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Sherman on the Falcons

on the team's approach to the Falcons:<p> "We have a lot of motivation for this football game to win it besides the fact that we lost to them last year. It's our first home game of the 2002 season, so we have plenty of motivation that supercedes last year."<p>

on Atlanta's 3-4 defense:

"I think everything in football goes in cycles. Certainly the 3-4, which was not a popular defense a couple of years ago, is gaining more in popularity. Obviously Atlanta is running it now because Wade Phillips did it at Buffalo. With the (New England) Patriots emerging as Super Bowl winners, everybody will copycat that as well. It's very cyclical. I think there will be more 3-4 defenses. A lot of teams right now are employing both concepts at times.

"The reason why it's effective is because it is new. It's not something you practice against. We haven't seen in in preseason games. When they jump on you, it's different. It changes your rules. The guys who were covered are uncovered. The guys who were uncovered are now covered. It changes the assignments of the offensive linemen. It really affects pass-blocking and protection more than anything. So, you're very concerned about the protection of your quarterback and blitz pickup."

on Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick:

"From everybody that I've talked to he's a great person. He is a young player, but he has tremendous tools. He has an extremely strong arm and exceptionally quick feet. In our first three ballgames this year we (face) three quarterbacks (Vick, Aaron Brooks and Mike McMahon) who thrive on their ability to run outside the pocket, much like our quarterback does. We've practiced against that probably moreso this preseason in practice more than any other preseason that I can remember. So, we have to be prepared for that."

on the Falcons offense overall:

"Coach (Dan) Reeves is a very good offensive football coach. He has his own system that he has employed in Denver, which helped them get to a couple of Super Bowls, and in Atlanta, which got them to the 1998 Super Bowl. It's a pretty good offensive system. Pretty creative. He knows how to employ these guys and make the best matchups he can make."

on Atlanta's cornerbacks:

"They played pretty well against us last year. They pretty much shut us down pretty good. We didn't go into the game and underestimate them. We anticipated them to be the type of corners that they were. They are excellent cover corners.


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