Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

December 13, 2018 at 12:54 am.

Falcons focus on more attention to detail

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has never shied away from outside-the-box thinking. This week he reached a new level, reaching into the sport of boxing to help motivate his team.

The Falcons, who take a five-game losing streak into this week’s game against Arizona, showed a championship fight to the team in an effort to get them thinking about their out-of-the-playoffs situation.

Quinn found a video of the 2001 fight between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman, when the upstart handed Lewis his first loss in seven years.

“The reason I wanted to show them that fight, is here’s two fighters who are ready, but one had better focus in the moment to go and that was Rahman,” Quinn said. “He ended up knocking him out. Both of them were good fighters, but one on that night had better focus.”

The film study comes days after the Falcons showed little focus in their loss to the Packers. The Falcons had two turnovers and 101 yards of penalties. Quinn has bemoaned the team’s inability to take care of the small details needed to win in the NFL.

“Often times that comes down to a lack of focus or that hyper-focus of ‘I was in the right spot, made the right play, played the right way,'” Quinn said.

It’s the second verse of a song that Quinn has been singing about self-inflicted wounds.

“Much like a fighter who drops his gloves or gets rocked on. Of course, he knows to keep his hands up, but why didn’t he in that instance?” Quinn said. “So those are the ones to say a dropped ball, a missed interception that was dropped. Those are the ones, not being in your gap at the right spot. Those are the smallest moments that has to be keeping the focus right now.”

The players were receptive to the presentation, quarterback Matt Ryan said.

“It’s a really good message,” Ryan said. “The fight is one thing, but the focus and the intent and being into it and being prepared and all those things are just important. I thought it was a really good message to the guys and one that we responded to well.”

SERIES HISTORY: 30th regular-season meeting. Cardinals lead series, 15-14. Falcons have won the last two meetings, both in Atlanta – 29-18 in 2014 and 38-19 in 2016. Arizona’s last win against Atlanta came in 2013 in Arizona.