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The Beerman Cometh


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From the Examiner's Desk: The Beerman Cometh

September 16, 8:45 AM Atlanta Falcons Examiner Daniel Cox

('From the Examiner's Desk' is a weekly first-person column from Atlanta Falcons Examiner Daniel Cox, discussing something from the Falcons that's catching his eye.)

He's got the perfect nickname. It's the kind of moniker that you can just hear a dome full of rowdy and drunken (possibly even sober ones!) Atlanta fans chant.

The Beerman.

No, Kroy Biermann has no associations with alcohol, that we know of, other than the last name. But his play can be closely associated with the blue-collar style of the hard-working, living for Sunday's game day, drunken with love for his team kind of fan that some in Atlanta are.

Following his two-sack outburst in Sunday's 19-7 win over Miami, everyone knows who Biermann is. Last season, for most he was a Thomas Dimitroff fifth-round pick from Montana (of all places!) that played well on special teams and had two late-season sacks.

But if you'd done your research, as Dimitroff obviously did, you'd have seen this Biermann guy dominated Division I-AA football. He was a two-time first-team all-conference and All-American performer. He was the Big Sky's Defensive MVP in his senior season and he won the Buck Buchanan Award, the yearly award given to I-AA's most outstanding defensive player.

Think the Buchanan Award doesn't mean anything? A couple of former Falcons won it: Edgerton Hartwell and Jordan Beck and while that's not saying much, a few other guys you've may have heard of did so as well. Pro Bowl cornerback Rashean Mathis won it in 2002. Three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Dexter Coakley won it twice in 1995 and 1996. Perhaps most notable of all is 2003's winner: All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen.

There were some fans out there that liked what they saw from Biermann last season and went to great lengths to defend him.

Earlier this year, following an article I penned about former Falcon Chuck Smith's comments on many of Atlanta's defensive linemen, I got the following email from a fan that will remain nameless:

"Hey, you and Chuck Smith should just e-mail Kroy Biermann and tell him not to bother to show up---save everybody's time---I guess he just doesn't fit in for '09, huh?"

Point taken. And after Sunday's performance, duly noted. Not only did he show up, he proceeded to be everywhere.

In addition to his two sacks, he produced three tackles, one forced fumble, one tackle for loss and one QB hurry. Not to be outdone he played special teams, too. He only managed two tackles in that discipline. His play even made Head Coach Mike Smith step out of character.

The normally well-spoken and pragmatic Smith typically uses words like indoctrinate and enthusiasm. On Monday when asked about Biermann, he simply called him a "beast".

"He was a beast on kick-off cover," Smith said. "He was down the field. That's a 255-260 pound man running down the field. He spent a lot of time working with Ray Hamilton as well as spending time with John Abraham and John Abraham is a good guy to learn from."

If The Beerman keeps playing like he did on Sunday, Abraham may be asking for some of his lessons back. The 10-year veteran was only able to produce a Biermann-equaled two sacks. But the Montana graduate credits the three-time Pro Bowler with his continued development, just as the head coach said.

"He's always giving me pointers," Biermann said. "He's always helping me along, even throughout last year. He's a tremendous impact on me as a pass rusher. He's a great pass rusher and he knows what he's doing. I try and learn as much as I can from him."

Biermann, who turned 24 on Saturday, may not be the best source of quotes for the media because he speaks simplistically. He strikes you as the eat, sleep, breathe football guy that's happy for a chance.

"It felt good [to be out there]. I got out there and was hustling. I just wanted to go out there and fly around and make some plays. I've been practicing on my pass rush, getting better at that. Been practicing on the run, getting better at that. It felt good out there."

Most of his statements are of that variety. He speaks often about flying around the field. His words escape his mouth in a similar manner. He chooses his words carefully but they come quickly. Sunday he spoke a little slower, still breathing heavily from 45 minutes of flying around.

I asked him earlier in the preseason about his playing style. It's hard to ignore. He's like a high-speed pickup truck, an accident waiting to happen. He's exactly what Smith loves--a player with energy and a sense of urgency. He combines the mentality of an offensive lineman (play to the whistle--and then some) with the athleticism of the position he assumes.

"It's just me," Biermann responded. "That's the way I've always played. I played that way in college and I play that way in the NFL. It's fun. It makes things exciting. I like to get out there and get after people."

Chad Pennington was enemy No. 1 for Biermann on Sunday and he definitely got after him. He didn't waste much time either. On the third defensive play of the season, he came off the end, shedded Miami running back Ronnie Brown's disinterested block and went for the ball in Pennington's hands. Sure he could have gone for the QB's body, but Biermann was more interested in the ball.

