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Jonathan Babineaux Earning Early Accolades

The savvy veteran defender made Pro Football Focus's Team of the Preseason.

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Babineaux has quietly been the heart of the Falcons defense for the better part of the last decade. While John Abraham has come and gone and the team has repeatedly tried and failed to put together a great pass rush, Babs has remained one of the few steady, effective players up front. The sack numbers have never been there, I'll grant you, but Babs remains a wizard are putting pressure on a quarterback.

So it's nice to see him get a little recognition for tearing it up in limited snaps this preseason, which hopefully will carry over into the regular season. Pro Football Focus named him one of the two best starting defensive ends of preseason, alongside Gerald McCoy of the Buccaneers.

At the tender age of 33 this upcoming season, there's little reason to believe Babineaux is going to drop off a cliff. He remains talented at picking his way into the backfield, and the team's new-found depth up front means they can afford to spell him a little more and keep him fresh a little longer. The best-case scenario for Babs this season is that he plays fewer snaps and is more effective for it, and certainly that's not a far-fetched scenario.

What are your expectations for Babineaux?