Jump to content

Dante Fowler learning new Falcons defense at ‘super fast’ pace


Recommended Posts

By Jason Butt, For the AJC
 
Rams' 37-10 victory over the Falcons by the numbers - Los Angeles ...
 

Players may not be in pads, and they may not be hitting. But for Dante Fowler, everything is still moving at a fast pace.

Unable to work with his new team throughout the entire offseason, the Falcons defensive end still has absorbed plenty of new information about his new defense. But only now has Fowler been able to apply it on the practice field, albeit in a walk-through atmosphere.

 

While the coaching staff has tried to simulate the installation process as best as possible during the virtual offseason, that’s not nearly the same as being able to act out the plays on the practice field. This week marked the first baby steps the Falcons were able to take to produce new muscle memory among their players.

 

And as Fowler said, it’s a lot of information to process at once.

“As far as getting in the playbook, everything is going super fast,” Fowler said. “It’s like the first day of camp. We’re on the field, but we’re going through walk-throughs. It’s going really fast. They’re drilling us and putting the pressure on us to know everything because we got to be on top of our stuff. We don’t have time to teach everything because the other stuff we already went through in virtual meetings. Now that we’re here, we’ll probably do a virtual meeting the night before, and the next day we’re walking through it at 8 o’clock in the morning.”

 

Fowler signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Falcons this offseason with the hopes of bolstering a pass rush that ranked 31st in the NFL in 2019 with 28 total sacks. Fowler, who spent the past season and a half with the Los Angeles Rams, is coming off the best season of his five-year career, which saw him accrue 11.5 sacks.

When it comes to his utilization in Atlanta, Fowler’s fit often has been likened to how he was used with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that drafted him third overall in 2015. That comparison has come up since former Jaguars coach Gus Bradley and Falcons coach Dan Quinn both came from Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle.

However, Fowler said his role with the Falcons will be similar to how he was used in Los Angeles. Whereas the Jaguars had him rushing the passer from a three-point stance, the Rams opted for a more versatile role. Fowler expects to stand up as a rusher, move around the formation and be placed in situations to, “put my hand in the dirt and pin my ears back.”

 
 

“The (Rams') coaches got all the potential that they could get out of me,” Fowler said. “They knew the good things that I could do, they knew what was going to put me in the right situations to be elite and a good football player. They weren’t stubborn. They knew whatever they could do to get sacks and make the team better, that’s what they did. I really appreciated them for that, to let me blossom and lead me to being the player I am going to be.”

 

Falcons running back Todd Gurley knows what Fowler can bring to the table as a defender. In college, Fowler wasn’t afraid to scrap with Gurley during the 2013 game between Georgia and Florida, which ended in a 23-20 victory for the Bulldogs. The two got heated with one another during the game, which included a moment where Fowler was caught on camera poking his finger inside Gurley’s face mask.

The two have since become friends and spent the past year and a half as teammates on the Rams. Wearing a red and white facemask during his virtual interview with reporters, Gurley said he is thrilled to have Fowler -- who shares the same Aug. 3 birthday -- as a teammate again.

“I’m smiling behind this mask because that’s my guy,” Gurley said. “I’ve been competing against him since the Georgia-Florida days and to be able to share a birthday with him and be with the Rams last year and bring our talent all the way to Atlanta, it means a lot. … Always been a great teammate and always been a good guy and a great competitor, too.”

Fowler believes he turned a corner in his career last season, seeing that in the four previous years before his 2019 campaign, he combined for 20 sacks. He began his career in Jacksonville with an ACL injury during OTAs and was never more than a third-down pass rusher with the franchise after that.

Traded to Los Angeles during the 2018 season, Fowler became a rotational player on a Rams’ team that reached Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium but fell short against the New England Patriots. Last season, as a starter for the first time in his career, Fowler finally felt he was beginning to reach the potential placed on him as a third overall draft pick.

Fowler’s goal in 2020 is to further validate his standing as someone who can be considered a premier pass rusher in the NFL.

“This is what I have to do this year,” Fowler said. “This is the year to put (the criticism) to rest. I put that on myself. My first few years in the league I had some bumps, some growing and learning curves. That happens to the best of us. I’m happy it happened to me earlier than in my later years.

“Some people out here have had a lot of great accolades in the beginning and probably didn’t know how to handle it. Now they don’t know how to handle it and you see what’s going on. I’m happy that it happened to be early in my career. So now that I know that already, I can be a pro for another 10 years.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here comes the TD lovers....but dude can’t find a pass rush. It’s been 3 decades ago since the Falcons had real pass rushers. It’s going to be a sad sad day if Fowler doesn’t get 8+ sacks. Hail fire-  Bs was terrible and stumbled  into 6-8. But I’m taking Fowler every time. 
 

