LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons reacts from the sidelines during the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Coliseum on January 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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How the Atlanta Falcons Became an NFC Heavyweight

Atlanta’s hyper-focus on player development has turned them into a playoff contender.

The Atlanta Falcons may be the NFC’s lowest seed, but they’re well equipped to keep rolling towars the Super Bowl thanks to a strong young core. According to Sports Illustrated, the Falcons’ younger players, from already-celebrated players like Deion Jones to obscure ones like Wes Schweitzer, benefit from a focus on development, dubbed “Plan D.”

Spearheaded by GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn, Plan D was implemented when Quinn took over in 2015, and involves getting rookies regular playing time early in their careers, increasing their time spent in the classroom and on the practice field, and treating the young players as a collective. Match that philosophy with an offense led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and Atlanta fans have reason for optimism against the Eagles this Saturday.


Read the full story at Sports Illustrated