SEATTLE — Atlanta coach Dan Quinn views having the Falcons practice in the Pacific Northwest as an opportunity to maximize preparation for Sunday's game against the Seahawks and bring his team closer together.
Atlanta won its fourth straight since opening the season with a loss to the Bucs with a 23-16 road victory over the Broncos last week, keeping it two games ahead of the Bucs for the NFC South lead. Rather than return home between games, the Falcons are practicing this week at the University of Washington.
"We thought it would be a unique time for our team to have that week together, and as well as the players not to battle back and forth through some time zones and some long flights," said Quinn, who was the defensive coordinator in Seattle during the 2013 and 2014 Super Bowl seasons prior to taking the Atlanta job. "It just so happened this is how the schedule worked out. We're fortunate we have an opportunity to practice out here."
Quinn said the makeup of the current team also contributed to the decision to practice in Seattle.
"Not every team, I think you would bring out here to have the right mind-set to reset and go right to it," Quinn said. "This is that team. They've got a great standard about how they want to prepare."
The matchup features Atlanta's top-ranked offense against Seattle's No. 1-ranked defense. The Falcons are first in total offense at 457.4 yards per game and first in passing yards per game at 333.4. The Seahawks are allowing 264 yards per game and are second in passing defense.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,740 and has thrown 12 touchdowns with two interceptions.
Ryan wasn't concerned about the prospect of inclement weather slowing down the Falcons offense.
"It doesn't bother me too much," Ryan said. "I played in some pretty nasty weather growing up and Boston can tend to have some pretty ugly weather, as well. I'll be ready for it and I know our guys will be ready for it, as well."
Linebackers Deion Jones (ankle), De'Vondre Campbell (ankle), and Paul Worrilow (groin), who did not play against Denver, were limited Wednesday at practice, as were wide receiver Julio Jones (knee/shin) and guard Andy Levitre (knee).
Quinn said Jones' issue was not serious.
"The exciting thing is we could have every player back practicing tomorrow," Quinn said.
The game is a homecoming for Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, a Tacoma native who played at the University of Washington. His older brother, Marcus, spent most of his NFL career as a cornerback with the Seahawks.
"I'm actually going to see him tonight," Desmond Trufant said. "So, I'm going to see what he's got to say. But, it's all love. He had his time and it was great to watch him, but I think he's on my side of the fence now."