As the Eagles prepare to take on the Falcons this Monday, the pressure will be on the team's secondary. With an Atlanta offense consisting of players like quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, the defense will need to be ready to play.
Walter Thurmond, however, thinks the group is up for the challenge, its first challenge of the year.
"I think that's the number one concern for any defensive group in the league though is not to give up those X-plays," Thurmond said. "That just shows that the offense is getting quick turnaround, changing the field and putting themselves in position to score.
"It is going to be a good test because this is one of the best tandems in the league with Julio and Roddy White and Matt Ryan's throwing the ball to them. It's going to be a great test for us to see where our cover ability is and make a name for the secondary."
He and the rest of the Eagles' defense are prepared for the deep balls they know are going to come. Reducing the X-plays, gains of 20 yards or more, was a focal point of the offseason after the Eagles allowed a league-high 72 such passes in 2014. Staying true to their technique and remaining disciplined throughout the entirety of the game will be key, especially going up against Jones.
When asked about the wide receiver, Thurmond explained the biggest obstacle when defending Jones is his size and speed. However, the Eagles don't want to focus solely on a plan for Jones. They'll need to prepare for the team in its entirety to have success.
"He's a premier receiver, top-five receiver in this league. When you're that good, he does command some attention and focus, but we don't want to deviate from the game plan and just put all our attention toward him," Thurmond said. "It's also going to take the whole defense, and obviously our front four getting after the quarterback and pressing Matt Ryan and making him make some bad decisions."
To watch the entire interview with Walter Thurmond, click here or on the video player above.