He was credited with a sack, though he never brought Pennington to the ground. Again, once he saw the ball come loose, he was going after that.

"That's always the big part when you get a sack," he said. "You want to get that ball out and you want to create turnovers. That's huge for a defense and that helps out our offense as well. Creating turnovers is a big deal for us."

The defensive end that admittedly put on some extra weight this offseason's second sack was a little more appealing to the blood thirsty. Taking on the last season's top overall pick Jake Long (who was also embarrassed on Sunday by John Abraham), Biermann flung Long to his left before getting his paws on Pennington and spinning him to the ground. His body language after the sack reminded me of someone we used to watch here in Atlanta, but more on that in a second.

All in all, it was a great day for the native of small-town Hardin, Montana. But he'll contend that despite the improvements he made in the offseason, he's still going to look to get better.

"I've gotten better on some things," he said. "Put a little weight on which has helped. Been doing good, but there's a lot of progress to be made still. I've got to keep getting better and doing the things that I need to do to help this team win. It's been good though."

His remarks on the team are similar to how he feels about himself: "We want to be a high speed, intense defense that really wants to get after it. We've got a lot of things to correct and a lot of things to get better at and we will. We'll continue to practice hard and play hard and we'll see how it goes."

We'll see how it goes. The Falcons won on Sunday, what many expected them to do. But it's the way they did that surprised everyone. For the most part they won on defense, shutting out last year's AFC East champs for most of the game.

And from virtual unknown to nicknamed in one day, The Beerman helped lead the way.

He looks a little like another high-motor defensive end that came into Atlanta to sack the quarterback, albeit with a little more fanfare.

If you tell me he doesn't remind you of Patrick Kerney I'll tell you you're crazy.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Fal...9m9d16-biermann

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Biermann's the real deal. It's one thing for a Pro-Bowl player like John Abraham to swat Jake Long away (and that's no easy task, even for Abe...although he made it look that way) but for a young kid from Montana to do it? It's a real testament to Sugar Bear and to Abe as teachers, as well as Biermann's desire to excel. I'm very anxious to see what Sidbury's going to look like a year from now. From watching him in preseason onwards he seems to be going through a very similar evolution to Kroy.

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This is Bierman's quote, and to value add the importance

of his quote, I am going to follow with a quote from another

Atlanta Falcon.

"It's just me," Biermann responded. "That's the way I've always played. I played that way in college and I play that way in the NFL. It's fun. It makes things exciting. I like to get out there and get after people."

"High School, College, and the NFL. It's the Same Game."

Tommy Nobis

post-183816-1253110425.gif

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I've always liked him. It wasn't till late last season that i felt he'd make such an impact, but now i'm seeing him as our future. Like another couple of members have said he reminds me of P. Kerney. I'm hopeful that JA98 can get the idea of how to take advice and tips from JA55 instead of shrugging them off. Defense also looked very poised out there against Miami and i hope next week we play with that intensity and fire on Carolina.

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Kerney was a guy who pumped the fan's up too. He'd get everyone all goosed up and then get down in his stance and feed off the energy. Kerney was a fan favorite because the way he interacted with the home crowd gave you a sense that if you got crazy and loud you were actually contributing like a 12th man.

So, I'm hesitant to slap the Kerney label on him (I have a couple fo Kerney jerseys collecting dust in the closet). There is no denying the tool set is similar. I certainly enjoyed watching him Sunday. Almost worth a trip back to Atlanta this weekend to see if he can make Jake cry.

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I've always liked him. It wasn't till late last season that i felt he'd make such an impact, but now i'm seeing him as our future. Like another couple of members have said he reminds me of P. Kerney. I'm hopeful that JA98 can get the idea of how to take advice and tips from JA55 instead of shrugging them off. Defense also looked very poised out there against Miami and i hope next week we play with that intensity and fire on Carolina.

Bump that!

Any DE should hang on every word that Abraham says cause he won't be here forever.

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We should shotgun a beer everytime he gets a sack.

All members of the Biermann's Beermen fan club should most definitely shotgun a beer everytime Biermann gets a sack. What a great ritual for his fans! If you have not already done so, I would suggest that you shotgun two beers at your earliest convenient time and place to commemorate Biermann's two official sacks this past Sunday against Miami. While you are at it, you might as well shotgun one more beer, because Biermann should have had three sacks, except for the fact that he got blatently held on one play.

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