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Falcons, Vic Beasley still struggling to rush the passer

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  • By Kevin Patra
  • Around the NFL writer
  • Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 08:54 a.m.
  • Updated: Aug. 26, 2016 at 04:55 p.m.
 
 
 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000690508/article/falcons-vic-beasley-still-struggling-to-rush-the-passer

 

 

Dan Quinn's defense was greater than the sum of its parts in 2015. After the Atlanta Falcons added speed at linebacker and safety, the unit is poised improve in Quinn's second season.

It appears, however, that getting pressure on the quarterback will continue to be a struggle for Atlanta.

The Falcons compiled a league-worst 19 sacks last season -- that's just 1.5 sacks more than J.J. Watt earned by himself.

Through three preseason games in 2016, the pass rush remains a debilitating problem. In Thursday night's preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Falcons earned zero sacks -- a sad sum in what is supposed to be a "dress rehearsal" game -- and barely pressured the quarterback.

The lack of pressure allowed Miami to go 7 for 14 on third down, including 5 for 9 on third downs in the first half, when the starters played.

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"As far as the third down goes, finishing at 50 percent, not good enough for what we're trying to become," Quinn said, via ESPN.com.

Foremost on the concern list is 2015 first-round pick Vic Beasley.

The team's most talented pass rusher had just four sacks last season and hasn't had a quarterback takedown in two preseason appearances. On Thursday night, Beasley got stonewalled time after time, failing to even record a QB hit in 29 snaps.

"I don't know man, I've just got to keep working," Beasley said. "I'm not able to get home like I want to. I've got to keep a positive mindset and keep working."

Beasley struggles to turn speed into power off the edge and gets eaten alive by blockers. He's taken pointers from newly signed veteran Dwight Freeney, but even those lessons have come up short. Beasley tried to use Freeney's patented spin move at one point Thursday. It was summarily shut down.

"Nah, it ain't working right now," Beasley said. "I have to go to the film room, go to the practice film, and try to critique something. It is (frustrating) at times. I just know I have to keep working."

Last year's No. 8 overall pick has been dealing with a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last week's game. Thursday night it appeared he was favoring the shoulder and the injury seems to be affecting his play. Still, Beasley wouldn't use it as a crutch.

"I know what's expected of me, but it's not a sense of pressure," Beasley said. "It's just what's expected of me. I just have to keep attacking each day."

An up-tempo pace exacerbates the Falcons' pass rush problems, which were exposed by Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins. Expect teams to take advantage early in the season with a fast pace out of the gate.

If Atlanta can't find a way to disrupt the quarterback, it could be a long year for the back end of the defense.

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Man I just hope this preseason is n experiment that clearly will not work...and Quinn is smart enough to 

A) put Beasley in space at Sam( he is not an NFL DE)

B.) put Shelby at LDE where he belongs( he is not an NFL DT)

C) and keep Campbell and Jones on the field as MUCH AS POSSIBLE( they ARE NFL LBs) 

Then I believe everything else will work out fine barring injuries, Clayborn, Shelby, Freeney, Reed, Capi...should produce more hits/sacks then last year IMO

 

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36 minutes ago, TheeTKOBeatz said:

Man I just hope this preseason is n experiment that clearly will not work...and Quinn is smart enough to 

A) put Beasley in space at Sam( he is not an NFL DE)

B.) put Shelby at LDE where he belongs( he is not an NFL DT)

C) and keep Campbell and Jones on the field as MUCH AS POSSIBLE( they ARE NFL LBs) 

Then I believe everything else will work out fine barring injuries, Clayborn, Shelby, Freeney, Reed, Capi...should produce more hits/sacks then last year IMO

 

I swear Capi might have the best get off on the DLine outside of Beasly. He turns his speed into power a little better though 

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They need to play Beasley deep into the 4th preseason game so he can get a couple of sacks and boost his confidence.

On another note I remember when the Falcons would run a no-huddle/hurry up offense when they needed to come back at the end of games.  Now they run a no score offense.

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I'm lot worried about the pass rush yet. Last night the Dolphins were in hurry up mode and if any of you remember hurry up was how we slowed other teams pass rush. Doesn't feel good when somebody does it to us huh?? Don't worry about the pass rush yet. We haven't even been rushing at full strength yet. 

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

They need to play Beasley deep into the 4th preseason game so he can get a couple of sacks and boost his confidence.

On another note I remember when the Falcons would run a no-huddle/hurry up offense when they needed to come back at the end of games.  Now they run a no score offense.

I'll never understand why they don't use the no-huddle anymore.  Seemed like Matt Ryan was adept at running it and good things would happen when they did.  

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3 minutes ago, Mescalito said:

I'll never understand why they don't use the no-huddle anymore.  Seemed like Matt Ryan was adept at running it and good things would happen when they did.  

Yeah if we ran no huddle shanny would lose control of his 3rd down draw plays that dont work

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3 minutes ago, Mescalito said:

I'll never understand why they don't use the no-huddle anymore.  Seemed like Matt Ryan was adept at running it and good things would happen when they did.  

In the whole Shanahan vs Ryan debate that's been the thing that stands out to me.

Ryan showed he excelled in the no huddle and they basically took it away from him.  

**** Vermeil once said 'Players make the system.  Not the other way around.'  Great coaches like Bellicheck mold their system around the strength of their players.  

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17 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

I'm lot worried about the pass rush yet. Last night the Dolphins were in hurry up mode and if any of you remember hurry up was how we slowed other teams pass rush. Doesn't feel good when somebody does it to us huh?? Don't worry about the pass rush yet. We haven't even been rushing at full strength yet. 

What a novel idea.  Use the no huddle/hurry up to slow down the pass rush.  Too bad we don't have a QB that can run it. :(

Its such a simple/basic concept you really have to wonder why Shanahan refuses to have it in his offense.

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