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The Falcons were top ten in total pressures generated by front seven in 2017


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The Falcons were top ten in total pressures generated by front seven in 2017

Another reason a defensive front in flux is worrisome.

By Dave Choate Mar 10, 2018, 10:00am EST
 
 

Here’s something that deserves to be called out often this offseason, because of how remarkable it is: The Falcons were one of the better teams in the NFL at generating pressure last year.

If you’re thinking it has been a very long time since we could say that, you’re right, because the Falcons have traditionally been an average-to-bad pass rushing team. As they’ve slowly upgraded their talent base, those results have improved under Dan Quinn, culminating in a great performance by the front seven in an otherwise frustrating year.

 

Total pressures by each team's front 7 in 2017!

 

In case you don’t want to squint too hard at that chart, the Falcons were seventh in total pressures last year. That’s impressive enough on its own, and it shatters the weird argument that the Falcons weren’t really all that great up front in 2017.

It also underscores how critical this offseason is for the defensive line, however. The Falcons have Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and a hopefully improved Duke Riley at linebacker, which is awesome, and they’ll be able to bring three great players to bear along the line in Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Grady Jarrett. But there are nothing but question marks beyond those guys at the moment—okay, Jack Crawford should be solid—and the Falcons really can’t afford to be complacent. I expect improvement from Takk and Vic as much as the next guy, but that’s not enough on its own.

With the strength of their core and another good offseason, however, the Falcons should be comfortably inside the top ten again in 2018. That plus some offensive improvement will get you a long way, even in a battle-scarred NFC.

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/3/10/17098964/the-falcons-were-top-ten-in-total-pressures-generated-by-front-seven-in-2017

 
 
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As the article states it just underscores how critical this off-season is for the d line and essentially rest of the defense.

Its so sad that just when the Falcons were starting to make progress when it comes to pass rush there’s a real chance they could regress towards the Mike Smith days... which I never thought would happen with Quinn.

A lot can happen but no one should seriously expect rookie(s) to come in and make a serious impact on the defensive line immediately.

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30 minutes ago, theProf said:

"and they’ll be able to bring three great players to bear along the line in Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Grady Jarrett. But there are nothing but question marks beyond those guys at the moment—okay, Jack Crawford should be solid—and the Falcons really can’t afford to be complacent. I expect improvement from Takk and Vic as much as the next guy, but that’s not enough on its own." 

I think Choate should have mentioned Brooks Reed also, at least as another "solid" defensive lineman, who will be returning under a restructured contract.

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32 minutes ago, theProf said:

The Falcons were top ten in total pressures generated by front seven in 2017

Another reason a defensive front in flux is worrisome.

By Dave Choate Mar 10, 2018, 10:00am EST
 
 

Here’s something that deserves to be called out often this offseason, because of how remarkable it is: The Falcons were one of the better teams in the NFL at generating pressure last year.

If you’re thinking it has been a very long time since we could say that, you’re right, because the Falcons have traditionally been an average-to-bad pass rushing team. As they’ve slowly upgraded their talent base, those results have improved under Dan Quinn, culminating in a great performance by the front seven in an otherwise frustrating year.

 

Total pressures by each team's front 7 in 2017!

 

In case you don’t want to squint too hard at that chart, the Falcons were seventh in total pressures last year. That’s impressive enough on its own, and it shatters the weird argument that the Falcons weren’t really all that great up front in 2017.

It also underscores how critical this offseason is for the defensive line, however. The Falcons have Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and a hopefully improved Duke Riley at linebacker, which is awesome, and they’ll be able to bring three great players to bear along the line in Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Grady Jarrett. But there are nothing but question marks beyond those guys at the moment—okay, Jack Crawford should be solid—and the Falcons really can’t afford to be complacent. I expect improvement from Takk and Vic as much as the next guy, but that’s not enough on its own.

With the strength of their core and another good offseason, however, the Falcons should be comfortably inside the top ten again in 2018. That plus some offensive improvement will get you a long way, even in a battle-scarred NFC.

