Atlanta Falcons wide receiver J.D. McKissic (85) leaps over Washington Redskins defensive back Jeremy Harris (37) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore
August 12, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) One final defensive stand to close out Thursday night's preseason win over Washington was a perfect ending for Falcons coach Dan Quinn.

Quinn, the former Seattle defensive coordinator beginning his second season in Atlanta, was pleased his defense allowed only 79 yards rushing and 234 total yards in the 23-17 win over the Redskins. A review of the game film also left Quinn pleased on Friday with the closing speed on tackles.

''It showed the speed and that's what we're looking to see,'' Quinn said Friday. ''... How fast can we close to make those kind of hits. There were probably about three or four occasions where we saw a number of either safeties or linebackers or a combination really close to go finish.''

Washington took possession at its 29 with 1:30 remaining and was held without a first down.

Following the game, Quinn said linebackers Sean Weatherspoon and De'Vondre Campbell and cornerback Brian Poole stood out for their ''contact hits we want.''

On Friday, he added linebackers Deion Jones and LaRoy Reynolds and safety Kemal Ishmael to his list of players making strong tackles.

Campbell and Jones are rookies whose speed also has been evident in training camp.

''It's an important part of how we want to play,'' Quinn said. ''I felt it was a start of what it would feel like. We've still got a long way to go, but I think they have established how hard they have to play.''

All the news wasn't good. The first-team offense with quarterback Matt Ryan struggled. Ryan was 0 for 4 passing and did not lead the offense to a first down on his two possessions.

''When you get one of those situations in the preseason, you can learn from it, adjust from it and hopefully when we get those chances in the regular season, we'll be more productive in that situation than we were tonight,'' Ryan said.

Quinn said he stuck with his planned substitution plan even though the starters wanted another chance to get untracked.

''They all wanted more turns, for sure,'' he said. ''That was just my decision not to allow that to happen.''

Among the standouts were backup receivers Aldrick Robinson, who had three catches for 118 yards, and J.D. McKissic, who returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown.

Newly signed defensive end Dwight Freeney was held out against the Redskins and is expected to make his debut at Cleveland.

But don't expect to see Freeney on the field for many snaps.

''I don't think he'll lead the league in play time this preseason, if you know what I mean,'' Quinn said.

NOTES: Ishmael has a sprained shoulder and will be held out of Sunday's practice. S Keanu Neal (trunk) and TE Levine Toilolo (hand) are expected to return to practice after being held out of the game.


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