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Falcons insist they won't drop ball on Vic Beasley's pass-rush speciality


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Falcons insist they won't drop ball on Vic Beasley's pass-rush speciality

3:20 PM ET

Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich snickered at the notion that Vic Beasley Jr. would be deprived of his pass-rushing specialty while making the transition from rush end to strongside linebacker.

"The emphasis with Vic will still be pass rush," Ulbrich said. "The emphasis will still be his nickel end stuff, will still be playing Sam as a blitzer. The majority of his meeting time will be devoted to that. The majority of his individual work pre-practice will be devoted to that. The majority of his practice reps will be devoted to that. And on Sundays, the majority of his reps will be devoted to that.

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

The Falcons are emphasizing working on the art of the pass rush with Vic Beasley in practice. AP Photo/David Goldman

Beasley's role entering the 2016 season has been one of the primary topics of discussion this offseason. True, the Falcons do ask their strongside linebacker to drop into coverage in certain situations. However, the coaches insist their primary focus with Beasley is making sure he gets after the passer. That's why they drafted him eighth overall a year ago.

"Any time we pressured with base last season, we always brought the Sam," said Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith. "So, that's part of the package. We can run from an over front and bring him off the open-side edge. We can get in an under front and bring him off the tight end side.

"Really, it's the same situation that we did with Von Miller when we were [in Denver]. Beasley is probably better going forward than he is going backward. But also what it does, when you're in the under front, they might turn the protection, then he comes on a blitz and he's caught one on one against a back. We like that matchup.''

Smith was far from displeased with Beasley's rookie year showing. Beasley, who admitted playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, finished the season with a pedestrian four sacks after announcing a post-draft goal of double digits. He had five quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and one interception.

"First of all, he was a rookie, and everyone was expecting him to have a million [sacks]," Smith said. "If you go back and really look at the rest of those top first-round draft picks, I think he had as much [production] as any of them. I'm talking about [Shane] Ray from the Broncos. You're talking about the kid [Bud Dupree] who went to Pittsburgh. I could be wrong, but I think I'm right.

"Now what happen was, Vic played half of the downs for us. Imagine if he plays every down for us but also being smart enough that he has enough rest for third down. That's where Wheeler comes. ... But I like the versatility that playing Sam does for Vic. Also I like that it gets him on the field more. It makes him have to focus and learn a different position instead of saying, 'OK, I got it. I learned that a year ago.' I like the situation for him."

During individual drills in practice, Beasley and the strongside linebackers are working with Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox.

"It's all pass-rush technique, so we devote probably 80 percent of our individual drills to rushing the passer," Smith said. "Then the other 20 percent is how to handle the run and how to set the vertical edge. Where Vic gets his Sam work is after practice."

One of the aspects emphasized in those individual drills is improving Beasley's countermoves. Beasley himself said he's watched film of the Broncos' Miller to refine his technique.

"We're working on his rush moves in terms of really getting better with the use of his hands," Smith said. "This year, we've been working hard with it in critiquing every day in the meetings every one of his reps, making sure he sees it the same way we see it. And I think it's going to be helpful. I really do. I'm really excited about it.''

 

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/204971/falcons-insist-they-wont-drop-ball-on-vic-beasleys-pass-rush-speciality

Edited by Falcon918
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1 minute ago, Falcon918 said:

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Some of us have been saying this since this news broke.

Some other buffoons have been claiming we're "moving" Beasley to SAM because he is too small to play DE and we were Troffed.

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5 minutes ago, Falcon918 said:

"Any time we pressured with base last season, we always brought the Sam," said Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith. "So, that's part of the package. We can run from an over front and bring him off the open-side edge. We can get in an under front and bring him off the tight end side.

"Really, it's the same situation that we did with Von Miller when we were [in Denver]. Beasley is probably better going forward than he is going backward. But also what it does, when you're in the under front, they might turn the protection, then he comes on a blitz and he's caught one on one against a back. We like that matchup.''

This is awesome too -- I love that these coaches have a very specific plan for how they are going to use players.  Been saying it since Quinn got here -- the clarity of their focus is just a breath of fresh air.

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Just now, JDaveG said:

Some of us have been saying this since this news broke.

Some other buffoons have been claiming we're "moving" Beasley to SAM because he is too small to play DE and we were Troffed.