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/3/10/17098964/the-falcons-were-top-ten-in-total-pressures-generated-by-front-seven-in-2017

 
 

7 of the bottom 9 run 3-4 D's... stats off?

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Still have:

Vic, Takk, Grady, Reed, Crawford

Right now, Poe and Clayborn are FAs. Shelby, who played 27 snaps a game, was primarily a run defender and is replaced by Crawford. 

Is Clayborn that difficult to upgrade? Is Upshaw that hard to replace? Shelby? 

The hardest player to replace right now is Poe. The closest I think we can get is Daron Payne if he falls. But if we can upgrade Clayborn if he walks with Bryan and upgrade Upshaw with Derrick Nnadi. 

Poe is the only one that is difficult to replace today. The others are upgradeable and the draft is loaded with guys who can fill those roles. Plus, we have one of the best DL minded coaches in the league. I'm chilling. 

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44 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

Not likely. Probably sign Da’Quan Jones and some more expensive mid tiers

Free agent DT DaQuan Jones is a perfect fit for the Falcons

With the Falcons clearing cap space through cuts and restructures, we take a look at a potential mid-level free agent option DT in the Titans’ DaQuan Jones and his fit in Atlanta’s defense.

By Kevin Knight@FalcoholicKevin Mar 9, 2018, 12:04pm EST
 

With the Falcons making a flurry of moves over the past week—including some cuts and restructuring the contracts of players like Andy Levitre and Brooks Reed—the anticipation of what the team plans to do in free agency is heating up. We saw the team miss out on a potential trade for Michael Bennett, but the Falcons clearly have some sort of plan in mind with the start of legal tampering only days away.

There has been plenty of speculation about who Atlanta may be targeting, with names like Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Vinny Curry being thrown around as options on the defensive line. Others think the Falcons will target the offensive side of the ball, with guards like Justin Pugh and Andrew Norwell and tight ends like Trey Burton and Austin Seferian-Jenkins commonly mentioned.

While the team may very well be interested in those players, I have another player in mind for them. DT DaQuan Jones looks like an ideal fit for the Falcons as an affordable, mid-level free agent. Jones spent the last four seasons in Tennessee after being drafted in the fourth round by the Titans, and has started every year from 2015-2017. Below, I talk about some of the reasons why Jones is such a good fit for Atlanta’s defense and cap situation.


Jones offers position versatility and a well-rounded skillset

The 6’4, 322 lb DaQuan Jones has a lot of desirable traits for a team like the Falcons. He’s played a variety of roles for the Titans, including NT and DE in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense. The Titans primarily used Jones as a run-stuffer, where he was quite effective—he’s had 102 tackles through three seasons as a starter. However, Jones began to show flashes of pass rush potential this season, piling up 3.5 sacks from the interior in only 12 games.

His game really evolved in 2017, putting his name out there as a potentially underrated and versatile DT option. In Atlanta, Jones could play both the 1T and the 3T—taking on a very similar role to Dontari Poe in the Falcons’ defense. He’s not the ridiculous athlete that Poe is, but he can do many of the same things and provides much of the position flexibility that Quinn covets from his defensive linemen. Jones would greatly bolster the Falcons’ run defense and would provide serviceable pass rush ability as well.

The price will be reasonable

Jones has been flying under the radar in the NFL in large part because of how the Titans elected to use him. He’s done the “dirty work” on the defensive line for much of his career, playing at 1T and in a “Tyson Jackson” DE role with a focus on stuffing the run and taking up space in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense. In 2017, we saw flashes of his potential as more than just a space-eating defensive tackle, but he doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers to demand a massive deal.

