The Falcons’ Defense Builds Trust With Coach Jimmy Lake During OTAs

Flowery Branch, GA – The Falcons just finished up their voluntary OTAs, and after bringing in a new coaching staff, the defense focused on the basics and nuances of the new scheme.

New head coach Raheem Morris is in Atlanta for his second stint. This time, he was able to bring in his staff of choice, which includes defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.

Lake, who was an assistant defensive coach and assistant head coach for the Los Angeles Rams last year, is focused on trying to make it a seamless transition to a new defensive scheme.

“We gotta make sure were making these things so that it’s going to be very complicated to our opponents but easy for our players to digest,” said Lake. “If it’s too complicated, then I’m doing a bad job.”

Knowing that it can and will be an adjustment for the players to grasp the defense, Lake will keep the same verbiage from last year for schemes that are similar to what the Falcons ran in 2023. This will help them achieve the goal of having the players play freely.

“We’re trying to make it digestible as possible so these guys can learn as fast a possible,” stated Lake. “I want these guys to play fast, I wanna play free, I wanna play physical. We don’t want to hold these guys back by terms and knowledge where they’re thinking on the football field.”

The players are also making sure they are doing their part. The word that safety Jessie Bates III continued to use was trust. Bates III, who is a six-year veteran, signed with the Falcons last year.

He likes the idea of Lake wanting to know what the players are thinking and want the players to think like him.

“It’s really cool to have a coach that’s open to have conversations to see stuff through a different lens than just rather be like no, this is how it should be and this the only way to play it,” Bates III stated. “Jimmy has done a really good job of mixing up some things and communicating with us.”

Lake and the players have one goal in mind, and that’s to be ready and have the defense down pat before the season starts. Both parties understand that trust will be key to that goal.

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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