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Beasley and McKinley - DQ Guys who helped bring DQ down - AJC


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by Mark Bradley for the AJC

 

Vic Beasley was the first of the DQ Guys, as they were known at 4400 Falcon Parkway. Dan Quinn arrived in Flowery Branch having not worked an NFL as head coach but, through the largesse of his new employer, having become the Falcons' czar of football. Quinn didn’t report to Thomas Dimitroff, still the titular general manager. The coach/czar reported only to Arthur Blank, emperor of all he surveys.

DQ Guys essentially were PC Guys, the “PC” standing for “Pete Carroll.” That illustrious coach – having headed the disparate likes of the Jets, the Patriots and the USC Trojans – built the Seattle Seahawks into the NFL’s best and most-feared team. Quinn had been the defensive coordinator for the best of those Seattle seasons, the first resulting in a Super Bowl, the second falling short because Malcolm Butler flung himself in front of Russell Wilson’s pass.

Before DQ was hired by Blank, a Falcons executive told me how much he hated playing against Seattle. His reasoning: “Pete has those guys play to the whistle and beyond.” Meaning the Seahawks were, shall we say, a tad excessive. Lo and behold, that exec was soon working in tandem with Carroll’s first lieutenant and truest believer. What Carroll had assembled, DQ wanted.

“Fast and physical” was how Quinn characterized his sort of players. (We note that the NFL team admitting to seeking “slow and wimpy” has yet to be uncovered.) The first player drafted by the Falcons of DQ was Vic Beasley of Clemson. Yes, Todd Gurley was available, but DQ wanted a defender, wanted a pass rusher, wanted – as Beasley famously described himself – “a double-digit sack guy.”

That was in April 2015. Two years later, with the Falcons of DQ coming off a Super Bowl in which they somehow finished second, their first draftee was another alleged pass rusher – Takkarist McKinley of UCLA. True to his word, Beasley had become a DDSG. Heck, he led the NFL in sacks.

He had 15.5 sacks in the Super Bowl season of 2016, though those who watched closely felt the number flattered Beasley. He wasn’t exactly a source of constant pressure. Indeed, he’d had nearly as many sacks as quarterback hits (16). This wasn’t an aberration. Over his NFL career, Beasley tackled the quarterback (33.5) almost as often as he touched him (46). Contrast these numbers with, say, Von Miller’s – 106 sacks, 216 QB hits.

(Also: Beasley’s best game as a Falcon came on Oct. 9, 2016. He had 3.5 sacks in Denver. The Broncos' quarterback was Paxton Lynch, making his first NFL start. He has since been waived by three clubs. The lineman Beasley overwhelmed was Ty Sambrailo, who – small world – would be traded to the Falcons for a fifth-round pick a year later. He’s now a Titan.)

As a DDSG, Beasley was one-and-done. He had five sacks in 2017, five again in 2018, eight last season. The Falcons kept fiddling around with his positioning, trying to decide if he was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end or a standup linebacker, but you could go weeks and forget he was even on the roster. In February 2019, the Falcons chose to keep him for another year at $12.5 million, Quinn vowing to make Beasley his personal project. Duly motivated, Beasley skipped OTAs.

He was signed by Tennessee last winter for one season at $9.5 million. We watched, breath bated, to see if Mike Vrabel could unleash what Quinn could not. Beasley showed up late to camp. (There were no OTAs this pandemic year.) He worked five games. He had no sacks, no quarterback hits. The Titans announced Tuesday they planned to waive him.

As Titans GM Jon Robinson told reporters: “Not every decision that we make works out. We spent a lot of time working with him, trying to get him going. At the end of the day, we thought it was best for us to go in a different direction.”

A day later, the Falcons' latest coach – Raheem Morris, in case you’ve lost track – was moved to express his disapproval over a McKinley tweet that expressed HIS disapproval over the Falcons' disinclination to trade him. The oft-injured McKinley claimed the team turned down and offer of a Round 2 pick last year, an assertion that seemed fanciful if not LOL hilarious, and Round 5/6 picks this year.

Said Morris: “Obviously, Takk has a groin injury and won’t be out there (practicing) today. Takk will definitely be held accountable for his actions and everything that goes along with it. That’s with him missing today and all of the things he’s missed in the past.”

Takk totals: 49 games over three-plus seasons, 25 starts; 17.5 sacks, 45 QB hits. (That’s correct: McKinley has almost as many quarterback hits as Beasley, who entered the league two years earlier – not that that’s much of a measure.)

There’s the yield from two of DQ’s first three Round 1 picks. (Keanu Neal, seen as the Falcons' version of Kam Chancellor, was the first-rounder in 2016. Because of injury, he has started 10 games over the past two-plus seasons. He has one career interception.) We can’t say Beasley was an utter bust – he made the Pro Bowl in 2016 – and we can’t say McKinley hasn’t had a few moments, but one is gone, and the other is surely going. Not coincidentally, DQ and Dimitroff are gone, too.

