The Falcons are planning to made a move geared at improving a shaky corps of linebackers and are expected to sign former Texan Brooks Reed, per Adam Schefter.
Falcons adding LBs: Former Texans LB Brooks Reed is expected to sign with Atlanta as is former Cowboys LB Justin Durant, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2015
Reed, 28, has 169 tackles, 14.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in four seasons with Houston. He's coming off a 13 start season that saw him put up three sacks and play fairly well in coverage, but the Texans are loaded on defense and didn't seem particularly interested in ponying up before letting him test the market. The Falcons swooped in on him quickly, as a result, and we caught wind of Reed's interest in signing yesterday.
I asked Battle Red Blog for some input on Reed, and was told that Reed is a terrific player against the run but wholly ineffective as a pass rusher, which is somewhat less than ideal given the team's needs. Still, it's possible that Reed is being signed to play middle linebacker, where his particular skill set would be useful, and in that case it's a sensible sort of signing. If he's outside, Reed will still be a serviceable player, but he's not likely to be a true asset on third downs.
If Reed does kick inside—and the Texans were planning to move him there before Jadeveon Clowney's injury—he'll likely take the starting job away from Paul Worrilow, who could either back him up or move outside himself. Given his ability against the run, decent coverage chops and so-so pass rushing ability, that's probably where he fits best, but as of now I expect the Falcons to keep Reed outside.
This is a tough signing to get truly excited about, but Reed should be an upgrade whether he plays inside or outside, and he's a reasonably young, solid known quantity. The Falcons desperately need dependable players in their front seven, and hopefully Reed will give them a physical presence that will help them move this defense from putrid to respectable.
Your thoughts about the signing?