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Dan Quinn on Jermaine Grace: 'He fits into what we do'


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This article was published after the game.

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Matt Winkeljohn 11:43 PM EDT

The Atlanta Falcons went to training camp feeling good about their linebackers, and undrafted rookie Jermaine Grace may have given head coach Dan Quinn even more to be happy about.

Grace had eight total tackles Thursday, when the Falcons fell to 0-4 in the preseason with a 13-7 loss to the Jaguars, and he added an interception, a pass breakup and a special-teams tackle.

The 6-foot-1, 223-pound speedster from the University of Miami, whom the Hurricanes dismissed before his senior season in 2016, played inside as if he had a jet pack on his back, covering ground quickly time after time.

"We were excited to see Grace," Quinn said of a player who missed one preseason game because of an injury. "We certainly have some tough decisions at that spot. ... Our linebackers can run; it shows up on tape."

The Falcons are set at two linebacker positions with rising second-year players Deion Jones in the middle and De'Vondre Campbell on the strong side. Rookie Duke Riley from LSU may end up starting on the weakside in part because of a preseason injury to LaRoy Reynolds.

Also, at times pass-rusher Vic Beasley Jr. will line up at outside linebacker when he's not playing defensive end.

Converted safety Kemal Ishmael is a factor at linebacker as well, and he helps on special teams. Grace made his initial mark at Miami as a special-teamer.

"He missed a year, but we were aware of his speed," Quinn said. "He fits into what we do at linebacker."

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/28546/dan-quinn-on-jermaine-grace-he-fits-into-what-we-do

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This is what a NFL scout told the Miami Herald about Grace pre draft:

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• On linebacker Jermaine Grace, who was dismissed from UM last August but participated in Miami Pro Day: “Undersized linebacker and didn’t run well. I doubt he will get into an NFL camp.”

Needless to say, Im glad the Falcons scouts had a different assessment.

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1 hour ago, brewman said:

Given that we are trending towards faster, but smaller, linebackers does it make sense to carry more then we normally would because of the increased likelihood of injury?

There is no proven correlation between size of a player and injury history.

Jessie Tuggle was undersized and was rarely injured enough to play.

Julio is big for a WR, and is routinely injured.

Gronkowski is a big boy, routinely injured.

Warrick Dunn was small, and rarely injured.

Drew Brees is small for an NFL QB, and rarely injured.

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Etc, etc, etc. I get what you are saying, but there has never been a solid correlation.

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23 minutes ago, ki46dinah said:

There is no proven correlation between size of a player and injury history.

Jessie Tuggle was undersized and was rarely injured enough to play.

Julio is big for a WR, and is routinely injured.

Gronkowski is a big boy, routinely injured.

Warrick Dunn was small, and rarely injured.

Drew Brees is small for an NFL QB, and rarely injured.

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Etc, etc, etc. I get what you are saying, but there has never been a solid correlation.

Stop that. You will confuse him.

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