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Can Falcons unlock Vic Beasley's pass-rushing potential?

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6 hours ago, FalconAge said:

So Irvin confirms what everybody else already knows- we should have never let Dwight Freeney leave before Vic had a chance to learn the spin counter to his outside rush.

And the D-Line expert head coach waiting until the contract year to lay hands on a player we have no money to re-sign anyway?

Boggles the mind....

I don’t think they wanted him to leave I think DQ wanted everyone in TC in 2017 and that’s one of the things Freeney didn’t want to agree to and things went south from there.

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8 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:



FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Vic Beasley Jr. isn’t oblivious to the criticism.

Skeptics wonder why the Atlanta Falcons' defensive end hasn’t been nearly near as productive the past two years (10 sacks combined in 2017-18) as he was during his 15.5-sack 2016 season. His decline has turned the 2015 first-round pick into a punchline on talk radio and the subject of angry rants from fed-up fans.

Beasley knows the only way to silence the doubters is to perform at a high level every week, which is what he intends to do.

"I know I'm a good player," Beasley said. "There's a lot of things that I can work on, but I know that I'm a good player. For me to remain in this league and to be the great player that I want to be, I have to be consistent.

“I just have to do better. Humans make mistakes in life. You have to make it up in your mind that you're going to do better. A lot of times when you strive to be great, sometimes things don't go your way. But you continue to remain optimistic in those situations."

Beasley set the bar high in his second NFL season, when he topped his buddy Von Miller (13.5 sacks) of the Denver Broncos for the NFL sack title. Everything appeared to align right for Beasley in ‘16 as he used his speed off the edge to create havoc. Not to mention he drew a couple favorable matchups, such as squaring off against current teammate and former Bronco Ty Sambrailo on an afternoon Beasley recorded 3.5 sacks along with two forced fumbles.

Once the calendar flipped to 2017, the buzz around Beasley faded. He didn’t have a sack in the Falcons' three postseason games tied to their Super Bowl run. Then during the ‘17 regular season, Beasley finished with just five sacks in 14 games -- and three of those sacks came in the first six games. Beasley missed time due to an early-season hamstring injury but never used the injury as an excuse for his drop-off -- just like he never pointed to the torn labrum in his shoulder during his rookie campaign. Plus, Beasley took on more coverage responsibilities while playing strongside linebacker in ‘17.

Then last season, Beasley, back into more of a pass-rusher role, had just five sacks as the Falcons finished in the bottom 10 of the league with 37 sacks. According to ESPN's pass rush win rate powered by NFL Next Gen, Beasley beat his blocks in 2.5 seconds on 26.9% of pass rushes, which ranked 23rd in the NFL among players with at least 300 pass rushes. He didn’t force any fumbles, something he showed a knack for when he tied Bruce Irvin with a league-high six forced fumbles in 2016.

"Again, it’s just consistency," Beasley said of last year’s woes. "That's what keeps you around this league: consistency. You had one great year. You have to get back to that. Any player in this league, if they're not consistent, how do you gain trust with that individual?"

The Falcons expressed some amount of trust in Beasley by picking up his fifth-year option worth $12.81 million this season. They have not, however, made a long-term commitment after this season.

Irvin, who played with the Falcons last season, thinks Beasley can play.

"I think Vic can ball," Irvin said. "I just think Vic needs an older guy to push him. And I think he really needs DQ [Falcons coach Dan Quinn]. DQ is really the perfect coach for Vic."’

So far through training camp, Quinn seems intent on getting the best out of Beasley’s freakish athleticism, whether that means rushing off the edge, setting the edge against the run, or dropping into coverage. Quinn, doubling as the defensive coordinator, vowed to spend more time trying to bring out the best in Beasley. Those one-on-one teaching moments have come during camp since Beasley opted to train on his own during the offseason program.

"I thought in the run game, those fundamentals, I thought that's been an improvement," Quinn said of Beasley’s play in camp. "We've worked hard, for him, in the pass rush. I won't get into all the specifics but some things: counters, what to set off with. So we've spent a good bit of time on that. ... He's off to a good start.’’

Now, it’s about the finish. The Falcons need him to be a strong edge rusher along with Takk McKinley on the other side, with tackle Grady Jarrett being one of the best interior rushers in the game and others such as Adrian Clayborn, Allen Bailey, and John Cominsky bringing some pass-rush ability. Beasley wouldn’t reveal exactly what elements of his pass rush he’s working on, but he continues to study the Broncos’ Miller because of their similar builds. Beasley still relies -- maybe too heavily -- on his speed rush yet has shown flashes of counters such as dipping inside or working more diligently with his hands.

Asked if he needed to play with a little more nastiness, the soft-spoken Beasley responded, "I feel like everybody has an angry side to them. If somebody was to attack your mom, what are you going to do? Are you going to turn the other cheek? You never know what you're going to do until you're put in that situation.

"As far as being an aggressive, angry player, I guess that's not necessarily my mold, my build, my personality. But if someone was to push me, I can't just sit up there and say I'm going to turn the other cheek.’’