DaQuan Jones should be available for a reasonable price, somewhere in the $5-6M/year range. He’s only 26 (will be 27 by the end of the 2018 season), which means Atlanta could sign him to something like a 4-year, $22M deal and secure his services until his age 30 season. That’s a very affordable number for a young, versatile DT who is just now entering his prime. Jones could provide much of the production that Dontari Poe did for ~$3-4M/year less. That savings would be worth it to a cap-tight team like Atlanta.


What do you think about the possibility of the Falcons signing DaQuan Jones? What sort of contract would you offer him in free agency? Who are some other potential options you’d consider on the defensive line?

 

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2 minutes ago, theProf said:

Free agent DT DaQuan Jones is a perfect fit for the Falcons

With the Falcons clearing cap space through cuts and restructures, we take a look at a potential mid-level free agent option DT in the Titans’ DaQuan Jones and his fit in Atlanta’s defense.

By Kevin Knight@FalcoholicKevin Mar 9, 2018, 12:04pm EST
 

With the Falcons making a flurry of moves over the past week—including some cuts and restructuring the contracts of players like Andy Levitre and Brooks Reed—the anticipation of what the team plans to do in free agency is heating up. We saw the team miss out on a potential trade for Michael Bennett, but the Falcons clearly have some sort of plan in mind with the start of legal tampering only days away.

There has been plenty of speculation about who Atlanta may be targeting, with names like Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Vinny Curry being thrown around as options on the defensive line. Others think the Falcons will target the offensive side of the ball, with guards like Justin Pugh and Andrew Norwell and tight ends like Trey Burton and Austin Seferian-Jenkins commonly mentioned.

While the team may very well be interested in those players, I have another player in mind for them. DT DaQuan Jones looks like an ideal fit for the Falcons as an affordable, mid-level free agent. Jones spent the last four seasons in Tennessee after being drafted in the fourth round by the Titans, and has started every year from 2015-2017. Below, I talk about some of the reasons why Jones is such a good fit for Atlanta’s defense and cap situation.


Jones offers position versatility and a well-rounded skillset

The 6’4, 322 lb DaQuan Jones has a lot of desirable traits for a team like the Falcons. He’s played a variety of roles for the Titans, including NT and DE in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense. The Titans primarily used Jones as a run-stuffer, where he was quite effective—he’s had 102 tackles through three seasons as a starter. However, Jones began to show flashes of pass rush potential this season, piling up 3.5 sacks from the interior in only 12 games.

His game really evolved in 2017, putting his name out there as a potentially underrated and versatile DT option. In Atlanta, Jones could play both the 1T and the 3T—taking on a very similar role to Dontari Poe in the Falcons’ defense. He’s not the ridiculous athlete that Poe is, but he can do many of the same things and provides much of the position flexibility that Quinn covets from his defensive linemen. Jones would greatly bolster the Falcons’ run defense and would provide serviceable pass rush ability as well.

The price will be reasonable

Jones has been flying under the radar in the NFL in large part because of how the Titans elected to use him. He’s done the “dirty work” on the defensive line for much of his career, playing at 1T and in a “Tyson Jackson” DE role with a focus on stuffing the run and taking up space in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense. In 2017, we saw flashes of his potential as more than just a space-eating defensive tackle, but he doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers to demand a massive deal.

DaQuan Jones should be available for a reasonable price, somewhere in the $5-6M/year range. He’s only 26 (will be 27 by the end of the 2018 season), which means Atlanta could sign him to something like a 4-year, $22M deal and secure his services until his age 30 season. That’s a very affordable number for a young, versatile DT who is just now entering his prime. Jones could provide much of the production that Dontari Poe did for ~$3-4M/year less. That savings would be worth it to a cap-tight team like Atlanta.


What do you think about the possibility of the Falcons signing DaQuan Jones? What sort of contract would you offer him in free agency? Who are some other potential options you’d consider on the defensive line?

 

I know who he is. I'm not thrilled.

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#7 against the pass is pretty dang good!  But we're messing with that, by letting guys walk, or go to FA.  We must be (and I hope we are) looking at upgrading these positions in the Draft or Free Agency, otherwise, we may not enjoy this success again this year.   

