Hugh Douglas breaks down importance of 'communication' on defense

It's a lot harder to fill Ricardo Allen's spot than people think

Wendy Adams
October 09, 2018 - 11:48 am



The Atlanta Falcons are off to a less-than-ideal start to their 2018 season. The team has not only been decimated with injuries on the defensive side of the football, they currently sit in last place in the NFC South at 1-4. 

However, the divisional opponent New Orleans Saints may have done the Falcons a favor after their lopsided win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

“As of today, the Falcons are one game out of the wild card spot,” John Fricke said.

As the team continues to search for answers on defense, and a win, Hugh Douglas broke down the deficiencies the players are encountering right now with the amount of injuries they're dealing with.

"The best way I can describe (what the defense is going through) is, it's like going through the process to become a member of a fraternity or sorority," said Douglas. "Everybody knows the basic premise of becoming a member of a society but everybody has to get on the same page." 

Douglas, a former defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, said that same idea applies to a defense.

"You've got 11 guys out there that process information differently," said Douglas. "You, (the fan), are thinking you can just plug and play guys. But when you have guys that have to learn how to play off one another, it's a different way of learning."

Hugh used himself as an example saying his first few years in the league, he played as an individual. He said the only thing he worried about what he was doing, not his teammates around him. He said he had to learn the concept.

Ricardo Allen, who is now out for the season with a torn achilles, was the quarterback of the team and understood the formations of the opponent. And for a former defensive end, Allen's position also relayed information the defensive line.

"Ricardo Allen has the best vantage point of lining everybody up on this defense. Everybody."

Hugh explained why there is a learning curve for young players like Damontae Kazee and Duke Riley to fill, and why "communication" is a lot more than what it seems.