Beasley has to worry more about turning the page on those down seasons and becoming the player he expects to be. Those expectations remain rather high: nothing short of double-digit sacks through a full season.

"For me, it is about double-digit sacks because I'm not just a guy, you know what I'm saying? I'm a good player," Beasley said. "For me and the person that I am, consistently for me, that's what I need to do."





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Just now, ButSkiuup said:

But Quinn is vouching for him :ninja:

Beasley was the first pick of his tenure as head coach/gm.  No way he ever gets cut as long as Quinn is there.  In fact, Quinn would be gone before Beasley.  Thats why debating his football skills means nothing...

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4 minutes ago, slickgadawg said:

A player taken with the 8th pick of the draft is not suppose to be still a question mark going into year 4........he is a bust...

Plain and simple but they couldn't do anything after they gave him the fifth year option. They still believe in him as a player, which is why they didn't trade him away. But at least they haven't doubled down and given him a long term contract. 

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1 minute ago, vel said:

Plain and simple but they couldn't do anything after they gave him the fifth year option. They still believe in him as a player, which is why they didn't trade him away. But at least they haven't doubled down and given him a long term contract. 

Like I just said in another post,  Beasley is the first pick of the Quinn tenure as headcoach/gm.  He is not going anywhere.  It would symbolize that the very first thing Quinn did was a failure.  Thats why he gets every opportunity to stick as a starter.  Had he been the second or third pick he would either be a back up or gone...

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10 hours ago, schwarzenegger321 said:

I personally don't think he has the mental make-up to be a good NFL player, but he has the physical skills.  Call it what you want, but most successes in life start with the correct mentality.  Listen to what Mike Golic has to say about Reggie White, calm and one of the most humble guys ever in the NFL, but when he was mad or challenged, White would smile and absolutely go crazy on people.  Vic doesn't do that.  He thinks he is playing on a level playing field where all he has to be is a "good player".  Sorry, that is the mentality that makes a lot of really mediocre "good players".

This. He doesn't have that fire in his belly. I'd argue you can see it in his eyes too (tough to explain) He's good to have on rotation, but he constantly needs someone pushing him to be great. I'm more excited to see what Takk will do this year

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10 hours ago, Brewcrew said:

Vic excels at running stunts, and using his quickness against off-balance lineman.  This is DQ's strength, scheming him in to situations that cater to his abilities.  So, I think we will see more success out of Vic not necessarily due to him developing superior counter moves, but because DQ will find ways to use his speed to attack holes in the opposing lines weaknesses. 

Ok....then no more excuses for VB. It’s this year or bust 

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4 hours ago, slickgadawg said:

Beasley was the first pick of his tenure as head coach/gm.  No way he ever gets cut as long as Quinn is there.  In fact, Quinn would be gone before Beasley.  Thats why debating his football skills means nothing...

Guarantee Beasley is gone next year big season (for him) or not, even if big season is 15 sacks(just not happening).

Quinn not so much

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17 hours ago, FalconAge said:

We still had to replace Freeney's production anyway, so why not keep him? And I'm sorry but if a player is playing out of their mind you keep the new element that was fueling it.

For Vic is was Freeney

For Ryan it was Shanny's system. 

In both cases we declined to keep around that spark.

Even though we couldn't have kept Shanahan both Mike Mcdaniels and Mike Lafleur were passed over for some college guy who happened to be a friend of Quinn's. These guys (Mcdaniels especially) had spent plenty of time with Kyle Shanahan and knew the system in and out. In Mcdaniels' case he was who Kyle trusted to literally write the playbook.

Quinn has been dining out on three elements that served him very well for a few years.

1. He hired Kyle Shanahan

2. He had a **** of a 2016 draft

3. His players love playing for him.

He has an extra ace in that he is a **** of a defensive coordinator, but several mistakes have pushed us further away from reaching our potential and we are running out of time with Julio being an elite athlete.

I honestly don't think asking a bunch of NFL lifers with no experience with the Shanahan/Kubiak playbook to come in and call plays out of it is going to work out that great either, the saving grace is Matt knows these guys pretty well and feels comfortable with them. It would make more since to just fully adopt the 4 Verts varient Koetter is used to anyway if you are going that route.

I'm excited for this season, but don't see that Quinn/ the F.O. have learned any major lessons in general. I believe in them, but I don't see where we have changed course in philosophy.

I agree, letting Freeney leave was a mistake. 

But disagree DQ/F.O. haven’t learned....they have had an outstanding this offseason. 

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12 hours ago, CrimsonFalcon said:

Too little,  too late. 


Needs to concentrate in Takk before we run into the same problem. 

We needed to focus on size and strength at DT. If you notice all our DE's struggle with pass rushing. No matter who we sign or draft our DE's struggle.

The Root cause of that is lack of size and push at DT. Our DT's cannot consistently collapse the pocket. QB's can almost always step into the pocket to avoid the pass rush from our Edge Rushers. It is not Rocket Science but somehow this issue has escaped our front office for more than a decade. Only Abraham was talented enough to over come this issue and he was pretty much one of the top modern pass rushers in the NFL.

Until our front office understands this it won"t matter who we draft or sign at DE.

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