But on the flip-side, how did we do against the run???  I admit I haven't researched it, but I would be curious to know where we ranked in that category, too.  Just guessing, I'd say we were middlin' at best, since I remember a few RBs having some big games against us...


 
 

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19 minutes ago, FalconJim said:


#7 against the pass is pretty dang good!  But we're messing with that, by letting guys walk, or go to FA.  We must be (and I hope we are) looking at upgrading these positions in the Draft or Free Agency, otherwise, we may not enjoy this success again this year.   

But on the flip-side, how did we do against the run???  I admit I haven't researched it, but I would be curious to know where we ranked in that category, too.  Just guessing, I'd say we were middlin' at best, since I remember a few RBs having some big games against us...


 
 

Surprisingly the Falcons were also in the top ten against the run, averaging 104.2 rushing yards allowed per game, which was # 9 in the NFL.

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/opponent-rushing-yards-per-game

 

The Falcons ranked #12 against the pass, allowing an average of 214.3 passing yards per game.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=TEAM_PASSING&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2017&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=PASSING_NET_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1

 

 

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16 minutes ago, theProf said:

Surprisingly the Falcons were also in the top ten against the run, averaging 104.2 rushing yards allowed per game, which was # 9 in the NFL.

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/opponent-rushing-yards-per-game

 

The Falcons ranked #12 against the pass, allowing an average of 214.3 passing yards per game.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=TEAM_PASSING&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2017&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=PASSING_NET_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1

 

 


Yes, that is a pleasant surprise!  Thanks for the information., Prof. 
Hopefully, we can continue to build on that --- and if anyone can do it, Dan Quinn can!!! 
I really liked what Poe said about Quinn sitting in on the defensive line meetings and really gettin' into it"...

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3 hours ago, theProf said:

The Falcons were top ten in total pressures generated by front seven in 2017

Another reason a defensive front in flux is worrisome.

By Dave Choate Mar 10, 2018, 10:00am EST
 
 

Here’s something that deserves to be called out often this offseason, because of how remarkable it is: The Falcons were one of the better teams in the NFL at generating pressure last year.

If you’re thinking it has been a very long time since we could say that, you’re right, because the Falcons have traditionally been an average-to-bad pass rushing team. As they’ve slowly upgraded their talent base, those results have improved under Dan Quinn, culminating in a great performance by the front seven in an otherwise frustrating year.

 

Total pressures by each team's front 7 in 2017!

 

In case you don’t want to squint too hard at that chart, the Falcons were seventh in total pressures last year. That’s impressive enough on its own, and it shatters the weird argument that the Falcons weren’t really all that great up front in 2017.

It also underscores how critical this offseason is for the defensive line, however. The Falcons have Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and a hopefully improved Duke Riley at linebacker, which is awesome, and they’ll be able to bring three great players to bear along the line in Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Grady Jarrett. But there are nothing but question marks beyond those guys at the moment—okay, Jack Crawford should be solid—and the Falcons really can’t afford to be complacent. I expect improvement from Takk and Vic as much as the next guy, but that’s not enough on its own.

With the strength of their core and another good offseason, however, the Falcons should be comfortably inside the top ten again in 2018. That plus some offensive improvement will get you a long way, even in a battle-scarred NFC.

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/3/10/17098964/the-falcons-were-top-ten-in-total-pressures-generated-by-front-seven-in-2017

 
 

And with half of them gone now? Hitting submit on my season tickets in '17 was easy, now not so much. 

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2 hours ago, vel said:

Still have:

Vic, Takk, Grady, Reed, Crawford

Right now, Poe and Clayborn are FAs. Shelby, who played 27 snaps a game, was primarily a run defender and is replaced by Crawford. 

Is Clayborn that difficult to upgrade? Is Upshaw that hard to replace? Shelby? 

