Falcons find success via Over-30 Club and coach

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- John Abraham has a pretty good idea of one reason why the Atlanta Falcons have found success since Mike Smith was hired as head coach.

It's the "Over-30 Club" of veterans, such as the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end, who have an open dialogue with Smith.

Abraham says because of this communication, there's "no dictatorship" for the Falcons, which are 33-13 under Smith's tenure and have earned two playoff spots and the NFC South title in the last three years.

He says Smith, whose Falcons (0-2) travel for a preseason game Saturday at Pittsburgh (1-1), calls often on his over-30 veterans to discuss a wide range of topics.

Center Todd McClure says Smith gets messages out to the Over-30 Club so they can tell teammates in their own way.