No, not every draft pick pans out. Yes, this franchise has known many bigger whiffs. But we see now the peril in allowing a coach to have complete control over his roster. He might be handed the kind of players he thinks he needs, but what happens if he can’t, you know, coach them? What happens if they’re not especially coachable? What if not everybody is Grady Jarrett, who seizes his opportunity and just gets better and better?

Well, the coach winds up being an ex-coach, and the interim guy is left to answer questions about some goofy tweet. That’s what happens.
 

 

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4 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

by Mark Bradley for the AJC

 

Vic Beasley was the first of the DQ Guys, as they were known at 4400 Falcon Parkway. Dan Quinn arrived in Flowery Branch having not worked an NFL as head coach but, through the largesse of his new employer, having become the Falcons' czar of football. Quinn didn’t report to Thomas Dimitroff, still the titular general manager. The coach/czar reported only to Arthur Blank, emperor of all he surveys.

DQ Guys essentially were PC Guys, the “PC” standing for “Pete Carroll.” That illustrious coach – having headed the disparate likes of the Jets, the Patriots and the USC Trojans – built the Seattle Seahawks into the NFL’s best and most-feared team. Quinn had been the defensive coordinator for the best of those Seattle seasons, the first resulting in a Super Bowl, the second falling short because Malcolm Butler flung himself in front of Russell Wilson’s pass.

Before DQ was hired by Blank, a Falcons executive told me how much he hated playing against Seattle. His reasoning: “Pete has those guys play to the whistle and beyond.” Meaning the Seahawks were, shall we say, a tad excessive. Lo and behold, that exec was soon working in tandem with Carroll’s first lieutenant and truest believer. What Carroll had assembled, DQ wanted.

“Fast and physical” was how Quinn characterized his sort of players. (We note that the NFL team admitting to seeking “slow and wimpy” has yet to be uncovered.) The first player drafted by the Falcons of DQ was Vic Beasley of Clemson. Yes, Todd Gurley was available, but DQ wanted a defender, wanted a pass rusher, wanted – as Beasley famously described himself – “a double-digit sack guy.”

That was in April 2015. Two years later, with the Falcons of DQ coming off a Super Bowl in which they somehow finished second, their first draftee was another alleged pass rusher – Takkarist McKinley of UCLA. True to his word, Beasley had become a DDSG. Heck, he led the NFL in sacks.

He had 15.5 sacks in the Super Bowl season of 2016, though those who watched closely felt the number flattered Beasley. He wasn’t exactly a source of constant pressure. Indeed, he’d had nearly as many sacks as quarterback hits (16). This wasn’t an aberration. Over his NFL career, Beasley tackled the quarterback (33.5) almost as often as he touched him (46). Contrast these numbers with, say, Von Miller’s – 106 sacks, 216 QB hits.

(Also: Beasley’s best game as a Falcon came on Oct. 9, 2016. He had 3.5 sacks in Denver. The Broncos' quarterback was Paxton Lynch, making his first NFL start. He has since been waived by three clubs. The lineman Beasley overwhelmed was Ty Sambrailo, who – small world – would be traded to the Falcons for a fifth-round pick a year later. He’s now a Titan.)

As a DDSG, Beasley was one-and-done. He had five sacks in 2017, five again in 2018, eight last season. The Falcons kept fiddling around with his positioning, trying to decide if he was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end or a standup linebacker, but you could go weeks and forget he was even on the roster. In February 2019, the Falcons chose to keep him for another year at $12.5 million, Quinn vowing to make Beasley his personal project. Duly motivated, Beasley skipped OTAs.

He was signed by Tennessee last winter for one season at $9.5 million. We watched, breath bated, to see if Mike Vrabel could unleash what Quinn could not. Beasley showed up late to camp. (There were no OTAs this pandemic year.) He worked five games. He had no sacks, no quarterback hits. The Titans announced Tuesday they planned to waive him.

As Titans GM Jon Robinson told reporters: “Not every decision that we make works out. We spent a lot of time working with him, trying to get him going. At the end of the day, we thought it was best for us to go in a different direction.”

A day later, the Falcons' latest coach – Raheem Morris, in case you’ve lost track – was moved to express his disapproval over a McKinley tweet that expressed HIS disapproval over the Falcons' disinclination to trade him. The oft-injured McKinley claimed the team turned down and offer of a Round 2 pick last year, an assertion that seemed fanciful if not LOL hilarious, and Round 5/6 picks this year.

Said Morris: “Obviously, Takk has a groin injury and won’t be out there (practicing) today. Takk will definitely be held accountable for his actions and everything that goes along with it. That’s with him missing today and all of the things he’s missed in the past.”

Takk totals: 49 games over three-plus seasons, 25 starts; 17.5 sacks, 45 QB hits. (That’s correct: McKinley has almost as many quarterback hits as Beasley, who entered the league two years earlier – not that that’s much of a measure.)

