The Atlanta Falcons will come into Sunday's game against the New York Giants with three new players on their offensive line thanks to injuries. Will that make it open season on Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan for the Giants' defensive line? Giants' defensive coordinator Perry Fewell expects the Falcons to have a plan to try and overcome the radical changes they have been forced to make.
"When you see those skill guys and you get the ball out quick, you can neutralize that," Fewell said. "I think that [the Falcons] have a good coaching staff and they know exactly what to do and how to do it. Mike Tice is a good offensive line coach. He has been around a long time. He will have those guys ready and prepared to play.
"We have to be ready and we have to be prepared to play, no matter who they put on the offensive line. They can still get that ball out and they still have great skill."
Those skill players are led by wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. With slot receiver Harry Douglas out with a foot injury, Devin Hester may see additional snaps as a receiver.
Fewell voiced great respect for Ryan, who thus far this season has completed 66.4 percent of his passes and had a 110.3 passer rating, second in the league behind Andrew Luck. The Falcons come into the game with the league's top-ranked offense.
"The last time I saw him, he beat the hell out of us, so if he gets any better than that - I think each quarterback, they all grow," Fewell said. "He is the leader of that offense. He has very skilled people around him. He is coming out of the pocket and making throws on the run better than he did the last time we played him. I think that is just part of his game now. He is very accurate and I have a lot of respect for him as quarterback."
The Giants have had a pair of changes in their secondary since the season began. Trumaine McBride has taken over at slot corner for the injured Walter Thurmond. Quintin Demps has moved in at safety for the ineffective Stevie Brown. Fewell admits that the changes have made communication in the secondary more challenging.
"They are trying to be on the same page, and that is one of the keys to being a good defense and being a good secondary, if you can all be on the same page," Fewell said. "I think that is a daily process that is something you work on no matter what. No matter if you have been together two years or more. I think that is a process you go though."