Falcons coach Mike Smith has been busy working with his new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
After evaluating last season's performance, they are working on a plan to move forward and improve the unit's level of play.
"I'm very excited about the additions that we've added to our staff," Smith said. "The defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has 14 years as a coordinator and almost 25 years in the National Football League. He'll be a great resource for me."
Before tackling the issue of the playoffs, the Falcons' defensive brain trust must figure out a way to slow down the New Orleans Saints. Smith is 2-6 against the Saints and has watched them win the NFC South title in three of the past four years.
In addition to slowing down the Saints, the Falcons must deal with what figures to be a surging Carolina offense led by Cam Newton and a revamped Tampa Bay attack under new coach Greg Schiano.
Smith will lean heavily on Nolan.
"He's been a former head coach," Smith said. "I worked with ...