Falcons’ Nielsen Explains Importance of ‘Coach’ Bates

What does it mean for the Atlanta Falcons to have a seasoned player like veteran safety Jessie Bates III on the field? According to first-year defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, it’s akin to having a coaching staff extension actively participating in the game. Nielsen commended Bates for his immediate impact since joining the team, emphasizing his coaching demeanor both in the building and on the practice field. Bates is described as a coach on the field, demonstrating a keen interest in understanding the game, ensuring proper player positioning, and actively seeking solutions to address any issues. Nielsen appreciates Bates’s consistent approach, noting that he remains the same reliable presence every day, displaying a love for football without extremes of highs or lows.


Jessie Bates III (@jlbiii3) / X

Aside from being a natural leader in the Falcons’ relatively young locker room, Bates has proven to be a playmaker in the secondary. Upon joining a Falcons secondary that struggled with interceptions, Bates, formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals, has emerged as the team leader with four interceptions, including a notable 96-yard pick-six in a victory against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. While this play contributed to putting the Falcons on the scoreboard, Bates’s significant impact arguably came later in the game. During a crucial moment when the Saints had the chance to take the lead, Bates intercepted a pass, preventing a potential score. His forced fumble in the same game marked his third of the year and seventh total takeaway, showcasing his ability to provide a spark when needed.

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Bates’s standout performance against the Saints, which included two takeaways and leading the team in tackles with 12, earned him the title of NFC Defensive Player of the Week. As the Falcons prepare for their upcoming game against the New York Jets, Bates remains a key figure in their defense. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. The article source is from .

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