There’s the yield from two of DQ’s first three Round 1 picks. (Keanu Neal, seen as the Falcons' version of Kam Chancellor, was the first-rounder in 2016. Because of injury, he has started 10 games over the past two-plus seasons. He has one career interception.) We can’t say Beasley was an utter bust – he made the Pro Bowl in 2016 – and we can’t say McKinley hasn’t had a few moments, but one is gone, and the other is surely going. Not coincidentally, DQ and Dimitroff are gone, too.

No, not every draft pick pans out. Yes, this franchise has known many bigger whiffs. But we see now the peril in allowing a coach to have complete control over his roster. He might be handed the kind of players he thinks he needs, but what happens if he can’t, you know, coach them? What happens if they’re not especially coachable? What if not everybody is Grady Jarrett, who seizes his opportunity and just gets better and better?

Well, the coach winds up being an ex-coach, and the interim guy is left to answer questions about some goofy tweet. That’s what happens.
 

 

Along with the number 8 pick used on JA98.... the number 8 pick used on Beasley.... and the late first and third round picks used on Takk.... that's a lot of premium picks wasted on DE's who, unfortunately, seriously underperformed.

Meanwhile the Broncos seem to find pass rushes all over the place.

It really is pathetic.

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3 hours ago, egoprime II said:

Along with the number 8 pick used on JA98.... the number 8 pick used on Beasley.... and the late first and third round picks used on Takk.... that's a lot of premium picks wasted on DE's who, unfortunately, seriously underperformed.

Meanwhile the Broncos seem to find pass rushes all over the place.

It really is pathetic.

Chubb and Von were top picks

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The real problem with the HC having full control over the roster is they tend to fall in love with players they have selected and this becomes problematic when the player does not produce. We all know Beasley should have NEVER been resigned for the ridiculous amount they paid him, but Quinn thought he could fix a player that didn't think he needed help. Not just a bad roster decision but really bad for the cap..

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Fun read.  And yes, one of many differences between Pete Carroll and DQ?  With PC the game isn't over until they hit the showers.  Even when the Hawks lose it's never over with those guys.  That's why they win so much.  That's why they're so fun to watch.  That's why they entire friggin' Northwest has 12s and flags.  

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12 minutes ago, Killing Floor said:

Fun read.  And yes, one of many differences between Pete Carroll and DQ?  With PC the game isn't over until they hit the showers.  Even when the Hawks lose it's never over with those guys.  That's why they win so much.  That's why they're so fun to watch.  That's why they entire friggin' Northwest has 12s and flags.  

Weren’t no 12 flags when they were losing haha. PC didn’t bring that swag here. It was Holmgren. Holmgren will never get the credit he deserves. 

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12 hours ago, etherdome said:

The Head coach answers only to the owner........problem.  You can cite guys like Parcells, Belichick and Reid, but let's be honest, there are not many out there like them.  

Hire a good and tough GM and let him find the next great HC.  

Only certain coaches with pedigree's should "shop for the groceries" as Parcells would say. Bill O'Brien and DQ were handed the keys before they proved they could drive.

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9 hours ago, egoprime II said:

Along with the number 8 pick used on JA98.... the number 8 pick used on Beasley.... and the late first and third round picks used on Takk.... that's a lot of premium picks wasted on DE's who, unfortunately, seriously underperformed.

Meanwhile the Broncos seem to find pass rushes all over the place.

It really is pathetic.

Way too much emphasis put on trying to find the next world class athlete pass rusher instead of just a steady, edge protecting lunch pale guy who just seems to get the job done, especially when you already have one of the best DT's in the league drawing doubles. This is the reason I like to see the edges get bigger and stronger. They're already playing with smaller guys on the back end that can run, put a little size on the edges.

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I think Quinn's problem extends beyond these guys. He had a lot of issues with game management, but I think his two biggest issues are the following:

  1. He overestimated his coaching abilities. From the outside, it looked like he thought he could take a defense with glaring holes and turn them into a solid unit. 
    • The issue with the cover 3 is that it is a simple defense to run but takes special players to play it well. The defense can be shredded without a good pass rush, elite MLB, and elite safeties. The pass rush is important but Wagner, Kam, and Thomas is what made Seattle legendary. I still argue with people about how underrated Kam was on that team.
  2. He became too attached to certain draft picks and valued explosiveness over dependability.

More often than not, players who were not performing kept starting due to draft position, talent level, or contract. If someone isn't performing, you have to move on and force them to earn their spot back. Too many players got comfortable with the situation. The best head coaches are the ones who do not get attached to players and go with the player that is going to give them the best chance to win. We should have moved on from players such as Takk, Beasley, and Allen sooner. 

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4 hours ago, Killing Floor said:

Fun read.  And yes, one of many differences between Pete Carroll and DQ?  With PC the game isn't over until they hit the showers.  Even when the Hawks lose it's never over with those guys.  That's why they win so much.  That's why they're so fun to watch.  That's why they entire friggin' Northwest has 12s and flags.  

Lol championships also help with fan support.

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