Falcons using screen passes to spread defenses out

6:18 PM, Jun 7, 2012   |    comments
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons are installing a new aerial a ttack, one that emphasizes screen passes.

No one is likely to benefit more than receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.

For the first time since coach Mike Smith took over in January 2008, the Falcons are emphasizing the screen pass, an option that was lacking in four years under former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Atlanta hopes the new approach, being installed by new coordinator Dirk Koetter, will give quarterback Matt Ryan more options and keep defenses guessing.

Ryan's 68 yards passing on screens last season ranked 32nd, and he had just 20 attempts. If the Falcons can get the ball more quickly in space to Jones -- their fastest receiver -- they can force defenses to spread out and limit the blitz.

AP-WF-06-07-12 1628GMT


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