True and now I hope this clears things up for the people that actually thought Quinn would take its best pass rusher away from getting after the QB. Its the poor research of the so called pundits that made me grind my teeth, saying it was bad move because he wouldnt be able to rush the passer as much. They want Vic on the field more plus he will be in very favorable matchups. Vic will be licking his chops when he sees a TE sitting in front of him.....lol

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4 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Some of us have been saying this since this news broke.

Some other buffoons have been claiming we're "moving" Beasley to SAM because he is too small to play DE and we were Troffed.

Absolutely. I don't see what had been so hard to understand about this? It keeps one of your best athletes on the field and increases the chances of something good happening. Again, he can RUSH from the SAM and rush from his normal nickel spot. This board is just stuck on the notion it was a demotion. Lol. If a demotion puts you on the field MORE then what does a PROmotion look like?? Lol

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"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Weird that there was no specific mention of Brooks Reed or Upshaw at the SAM position.

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

Absolutely. I don't see what had been so hard to understand about this? It keeps one of your best athletes on the field and increases the chances of something good happening. Again, he can RUSH from the SAM and rush from his normal nickel spot. This board is just stuck on the notion it was a demotion. Lol. If a demotion puts you on the field MORE then what does a PROmotion look like?? Lol

They can also drop the LEO, so it isn't like he can have zero drop ability and make it in this defense (or, really, any defense).  I like the move because it indicates that they will be able to operate it more like a traditional 3-4 in terms of disguising the rush.

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Just now, theProf said:

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Weird that there was no specific mention of Brooks Reed or Upshaw at the SAM position.

They've been talking about working those guys out at LEO.

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Just now, theProf said:

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Weird that there was no specific mention of Brooks Reed or Upshaw at the SAM position.

Honestly I think Reed will be playing LEO and Upshaw will be setting the edge and DE. Just my opinion but this is what it sounds like to me.

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3 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

They can also drop the LEO, so it isn't like he can have zero drop ability and make it in this defense (or, really, any defense).  I like the move because it indicates that they will be able to operate it more like a traditional 3-4 in terms of disguising the rush.

Yep. I saw reed rushing a lot last season but he just wasn't getting there due to injury. With Beasley there you get that wicked first step and a young rusher on the rise. Not only that he will move all over the field. LEO, nickel DE, drop back etc...It will be an issue not knowing where or what he's doing. 

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Can you imagine Vic going against a TE with his speed. It would be hard to release a TE and hope the tackle has the quickness to kickout vs Vic's first step quickness. This is a great move. If you guys still dont think Quinn has a plan for our pass rush then you are not paying attention. I never thought it was a demotion because it didnt make since. Our best pass rusher not rushing the passer. C'mon man!

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The other thing that ought to be telling for everyone -- in addition to the standard Board trolls and buffoons, all the sports talk radio guys were talking about "we drafted a guy to be our pass rusher, and now we're going to have him dropping in coverage all the time."  

So if you want to find the intersection of stupidity and sensationalist dollars, correlate **** Board trolls and talk radio hosts talk about.

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This article seems like it was written for the trolls and the pundits that dont have a clue what they are talking about. I personally didnt think for one second Vic would not be rushing the passer. Have you seen his first step. When he puts it together he is going to be a monster.

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38 minutes ago, theProf said:

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Weird that there was no specific mention of Brooks Reed or Upshaw at the SAM position.

Personally, I find it weirder that he specifically mentioned McLennan, and this isn't the first time either.

I might have to got back and watch more tape on him.

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5 minutes ago, hjerry said:

Personally, I find it weirder that he specifically mentioned McLennan, and this isn't the first time either.

I might have to got back and watch more tape on him.

You got there before me. This is personally as exciting for me as anything else in the article.

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3 hours ago, theProf said:

"The Sam stuff, it's just another way to get one of our best athletes on the grass. It's not going to be anything that's going to take away from anything. And the beauty of it is, he's going to have a guy like Philip Wheeler or Tyler Starr or Ivan [McLennan] or others guys who are playing that Sam position that will be working with him. So, 'Vic, you're tired? OK, get your break here.' But on third down, that sucker's going to be on the grass."

Weird that there was no specific mention of Brooks Reed or Upshaw at the SAM position.

because we are improving our LB speed.... I think upshaw will play DE and DT (on some rush downs) and if Beasley is at SLB Reed will be the LEO.

 

But remember.. We are only talking about 35% of the snaps

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