ATLANTA - AUGUST 12: Ray Willis #64 of the Miami Dolphins blocks against Cliff Matthews #98 of the Atlanta Flacons during a preseason game at the Georgia Dome on August 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
If you didn't think our wild theories about Mike Nolan making use of multiple defensive linemen and really just sending guided missiles from all over the field at the quarterback held any water...well, we've got a little evidence for you.
It's in the form of a lengthy quote from Daniel Cox's article on this very topic, but it's worthwhile to share the whole thing. Go and read his story for the full effect, por favor.
"We have a pressure-type defense," Hamilton said. "If you’re pressuring, you’re sending other people, sending some linebackers and defensive backs. It’s kind of like the Jets. The sacks are going to be spread around. If you’re only rushing four guys, then your sacks will be mostly from your defensive line. Our system, we have other guys rushing and coming in there like that. The whole key is to put pressure on the quarterback. This is a quarterback-driven league. We want to make him make quick decisions and hopefully he’ll make some wrong decisions and we’ll get some interceptions and sacks and everyone will be productive."
Ray Hamilton also mentions that Lawrence Sidbury and Cliff Matthews will be expected to step in, compete and be a part of the rotation. This is only logical; after all, what kind of rotation involves only three people? That's like an 1880's MLB rotation. Rotation? Rotation.
I actually think this is a great thing. Teams who don't know where the blitz is coming from cannot prevent it as well, and if the Falcons are willing to send pass rushers from all over the field, that'll accomplish Hamilton and Nolan's goal just fine. John Abraham is the only guy who's a lock to get more than four sacks this season, but if everyone had four, that would be mighty impressive.
The upshot is that the Falcons are probably going to roll out some very different blitz packages than we're used to seeing, and both Sidbury and Matthews should get a real shot at playing time if they prove up to it. At the very least, we'll get a good sense of how capable a pass rusher all these guys truly are.
What are your thoughts on a defensive end rotation and bringing heat from different quarters?