepared.

As far as the read-option, you just have to be patient. (Quarterback) Cam Newton is a very good athlete. He can run it, and he can throw it. Pretty much, you just have to make sure you’re on point and have the right keys on him when it comes down to the option game.

In the passing game, they have some very good wide receivers. Steve Smith has been around a long time. A Pro Bowler. He’s very physical. He’s a great athlete. I’m going to face all three of them (Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn.) You never know what side they are going to be on. They move Steve Smith to the left, right and in the slot. They have a real good receiving corps. I just have to execute and do my things the right way.

(Assistant) coach (Tim) Lewis has words of wisdom for us every week. It’s always just to play our game, execute and do what we can to help this team win.

Everybody has been talking about the rookie wall, but I haven’t hit it yet. That’s a good thing. I’ve just pretty much been trying to keep myself healthy. Whenever I have a question about a receiver or something about a formation, I go to Asante Samuel. That’s the first person I go to. He’s a Pro Bowler. He’s been here a long time. Pretty much, I go to him when I need advice about football.

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