FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons need new leadership on defense, and coach Mike Smith says second-year cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford fit the job description perfectly.
Coming off a 4-12 season that ended with their defense ranked last in third-down efficiency, second-worst against the run and third-fewest in sacks, the Falcons still have unfulfilled leadership roles at several positions.
But that's not the case at cornerback.
Trufant and Alford are showing a healthy dose of swagger in training camp, particularly after meeting expectations as first- and second-round draft picks in 2013.
The Falcons' defense struggled last year as linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, defensive end Kroy Biermann and defensive tackle Corey Peters were injured and cornerback Asante Samuel and safety Thomas DeCoud fell out of favor with coaches.
---
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Recent NFL Discussions

Handicapping 2017 Win Totals on Wed, May 2017 by Blade
2017 NFL Draft Grades on Sun, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail GM confident Falcons will sign Freeman Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff says he's confident that a deal with get worked out with running back Devonta Freeman.
Thumbnail Broncos' RB job open for competition The Broncos are set to have an open competition at running back for the 2017 season.
Thumbnail NFL Draft Prop Odds The 2017 NFL Draft gets underway later tonight. Here is a look at some of the featured prop odds for tonight’s first round.

NFL Team Pages