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Giants prepare for new-look Falcons defense


Tom Coughlin was asked today if Dan Quinn, Seattle's former defensive coordinator, is running a similar scheme in his new post as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

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"Very," Coughlin responded. He paused, then added, "surprisingly."

Underneath the smile, the Giants coach was surely thinking, "Why wouldn't he?"

In his two seasons as coordinator, Quinn, a native of Morristown, N.J., boasted the top defense in scoring and yards both years while the Seahawks made back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl, winning the first and losing the second by a yard.

Now, among the myriad of duties as head coach, he is rebuilding an Atlanta defense that dropped to last in yards in 2014. The new era began on "Monday Night Football" with a 26-24 victory over Philadelphia.

"They play an aggressive style of defense, they're a pressure defense," Coughlin said. "They rotate the defensive linemen in and out of the game, they keep them fresh. They get after the quarterback and after the running game. They played very aggressively [Monday] night."

Coincidentally, the Giants faced both the Falcons (Giants won, 30-20, at home) and Seahawks (Giants lost, 38-17, on the road) last season.

So in preparation for their Week 2 matchup at MetLife Stadium, the Giants' offense is studying less of the former and more of the latter.

"They still have the dimensions of the Seattle defense, and we've played them the last two years," left guard Justin Pugh said. "So it's definitely something we've seen before and we should be able to be ahead of where we were when we played those teams the past few years, so we kind of have a beat. But obviously it's new guys, different people in all those spots, and they obviously have their own different schemes, flavor to it. So you've got to get in there and watch the film."

That was just one of the many storylines on a busy Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Here are three takeaways from the day:

1. On to Atlanta.

Playmakers on Falcons first-team offense, defense, and special teams, presented by Nike

Coughlin set the tone today by leaving the Dallas game in the past and moving onto the home opener against Atlanta. The same went for quarterback Eli Manning, who didn't shy away from taking blame for the clock management in Week 1.

"I think you play in this league long enough to know that's what you have to do," Manning said of erasing last Sunday from his mind. "There are going to be good games, bad games, but it's all about moving on to the next one. You have to learn from every game and you have to get ready. I felt like we had a good practice today, we have a good game plan, going against a team that's good; they played well on Monday night and got a big win. They'll be coming in fired up and we have to play better and find a way to win."

2. Beason and Cruz still out; injury report.

Rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and linebacker Uani 'Unga (knee) were limited in Wednesday's practice after getting dinged in the opener. Meanwhile, linebacker Jon Beason (knee), wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), tight end Daniel Fells (foot), defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (knee) and defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (foot) did not participate in practice.

3. Giants looking to make it uncomfortable for No. 2 when they couldn't with No. 9.

With no sacks of Tony Romo in Week 1, the Giants dropped to 11-15 in games in which they don't take down the quarterback since Coughlin took over in 2004. They will try to fix that on Sunday against Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan.

"I think it's something we can change and we will change this week," said linebacker Devon Kennard, who had 4.5 sacks last season as a rookie. "We definitely want to put some pressure and make it hard for No. 2 [Ryan] back there. So I think we're up to the task."

The Giants' lack of pressure in Week 1 was a symptom of trying to keep everything in front of them, which they did for the most part until the final five minutes of the game.

"You could say that," Kennard added. "But at the end of the day, whether it's a four-man rush or whether it's blitzing, defensively, it's our responsibility to put some pressure on the quarterback and you've got to give credit to Dallas and their O-line and the scheme that they had on making it hard on us. But [it's] back to work this week. It's something we want to concentrate on and try to make it uncomfortable for No. 2."

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