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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Falcons News: Team Prepares For Lions Defense In London

The Atlanta Falcons not only have to keep an eye on the key offensive weapons of the Detroit Lions, it appears the offense will have to be fully aware of the play of DeAndre Levy from the linebacker position.

The unknown player is making a name for himself this season on a much improved defensive unit.

The Falcons have scouted him intensely leading up to Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium and know that he'll be worth keeping an eye on.

"He was a sub-4.6 guy coming out," said Mike Smith of Levy, who played his college ball at Wisconsin. "He's a guy that comes downhill and he's very quick. When you are having to put four hands on those defensive linemen and he's coming downhill, he's winning a lot of his battles because of his speed. If you come off too quickly, that's when the defensive tackles will make their plays.”

Smith said the Lions don't do a whole lot of blitzing because of the strength of their defensive line in creating their own pressure, so Levy will be pivotal to watch when it comes to the run game.

With the possibility of wide receiver Harry Douglas getting back into action Sunday, the extra target could help keep Levy honest when it comes to playing the run, but getting a helmet on him during run plays will be crucial to having success on the ground.

"He's definitely playing really lights-out football — having a great year," running back Steven Jackson said Thursday. "He's one of the guys that I've watched all week. His explosiveness and sideline-to-sideline speed, once he recognizes or sees the ball, he does a really good job of avoiding blocks, getting to it and also doing a good job of getting his D-linemen off the double team because he's so fast."


Head coach Mike Smith said before practice Thursday that wide receiver Harry Douglas would be a limited participant, something he hasn't been since Week 4.

It's been 10 practices since wide receiver Harry Douglas has been a participant at any level, but the streak will end Thursday as head coach Mike Smith announced before the day's session that Douglas would be limited.

Douglas injured his foot in a Week 3 win over Tampa Bay and was scheduled to do a rehab run Wednesday despite being a non-participant in practice.

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux is expected to be a non-participant again Thursday, but Smith said he's hoping to get him some limited reps on Friday.

"We'll have to see how both those guys handle their workload over the next couple of days to see what their game status will be," Smith said Thursday.


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