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Playing in Seattle prepares Cardinals for noise in Atlanta

11/30/2014

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Regardless of how loud the Georgia Dome may get Sunday, it won’t be as loud as CenturyLink Field last weekend in Seattle -- that’s for certain.

“That’s probably the loudest stadium we’ll go into,” said left guard Ted Larsen, who played at Atlanta from 2010-2013 with Tampa Bay.

For the second straight week, however, the Cardinals’ offense will have to operate in a venue in which crowd noise will impact their ability to communicate. Arizona will again have to rely on hand signals and a silent snap count to combat the sound.

Instead of moving at the sound of quarterback Drew Stanton’s voice, the offense moves at sight of the ball being snapped from center Lyle Sendlein, which, Larsen said, slows the offense down a tick. Larsen also said communicating in the huddle becomes more important in loud stadiums because there are fewer verbal cues at the line of scrimmage.

The Cardinals have been working on a silent snap by using artificial crowd noise at practice, which has helped, Larsen said .

“It’s not a huge factor,” he added. “It’s not a home game, obviously. “You’d prefer to be on the center’s voice. But it is what it is and we try to make the best of it.”

Preparing for last week helped, left tackle Jared Veldheer said, because working in silent for two weeks is better than doing it for just one. But, at the same time, Veldheer didn’t think the noise was an issue for the Cardinals in Seattle when it came to executing on offense.

“I think it just reinforces how important all the non-verbal stuff is,” Veldheer said. “If you go out that week of practice, and it’s fresh in your mind what it’s like to be on the road and how important all that stuff is, you really know the urgency of how you need to work on that and that aspect of the game.”

While the Cardinals only been flagged for four false starts on the road -- one of the best signs that an opposing crowd is impacting an offense -- opponents have been flagged for eight false starts in the Georgia Dome this year.

Last week, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Tadio that the Cardinals didn’t handle the noise “very well” in Seattle.

The easiest way for Arizona -- or any road team, for that matter -- to eliminate the impact of noise, is by quieting the crowd. To do that, Arizona has to jump out to an early lead and limit Atlanta, which, Arians has said, likes to start quickly, on offense.

“They’re a notoriously fast-starting offense, and we cannot let that happen,” he said.

The Falcons have scored 69 points in the first quarter this season, whereas Arizona has allowed 44, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson said the Georgia Dome is in the top five loudest stadiums he’s played in, right up there with CenturyLink Field, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the Superdome in New Orleans and, of course, University of Phoenix Stadium.

“Obviously, domes tend to be a little bit louder, but I can’t imagine anything being much louder than up there in Seattle,” Stanton said. “At the same time, Atlanta, they can get that thing going pretty good. I’ve been in there a couple times and that places get rocking.

“You have to find a way to battle through it because it’s going to be there. You know it’s going to be there, especially in the beginning, but we have to do a good job.”