Jonathan Babineaux is one of the Falcons' beloved veterans, a man who was drafted in 2005 and has stuck around through four head coaches. While he's never put up the flashy numbers that get you a ton of attention, the USS Babineaux has been one of the team's better pass rushers for years now, and there's no reason to believe he's going to suddenly fall off in 2015.
Vaughn McClure at ESPN took a closer look at Babineaux's fortunes in 2015, and it features lots of mutual respectand being fired up from both Babineaux and new head coach Dan Quinn. You only have to hear Quinn talk about Babineaux to know he'll have a role on this defense.
"He's such a unique guy in that he has such a great get-off, so I can't wait to see what he can become,'' Quinn said. "As you know, almost half of the game is played in the sub-package, probably more than that. You've got to feature what guys can do best. With Babs, I know he's got that quickness. So you've got to try and feature him inside. That's what we're going to try to do.''
Babineaux will be critically important as a steady veteran on a team that's looking to get younger, but despite his age, he should get starter's snaps on this defense line. Ra'Shede Hageman will be jockeying for more snaps, Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai are kicking around and the team could still add to the position, but Babineaux managed a couple of sacks and eight quarterback hits last season on a putrid defense. If that defense improves even incrementally this year, Babs shouldn't have any problem being the team's most productive defensive tackle from a pass rushing perspective. With any luck, he'll have his most productive season to date, but that might be a stretch at age 34.
What are your 2015 expectations for Babs?