Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/5/12

Essentially, the Falcons major offseason pickups were defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

The offense will feature the same 10 of the 11 starters, who opened the 2011 season in Chicago. Center Todd McClure was out with a knee injury and Joe Hawley started for him.

The defense will feature 9 of 11 of the starters, who opened against the Bears.

Peria Jerry will start at defensive tackle for Corey Peters and Akeem Dent takes over at middle linebacker for Curtis Lofton.

So, the Falcons have decided to keep the talent that helped them post a 10-6 mark and early a wild-card berth last season.

Any improvements will have to come from the coaching and the development of the players already on hand.

Nolan and Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll were in the same positions last season with the Miami Dolphins.

On Sunday, they will be pitted against each other when the Falcons face the Chiefs at 1 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Brian is a very intelligent and great football coach," Nolan said. "He's got a real good mind. He's had very good mentors as far as football goes. He's been on the offensive and defensive side of the football. Brian is one of the sharpest coaches that I've been around. I was very impressed with him at Miami."

Daboll will try to unleash running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis against the Falcons.

"I do think that players like to play for him because I think he tries to utilize all of the players' strengths," Nolan said. "They have a lot of explosive players. I guess his biggest problem is who is he going to give the ball too next because I'm sure has a lot of guys who want the ball."

It will help that Nolan knows Matt Cassel from their AFC East days as foes.

"He's a very competitive player," Nolan said. "I think he's tough. I think he's smart. He's always been a guy that you have to be really detailed and prepared for. I've got a lot of respect for him."

The Falcons biggest player pick was the acquisition of cornerback Asante Samuel. The revamped secondary will get tested by Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.

"He's got very little playing time in the first game that he came back," Nolan said. "Then last week got some more. I know him from the past. He's a good player. He's a big strong player that goes up for the ball. He'll be a challenge to cover. He's one of the league's premier guys."

The Chiefs will be without Tamba Hali, who's been suspended by the league. They also have key injuries to free safety Kendrick Lewis and cornerback Brandon Flowers.

"Kansas City's secondary has been a little beat up over the preseason," Koetter said. "One of their best players, (Brandon) Flowers has not been out there at all. The free safety (Kendrick Lewis) has been out the last couple of weeks. They're banged up. They definitely have some talented guys back there and they are very well coached."

Despite the rash of injuries, the Falcons are preparing as if the injured players will make it to the field.

"That is part of the unknown going into this first game," Koetter said. "We won't see the first official injury report until (Wednesday.)The official guy that's been ruled out (Tamba Hali) we can plan for that. Everybody else, we always plan like they are going to be there."

The Falcons offensive line, which gave up 26 sacks and 84 quarterback hits last season, will have some tough matchups against Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.

"They are two really good run stoppers in their 3-4 defense," Koetter said. "Both guys are powerful. Both guys play with their hands. They are two-gap players and they are good at it. Kansas City has a good run defense."

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bobby Hurley dismisses Louisville rumors

Former RB Larry Johnson says he can't remember two of his NFL seasons

Cardinals talking to Blue Jays about former MVP Josh Donaldson

Report: Red Sox among teams expected to meet with J.D. Martinez at Winter Meetings

McCown may be considering retirement after broken hand

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson 'seriously considering' running for president

Miami player thinks Dolphins found ‘blueprint’ to stop Pats

O's shopping Machado, who wants to move to SS?

Report: Rodgers pushing to play; collarbone not fully healed

NFL determined Bennett dove for ball, not Jags player’s knees

Kenny Britt reportedly finalizing deal with Patriots

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

NFL free agent signings who have paid off the most in 2017

Six NBA coaches who could be on the hot seat

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

Top 10 Player of the Year candidates

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker