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Falcons Free Agency 2015: How Does Adrian Clayborn Return To Form?


MayorWest13
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I put two different articles from Falcoholic in this thread.

Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn on transition to Atlanta

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2015/3/19/8257603/falcons-de-adrian-clayborn-on-transition-to-atlanta

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn spoke to the Atlanta media this week via conference call, and the overall tone he conveyed was one of excitement to be in Atlanta and working with Dan Quinn and the staff he has assembled. When asked if the idea of playing under Quinn, who's known for developing defensive talent, had any influence on his decision to become a Falcon, Clayborn said it definitely had a role in his decision.

He's gotten firsthand intel about Quinn's reputation as a coach from former teammateMichael Bennett. "I asked him about Quinn as a coach, so he had positive things to say."

Clayborn is also familiar with Bryan Cox and Raheem Morris. Clayborn was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft when Morris was the head coach, and Cox was a defensive coach in Tampa in 2012 and 2013. "It's exciting to have familiar faces," Clayborn said, and particularly Morris. "Coach Morris, because he was the first one to believe in me -- he's the one who drafted me."

Similarly, Clayborn had a good experience working with Cox in Tampa. "It was great," Clayborn said. "He's a good d-line coach and he knows what he's doing, and he knows offensive schemes and he's out there trying to work against it, so he's a good coach."

As a former first round pick, and considering what he's been able to do on the field when healthy, Clayborn's talent is a welcome addition to a defense that desperately needs it. Clayborn is ready to get back on the field. "I just want to come in and help the Falconsget back to playing good defense," Clayborn said. "I've just been out for a year, and last year was supposed to be my best year of my career, so I'm just looking to get back on track, and I'm very hungry to get back at it."

In terms of the challenge of helping to improve a Falcons defense that was near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories last season, Clayborn says that gelling together as a unit as quickly as possible will be key. "I think when you play hard and just get after the quarterback you help the offense, and we'll be fine," Clayborn said. "Because we are good players. It just takes the right gel and takes the right coaching. We'll be great."

At this point, Clayborn says we'll need to wait and see what the coaches' vision for him in this new defensive scheme will be, but it seems like he expects a varied role.. "I'm not sure exactly yet how they're going to use me, because they're going to use me in a couple different places," Clayborn said, "but just from watching the film a lot of the guys move around a lot. So I'm looking forward to playing a couple different positions and just getting after the quarterback."

Rushing the passer obviously is the primary objective, and Clayborn said the key to that is guys having good chemistry. "You look at all the great d-lines, there's guys playing together and knowing what each other's doing," Clayborn said, "and all working as a group."

Clayborn has signed a one-year deal with the Falcons, and he's hoping that turns into something more long term. He'll do what he can to make that happen. "I'm just looking to come in here and play as hard as I can, and the rest will work itself out."

Falcons free agency 2015: How does Adrian Clayborn return to form?

http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2015/3/23/8275051/falcons-free-agency-2015-how-does-adrian-clayborn-return-to-form

The Falcons signed Adrian Clayborn to a team-friendly, prove it deal two weeks ago. By at least one account, it's the most value-oriented (i.e., the most bang for your buck) defensive lineman signing since free agency began. The expectation is that Clayborn can replicate some version his rookie self, a year when he turned in a +13.6 pass rush rating.

The talented Jeanna Thomas did an excellent, must-read piece about Clayborn late last week. If you haven't read it yet, stop reading this and go read it. Immediately. Then come back, because I'm about to make some solid points.

So how does Clayborn regain his form? Well, to be frank, it may just happen organically. Clayborn has struggled to stay healthy since his impressive rookie season. He's missed 28 games since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took him in the first round of the 2011 draft. He's also reuniting with Raheem Morris, who drafted him during his time as head coach of the Buccaneers. Combine improved health with Morris' influence and he may revert to his old self in record time.

Another possibility is money. I hate to say it, but money talks. Clayborn will earn $1 million in base salary this season. He stands to earn another $1.25 million if he makes the 53 man roster and racks up an undisclosed number of sacks. I'm not intimately familiar with Clayborn's finances, but if I had to guess, he wants that incentive money. That said, if an extra $1.25 million was all it took to reignite a player's career, there'd be a lot less retirement paperwork on file with the NFLPA. But there's more to it in Clayborn's case. He's trying to earn a long-term deal, and 2015 will be a year-long tryout.

There's nobody on this Earth that wants Clayborn to succeed more than Clayborn himself. It couldn't have felt good when the Buccaneers declined his fifth-year option. To be frank, he may never get back to where he was. But that shouldn't be his focus anyway. He only needs to stay healthy, absorb Quinn's scheme, and execute. The rest should take of itself.

What do you think? Is there an ideal approach or does this all come down to Clayborn staying healthy? Discuss!

Edited by MayorWest13
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The injuries don't concern me. There's a difference between "has been injured" and "injury prone." Two injuries with no relation between the two doesnt establish one as injury prone.

The thing that "concerns" me is the lost reps. But I've always liked the potential Clayborn has shown and I think he's in a situation where he'll receive plus coaching and have an opportunity to shine.

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The injuries don't concern me. There's a difference between "has been injured" and "injury prone." Two injuries with no relation between the two doesnt establish one as injury prone.

The thing that "concerns" me is the lost reps. But I've always liked the potential Clayborn has shown and I think he's in a situation where he'll receive plus coaching and have an opportunity to shine.

This, this, a thousand times this. Both of his injuries were totally unrelated and super unfortunate. He has no injury history outside of those, not even lingering injuries, and his two healthy seasons were ones where he played both very well and in all 16 games. 2013 he was apparently 3rd in TFLs as a DE and 1st in run stuffs, and he was really good in 2011 too (though I don't know too much about his stats).

Clayborn was a good pickup. Warmed up to Schofield pretty fast as good depth, Durant was a fantastic get, and Reed is...at least very passable, and a lot of people think he has potential. Good pickups on defense overall. Just nothing flashy.

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This, this, a thousand times this. Both of his injuries were totally unrelated and super unfortunate. He has no injury history outside of those, not even lingering injuries, and his two healthy seasons were ones where he played both very well and in all 16 games. 2013 he was apparently 3rd in TFLs as a DE and 1st in run stuffs, and he was really good in 2011 too (though I don't know too much about his stats).

Clayborn was a good pickup. Warmed up to Schofield pretty fast as good depth, Durant was a fantastic get, and Reed is...at least very passable, and a lot of people think he has potential. Good pickups on defense overall. Just nothing flashy.

He was a much better pass rusher his rookie season from what I've read. Let's hope he can return to form this season. It'll help if we nail that No. 8 overall pick and have a quality pass rusher on the other side of the field.

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