Sat, 28 Nov 2020

Week 7 opponent: What the Falcons are saying

Detroit Lions
22 Oct 2020, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Atlanta interim head coach Raheem Morris.

Here's what he had to say:

1. When asked what stood out most about Detroit's offense when he put on the Lions tape this week to start game prep, Morris quickly centered in on Detroit's backfield.

"You guys got some really good running backs," he said.

He specifically called out Adrian Peterson, who Morris said will go down as one of the best in history to play the game, and rookie D'Andre Swift, who Morris knows well from Swift's time in college at Georgia.

2. Consider Morris a big fan of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"Matt Stafford can absolutely throw every ball on the field," he said. "He's as confident as it gets."

3. What a difference All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones made in the Falcons' offense last week after missing the previous week due to injury. Jones caught eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the blowout win over Minnesota. Atlanta scored 40 points, racked up 371 passing yards and 462 total yards.

Morris made the point that when Calvin Johnson was on the field for Detroit back in the day, things were much different than when he wasn't. He feels the exact same way about Jones, who Morris thinks is the best to ever play the position.

"When he's out there, we are going to be a better team, I can tell you that much," he said of Jones. "When he's not, we will not be as good, but we still have a chance to win."

The Lions will have to contend with Jones and the rest of Atlanta's explosive weapons on the road this week.

4. Morris is a New Jersey native and definitely is a big fan of Lions veteran safety Duron Harmon, who went to Rutgers University. Morris said all Harmon does is get interceptions and play the right way. Harmon was the first player Morris mentioned when asked about Detroit's defense.

5. Coaches are always on the lookout for former players coming back to play their old team for the first time. Morris made that point about cornerback Desmond Trufant and wide receiver Marvin Hall.

It's unclear if Trufant's hamstring injury will allow him to play this week against his former teammates, but Morris said Trufant plays with a lot of confidence and always plays with a plan. Trufant left the Falcons ranked second in career passes defended (79) and fifth in interceptions (13). He's had a lot of battles with those talented Falcons receivers over the years in practice, so maybe the Lions can glean some helpful information from him this week.

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