The hardest player to replace right now is Poe. The closest I think we can get is Daron Payne if he falls. But if we can upgrade Clayborn if he walks with Bryan and upgrade Upshaw with Derrick Nnadi. 

Poe is the only one that is difficult to replace today. The others are upgradeable and the draft is loaded with guys who can fill those roles. Plus, we have one of the best DL minded coaches in the league. I'm chilling. 

I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about the Bennet fallout.

They were saying of available defensive linemen and number of pressures...

Bennet was number one.  # 2 was Claiborne and I think #3 was Poe and there was a significant drop in productivity between Bennet and Claiborne.  There was an even more significant drop after Poe.

So yes. Apparently upgrading from Claiborne is going to be difficult with the guys available in FA.

Remember good pass rushers usually don’t hit FA and when they do they’re expensive.

Again it’s also very unlikely that a rookie is going to come in and provide a meaningful impact in his first year.

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32 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about the Bennet fallout.

They were saying of available defensive linemen and number of pressures...

Bennet was number one.  # 2 was Claiborne and I think #3 was Poe and there was a significant drop in productivity between Bennet and Claiborne.  There was an even more significant drop after Poe.

So yes. Apparently upgrading from Claiborne is going to be difficult with the guys available in FA.

Remember good pass rushers usually don’t hit FA and when they do they’re expensive.

Again it’s also very unlikely that a rookie is going to come in and provide a meaningful impact in his first year.

The thing about Clayborn is a lot of his production came in that Cowboys game. Again, not to trivialize him, but the other 15 games, he was about average. Which isn't bad. What's being ignored is Clayborn only played 555 snaps on the season. That's roughly half the snaps the defense played. Takk is going to have an expanded role and Vic is back to full time DE. Add Crawford back in the mix as another DT/DE and Clayborn's role can be replaced by somebody. He may be that somebody but it's not like Poe, where we have nobody and there is nobody in FA that can replace that. 

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29 minutes ago, 7979 said:

 Where was that pressure the second half of the Eagles game?  Foles did laundry back there he had so much time.  Agree the arrow is pointing up but there is much work to be done.

That’s where I’m at. I’m glad the pass rush improved but we need one that can show up more consistently. There were times last season when the pass rush was nonexistent. 

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So, the idea is Takk replaces AC. Vic goes back to DE "full time" while Reed eats runs snaps when necessary. Both Vic & Takk play both sides as desired. Bennett would've been a luxury but it's obvious Atlanta didn't want to invest a 4th.

Translation:

You need to replace what Takk's role did SNAPS wise last year as he will take over the snaps AC had. The only caveat is Shelby and Upshaw were used both at end against the run and inside in pass rush packages. Crawford replaces one of those.

We do need DT bodies and a starter to complement/tag team with Jarrett for years.

Cover your run D inside while securing a 3rd committed pass rusher at DE. The other point is Upshaw/Shelby/Reed getting more run D looks than Vic last year for that stretch of Vic playing LB. That means as Takk took more snaps and they apparently were projecting Takk replacing Clayborn it's more of a role replacement which is why I say "3rd DE" but we can't ignore Reed's value staying restructured.

I wouldn't mind Upshaw back for a decent price if his production drop was from the ankle/knee injury lingering last season. 

So, the issues are run stopper depth at DT (see Rubin or what Hageman was supposed to be) and a guy that can take bulk of what Poe took in snaps. 2 DTs are coming here in one way or another at least. One starting caliber and the other solid vs the run at minimum.

All of that said, if DT is taken care of then I could see Atlanta bring in a 4th DE as a rusher. Crawford can play run downs at least. Slide inside as someone else said replacing Shelby's role. Hageman was "replaced" by Rubin and he/Poe are FAs so the top 3 DT role has 2 missing and arguably a 4th true DE is missing conversely.

No wonder why Atlanta wasn't going to pay a 4th for 32yo Bennett. We need the pick. Secure some moves in FA and nail this draft we can compete no doubt.

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