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Posted: 11:31 p.m. Monday, March 25, 2013
Falcons turn to Clemson for read-option help
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CURTIS COMPTON / AJC
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney tells his quarterback to use his eyes from the sideline during 1st half action against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
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In their quest to get a better grip on the read-option offenses sweeping the NFL, the Falcons’ defensive staff recently spent a day at Clemson, according to the Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney.
"[The Falcons] are trying to learn more about what we do and how we defend what we do,” Swinney told the media on Monday. “Yet, we were able to take a lot from them as well. I’d be surprised if there's an NFL team that hasn’t gone and spent time with college coaches this offseason."
At the NFL scouting combine in February, Falcons coach Mike Smith said the defensive staff would spend a lot of time this offseason coming up with a better plan to stop read-option offenses.
In the playoffs against Seattle and San Francisco, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan didn’t adjust from his scheme that left a void that was exploited by tight ends Zach Millier, Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker.
“I know that our coaching staff is going to spend a whole lot of time on it because it could be the wave of the future,” Smith said. “I’m not saying that it will be, but that it could be.”
The Falcons will face San Francisco and Seattle during the 2013 regular season and will see Carolina’s version of the read-option in NFC South play.
“It’s something that we want to make sure that we have a very good understanding of,” Smith said.
Clemson’s offense set 101 school records on an individual and team basis last season.
Among the team records were most points (533), most total offense (6,665), most plays (1,062) and most passing yards (4181).
The Tigers also set an Atlantic Coast Conference record for consecutive games scoring at least 37 points (10).
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