Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn joined John and Hugh on Wednesday to talk about their preparation for their first in-conference game against the Carolina Panthers. First things first, with the College Football Playoff rankings coming out last night, Coach Quinn says he’s “pumped” for both the players and Kirby Smart, who he as a friendship with. He knows they have a lot more to play for; “it’s not where you start, it’s where you end up” and is sure that’s the message Smart is relaying back to his players. “But it is an exciting thing.”
As far as the match-up against division rival Carolina, Coach Quinn said it always gets more attention. “It’s an exciting one for us because man it’s been a long time to wait to get to the division.” Last week’s run-defense against the Jets showed “what we can be [as a defense] moving forward.” It was great team ball, and the communication was right. It hadn’t “felt good” in the last two weeks and said the defense wasn’t on the same page.
On the Carolina side of the ball, Quinn said the Kelvin Benjamin trade won’t impact their preparation. He says Benjamin was a tough match-up because of his size and speed but now they’ll put their focus on how the Panthers will utilize other players. Defensively, Quinn mentions specifically Julius Peppers and Mario Addison; but says the entire defensive line has been the strength of their team. They definitely have a tough, physical challenge ahead of them.