Mora: Defense lacks intensity

Mora: Defense lacks intensity

Coach Jim Mora discounted the season-ending Achilles injury on middle linebacker Ed Hartwell as the lone reason for Atlanta's problems in stopping Antowain Smith and Aaron Stecker from gouging the run defense for a combined 174 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries.

Without Hartwell, Keith Brooking moved from the weak side to the middle, and Demorrio Williams switched to the weak side from the strong side. Rookie Michael Boley took over at the strong side, but Mora wasn't discouraged by the linebackers' efforts.

"It's not a lack of focus," Mora said. "It is not a lack of communication. It is not a lack of intensity. It is just not enough of being exact (and) being exactly where you are supposed to line up, hitting the block exactly where you are supposed to hit it, reading your keys exactly right every time, getting in the right gap every single time. We are off a little. We are off a hair, and when you are off a hair in this league, it looks very bad."

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