One of the few useful bits of the NFL's owner meetings, which are otherwise a breathlessly reported slog through proposed rule changes and very rich men harrumphing, comes when the media has the opportunity to talk to coaches and general managers.
We start with Dan Quinn, who spoke to the media and had some interesting things to say about the roster. We'll avoid the broader, rah rah stuff about this draft class (he likes the top pass rushers!) and how fast and physical he wants his roster to be (very!) and dive in on the stuff that's more specific.
Quinn also told me right now he's looking at Charles Godfrey and Dez Southward at FS. Still strongly considering moving Southward to CB.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 25, 2015
This is specific and intriguing confirmation of what many of us have suspected throughout the offseason. Southward may well move to corner and Godfrey does seem to be a better fit for Quinn's defense, but that would still leave the team with a very real need at free safety, if only for depth. The Falcons are likely to draft one come April, even if Southward does stick at safety.
``It's a competition for us,'' Quinn said of the left guard position. Said Baker could be in the mix. Has to see once he gets healthy.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 25, 2015
The fact that the team is entertaining the possibility tells you there's a good chance Baker makes the move if he's healthy. I'm still sold on James Stone or a draft pick seizing the job, with Mike Person and possibly Jared Smith providing depth, but we'll see if Baker can make a strong push if/when given the opportunity.
Dan Quinn says there are about 8-10 guys in the draft that look like good fit for the LEO position (speed, length). won't name one though— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) March 25, 2015
Stating the obvious: That's not a ton of players. The Falcons will prioritize acquiring a pass rusher who can fill that role for them, and the smart money is still on that pick coming at #8. Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray and perhaps Bud Dupree will be on the table for the Falcons if they're available, but even if Quinn truly likes what Prince Shembo brings to the table, the Falcons aren't going to stand pat at LEO for him.
Effort, No. 1 criteria of a rusher, can he get there. 2nd, technique ... Dan Quinn's two most important traits in a pass rusher— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) March 25, 2015
This isn't particularly illuminating, but I'm including it regardless. If the Falcons think Gregory has motor questions or Shane Ray lacks quality technique, chances are they'll look elsewhere. Going to be interesting to see how many players currently on the roster score well on those traits, and I suspect the answer is "not many."
DQ says he and his staff will spend a good part of this offseason finding out the "unique stuff" all of his players bring to the table.— Reggie Roberts (@FalconsPR) March 25, 2015
If Quinn and his staff follow through on this promise and correctly identify players' strengths, the Falcons will be better for it. There's absolutely no question in my mind that the team taking Paul Worrilow out of coverage on key third downs, not wasting an enormous number of snaps rushing the passer with guys like Tyson Jackson and Kroy Biermann and finding smarter ways to utilize their running backs puts the Falcons in a better place than in 2014, even if the team truly hasn't added a ton of talent.
Quinn said Snoop recognized who he was when they met. "That was a good day."— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) March 25, 2015
No, Dan, that's paraphrasing an Ice Cube lyric!
Your thoughts on Quinn's comments?