Falcons rookie Troy Andersen is doing well as an inside linebacker

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Andersen has played 217 defensive snaps (39%) and has one start against San Francisco. He has 39 tackles, a quarterback hit and four blitzes.

He is also a major contributor to Special Teams. He blocked a punt and came close to blocking punts three more times.

Andersen has played 270 special teams snaps (70%) and had one of the key blocks on Cordarrelle Patterson’s record-breaking 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Bears.

In the Oct. 16 start against the 49ers, Andersen finished with 13 tackles while subbing in for Mykal Walker, who was injured.

Andersen played several positions in college, including quarterback. He develops his instincts at the inside linebacker position.

“They can see that and obviously made some great plays for us (against the Bears),” said Falcons coach Arthur Smith. “He influenced a lot of spots for us.”

Bush was happy with Andersen, who is 6ft 4 and weighs 239 pounds.

“He’s a big guy who can run,” Bush said. “We’re trying to find situations to get him out of there and free him, let him run around and play.”

Andersen caught the nuances of defense pretty well. He stands behind Walker and Rashaan Evans and plays alongside them when the Falcons play a 4-3 scheme.

“When his opportunities come, he comes out and has done a good job for us,” Bush said.

It was a key to Andersen’s rapid development.

“Sharp kid,” Bush said. “He understands what we’re saying. He has played many different positions. He has a natural flair for football and everything that goes with it.

“Now it’s all about mastering technique and getting reps in practice, in game and gaining confidence.”

As the season progresses, Andersen becomes more comfortable on the field.

“I think that’s being able to diagnose things faster and understand what offensive players are trying to do, which allows you to play faster,” Andersen said. “If you play faster, you make more moves.”

He expects a big challenge from Washington’s offense, which averages 325.9 yards per game and has the NFL’s No. 1 ball possession time (32 minutes, 44 seconds average).

“They are an extremely talented group,” said Andersen. “Your quarterback is elusive. He can lengthen plays. You have a good back. They can fight for extra yards and are good runners.

“Your offensive line is big and physical. They have good skills (players) on the outside. They’re kind of a complete offense. We have to prepare well and play well to beat them.”

The Falcons revised the linebacker position by also adding outside linebackers Arnold Ebitketie (second round, 38th) and DeAngelo Malone (third round, 82nd) ​​to the draft.

“They’re great to be other rookies,” Andersen said. “We kind of have that closeness and that bond. They are great guys that I would like to meet.”

Walker and Evans were helpful.

“They’re great,” Andersen said. “I can’t say enough about how they’ve helped me develop and just kind of supported me. You answer all the questions I have. It’s great to sit back, watch and learn from them. I just learned so much. It’s been great so far.”

Andersen is hoping to get a few more blocked punts this season.

“You have to get there,” Andersen said. “Close does not appear in the statistics book. Hopefully we can get a few more this year.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

September 11: Saints 27, Hawks 26

September 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

25 Sept Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

2 Oct Falcons 23, Browns 20

9 Oct. Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

16 Oct Falcons 28, 49ers 14

23 Oct Bengal 35, Falcon 17

October 30 Falcons 37, Panther 34 OT

November 6 Chargers 20, Falcons 17

10 Nov Panthers 25, Falcons 15

Nov. 20 Hawks 27, Bears 24

November 27 in Washington, 1 p.m

December 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m

goodbye week

December 18th in New Orleans, TBD

December 24 in Baltimore, 1 p.m

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD