Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Kung Fu Kenny

Falcons LB coach Jeff Ulbrich says we've seen 'tip of the iceberg' from De'Vondre Campbell

32 posts in this topic

Quote

Falcons LB coach Jeff Ulbrich says we've seen 'tip of the iceberg' from De'Vondre Campbell

Will McFadden AtlantaFalcons.com

In whichever way the Falcons choose to employ Campbell, he has demonstrated the skills to succeed in that role.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – De’Vondre Campbell may not yet receive the same level of national recognition as fellow 2016 draft class members Deion Jonesicon-article-link.gif and Keanu Nealicon-article-link.gif , but the Falcons’ third-year linebacker has proven himself an important part of an ascending defense.

Campbell transitioned to the SAM linebacker position last offseason, but injuries on the defense forced him to rotate back to his previous WILL linebacker spot. Although he was moved around last season, Campbell is back at the SAM, where his size and speed should allow him to be a threat as a pass rusher and when dropped into coverage.

“I saw the tip of the iceberg regarding him as a rusher,” Falcons linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich said of Campbell. “Pass rush I think takes an extreme amount of technique and experience to become good at it. I think you saw little glimpses of him being able to affect the passer in that way. You also saw a guy who became, I think, extremely good at covering tight ends. I think for the most part he would eliminate tight ends from games. Then getting up to the line of scrimmage, you saw a guy with the ability to set edges because he’s got crazy length.”

At 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, Campbell has the natural length to become a threat off the edge. Campbell recorded two sacks last year at the SAM position, highlighting the potential he has in that aspect of the game with greater repetition.

Perhaps his greatest skill, however, is matching up in coverage against opposing tight ends. According to Pro Football Focus, Campbell was the 14th-best linebacker in coverage last season, earning a coverage grade of 80.7. Campbell performed well against some of the top tight ends in the league, stifling players like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen.

Campbell’s strength in coverage will allow the Falcons to place a greater emphasis on his role as a pass-rusher this summer, something head coach Dan Quinn noted after the second day of organized team activities.

“When we moved him last year from SAM back to WILL linebacker, it’s such an important aspect of his game – we know he can rush off the edge,” Quinn said. “The fact that he guards tight ends and is really good at that, during this time, not only will we work some of the tight end stuff but he’ll definitely work on the pass-rush element, too.”

Entering the 2016 draft, Campbell’s NFL.com draft profile described him as a player with great athleticism but one who may take time to develop.

“Campbell has an Academic All-­Big Ten under his belt, but the classroom smarts don’t always translate into on-­field instincts for the linebacker,” NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein wrote. “While Campbell has terrific size and NFL-­caliber athleticism, his inability to consistently perform his assignments as a second level linebacker could make him a project.”

After his second season, it’s been Campbell’s athletic and intellectual versatility that has impressed the Falcons the most. Atlanta always looks to put a player in position to maximize his strengths, and Campbell has plenty of them.

In whichever way the Falcons choose to employ Campbell, he has demonstrated the skills to succeed in that role. Whether it’s in coverage against a top-flight tight end, coming off the edge as a pass rusher or utilizing his length to impede a running back’s path, Campbell can perform a variety of assignments and add new dimensions to the Falcons’ defense.

“What was really cool about the whole thing was when Duke went down, and Vic played some SAM and De’Vondre went to WILL, De’Vondre didn’t blink an eye,” Ulbrich said. “So he went from SAM to WILL, from nickel SAM to nickel WILL; he showed an extreme amount of versatility. And here’s a guy who supposedly wasn’t instinctual and wasn’t bright and this and that. He was one of the brightest guys on our entire defense this year.”

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Falcons' Jeff Ulbrich: Linebackers have shown 'just a glimpse of what they can be'

Will McFadden AtlantaFalcons.com

Given the youth at the position, there’s reason to believe we’ve yet to see the best that the Falcons’ linebackers have to offer.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons’ defense showed just what they are capable of as the 2017 season progressed, finishing as a top-10 unit and stifling opposing offenses as Atlanta became the only NFC team to return to the postseason.

In the center of the Falcons’ defense are a corps of young linebackers led by Deion Jonesicon-article-link.gif and De’Vondre Campbell, who are entering their third season in the NFL. While Jones and Campbell have already demonstrated a high caliber of play in their first two years, Falcons linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich believes they’ve yet to approach what they are truly capable of.

“Individually, I think that what you’ve seen is just a glimpse of what they can be,” he said. “I think that both have parts of their game that are not complete that they need to work on. The reason they’ve got a chance to fulfill their potential is that they have such humility and they understand I have deficiencies, and I have things I need to work on and they’re committed to it every day. They work for it and they put the time in and they empty their tanks. I think they can be special players in this league.”

Jones was named to his first Pro Bowl last season and has registered 244 tackles, 21 pass defenses, six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns in his first two years with the Falcons. Campbell has a unique combination of size and speed that allows him to match up with some of the best tight ends in the league, which he did in 2017 against the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen.

Alongside Jones and Campbell, the Falcons have Duke Rileyicon-article-link.gif, a third-round draft pick in 2017, and Foyesade Oluokunicon-article-link.gif, who was selected in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. Safety Kemal Ishmaelicon-article-link.gif has operated in a hybrid type of role for the Falcons, providing them with another option at outside linebacker if needed.

Riley’s rookie season was plagued by injury, but he has the speed and instincts the Falcons look for at the position. The same can be said of Oluokun, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and played both linebacker and safety in college.

“He’s looking good,” Ulbrich said of Oluokun. “He’s got all of the stuff you can’t coach. He’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s got tremendous length. It’ll be fun. Every day is just like a new day right now for him. He’s learning a lot and he’s soaking it up. He’s tremendously smart, obviously, probably a lot smarter than me. He doesn’t repeat mistakes and he’s very eager. It’ll be fun to see where he can go.”

Ulbrich described the Falcons’ linebackers room as a “very inclusive” one. He explained that Jones, Campbell and Ishmael have gone out of their way to help the younger players under their wing, helping them learn what it takes to make an impact in the NFL.

“It’s really cool,” Ulbrich said. “Like even these afternoon meetings that the veterans aren’t supposed to be in, Deion will be there. Not because I asked it of him but because [former Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow] did it for him, and obviously someone probably did it for Worrilow. He’s in that pass-it-along mode at all times, which is really cool.”

Given the youth at the position, there’s reason to believe we’ve yet to see the best that the Falcons’ linebackers have to offer. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn often explains that a player’s biggest leaps in their development comes between their first and second year and again between their second and third year.

If that is indeed the case, then there may be yet another uptick in play at the linebacker position in Atlanta. As a unit, Ulbrich explained that they’ve got a specific goal in mind.

“As far as collectively, I think that’s one of their goals – to be regarded as the top linebacker unit in the NFL,” he said. “They take a lot of pride in that. As they improve individually, hopefully they can create that reputation and establish themselves as that."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hes another gem that the nfl slept on. Keep finding !! That draft set the bar soooo high. Felt like last year was a down year draft wise and we got tak. Kazee looks promising as well.

putnam6, Slappywhite and Xero like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's improved in a near weekly basis. If he breaks out this or next year then he'll be in a different uniform because I don't see how they'll resign him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I thought he was going to kill someone at sam the way he was hitting people at the beginning of the year. I hope someone is ready to play will so he can do his thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Malachore said:

He's improved in a near weekly basis. If he breaks out this or next year then he'll be in a different uniform because I don't see how they'll resign him.

We will move on from Tru or Rocky in a couple season IMO.

Malachore likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kung Fu Kenny said:

Campbell 2 sacks last season came against Brady and Rodgers. 

I ready to see some against Brees.

im so ready to see breeze tip toe look out beyond his lineman and right before he releases, gets plowed by the predator

Kung Fu Kenny likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's got the size and athleticism to have a break-out year and gain some league-wide recognition. I hope it doesn't put him out of our cap range.

I haven't been keeping score regarding all the potential departures the Falcons might experience over the next few years because of cap problems, but it seems we probably need to make something happen this year or next year or we're looking at a Seattle SeaHog type of star player exodus and the danger of a descent back toward mediocrity.

Kung Fu Kenny likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Seattle SeaHog type of star player exodus

lets hope this is at least 5 years away...or at least in time for the Falcons to win a super.

putnam6 and PokerSteve like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, VTCrunkler said:

lets hope this is at least 5 years away...or at least in time for the Falcons to win a super.

Agree, but I'm concerned.

VTCrunkler likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Agree, but I'm concerned.

its going to happen at some point.  you cant have all these good players and them not wanting to get paid..draft and develop...draft and develop.  and cut dead weight..

PokerSteve likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude is still vastly underrated by so many and I mean not just fans of the NFL but our own Falcon fans.  How many times during a game do we say "**** Dre got beat" or "**** Dre just wrap up and make the tackle".  Its rare.  I always thought when he came around the learning curve he would give us an elite tandem with Debo. Its very well on the way there and there probably aren't 3 teams in the NFC who boast better tandem at LB.

RoddyWhite84 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Knight of God said:

He was my favorite pick in that draft. His versatility just impresses me. I’m glad he’ll be playing that SLB role from here on.

Unrelated to Campbell, but I tried to PM you. It says I can’t. 

Knight of God likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/25/2018 at 9:22 AM, Malachore said:

He's improved in a near weekly basis. If he breaks out this or next year then he'll be in a different uniform because I don't see how they'll resign him.

Hey we said the same thing about rocky and tru..if they want him trust and believe he will be here 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0