This is the year of the ATL pass rush 40+

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Slimm said:

I thought Anderson was before Abe

Anderson was drafted in 07 in a panic move after Kerney screwed over the team. Abe’s last year was 08 I think. Abe and Kerney were supposed to be the pass rush dream team.

edit: bad memory, I cut Abe 4 years short. Thanks for the correction KTrain. I remember them only playing a couple years together but had it backwards on who was gone first. Regardless, man JA98 was a disaster.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/7/2020 at 10:28 AM, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:
By Jason Butt, For the AJC
 
Rams' 37-10 victory over the Falcons by the numbers - Los Angeles ...
 

Players may not be in pads, and they may not be hitting. But for Dante Fowler, everything is still moving at a fast pace.

Unable to work with his new team throughout the entire offseason, the Falcons defensive end still has absorbed plenty of new information about his new defense. But only now has Fowler been able to apply it on the practice field, albeit in a walk-through atmosphere.

 

While the coaching staff has tried to simulate the installation process as best as possible during the virtual offseason, that’s not nearly the same as being able to act out the plays on the practice field. This week marked the first baby steps the Falcons were able to take to produce new muscle memory among their players.

 

And as Fowler said, it’s a lot of information to process at once.

“As far as getting in the playbook, everything is going super fast,” Fowler said. “It’s like the first day of camp. We’re on the field, but we’re going through walk-throughs. It’s going really fast. They’re drilling us and putting the pressure on us to know everything because we got to be on top of our stuff. We don’t have time to teach everything because the other stuff we already went through in virtual meetings. Now that we’re here, we’ll probably do a virtual meeting the night before, and the next day we’re walking through it at 8 o’clock in the morning.”

 

Fowler signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Falcons this offseason with the hopes of bolstering a pass rush that ranked 31st in the NFL in 2019 with 28 total sacks. Fowler, who spent the past season and a half with the Los Angeles Rams, is coming off the best season of his five-year career, which saw him accrue 11.5 sacks.

When it comes to his utilization in Atlanta, Fowler’s fit often has been likened to how he was used with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that drafted him third overall in 2015. That comparison has come up since former Jaguars coach Gus Bradley and Falcons coach Dan Quinn both came from Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle.

However, Fowler said his role with the Falcons will be similar to how he was used in Los Angeles. Whereas the Jaguars had him rushing the passer from a three-point stance, the Rams opted for a more versatile role. Fowler expects to stand up as a rusher, move around the formation and be placed in situations to, “put my hand in the dirt and pin my ears back.”

 
 

“The (Rams') coaches got all the potential that they could get out of me,” Fowler said. “They knew the good things that I could do, they knew what was going to put me in the right situations to be elite and a good football player. They weren’t stubborn. They knew whatever they could do to get sacks and make the team better, that’s what they did. I really appreciated them for that, to let me blossom and lead me to being the player I am going to be.”

 

Falcons running back Todd Gurley knows what Fowler can bring to the table as a defender. In college, Fowler wasn’t afraid to scrap with Gurley during the 2013 game between Georgia and Florida, which ended in a 23-20 victory for the Bulldogs. The two got heated with one another during the game, which included a moment where Fowler was caught on camera poking his finger inside Gurley’s face mask.

The two have since become friends and spent the past year and a half as teammates on the Rams. Wearing a red and white facemask during his virtual interview with reporters, Gurley said he is thrilled to have Fowler -- who shares the same Aug. 3 birthday -- as a teammate again.

“I’m smiling behind this mask because that’s my guy,” Gurley said. “I’ve been competing against him since the Georgia-Florida days and to be able to share a birthday with him and be with the Rams last year and bring our talent all the way to Atlanta, it means a lot. … Always been a great teammate and always been a good guy and a great competitor, too.”

Fowler believes he turned a corner in his career last season, seeing that in the four previous years before his 2019 campaign, he combined for 20 sacks. He began his career in Jacksonville with an ACL injury during OTAs and was never more than a third-down pass rusher with the franchise after that.

Traded to Los Angeles during the 2018 season, Fowler became a rotational player on a Rams’ team that reached Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium but fell short against the New England Patriots. Last season, as a starter for the first time in his career, Fowler finally felt he was beginning to reach the potential placed on him as a third overall draft pick.

Fowler’s goal in 2020 is to further validate his standing as someone who can be considered a premier pass rusher in the NFL.

“This is what I have to do this year,” Fowler said. “This is the year to put (the criticism) to rest. I put that on myself. My first few years in the league I had some bumps, some growing and learning curves. That happens to the best of us. I’m happy it happened to me earlier than in my later years.

“Some people out here have had a lot of great accolades in the beginning and probably didn’t know how to handle it. Now they don’t know how to handle it and you see what’s going on. I’m happy that it happened to be early in my career. So now that I know that already, I can be a pro for another 10 years.”

I really hope it isn't the same defense we ran last year.. What is this new defense Fowler is learning?? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Slumerican said:

I really hope it isn't the same defense we ran last year.. What is this new defense Fowler is learning?? 

IDK, but the defense was kicking *** after Morris/Ulbrich took over duties in the second half last season. I'd be happy with more of that defense which now has more talent on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...