Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn is desperately trying to prove himself. The former first rounder hasn't replicated the success he had during his rookie campaign in 2011. But that won't stop him from trying, even if he only has one year to make his case.
Clayborn will of course rely on the Falcons coaching staff. He's familiar with Raheem Morris, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach that drafted him. He's familiar with Bryan Cox, who is also a former member of the Buccaneers coaching staff. Even with that support system in place, Clayborn is taking it one step further, consulting with Falcons alumnus Chuck Smith. Credit to Vaughn McClure who broke the news.
If you want to improve your pass rushing skills, Smith is a great place to start. He racked up sacks like McDonald's Monopoly pieces, absent the chicken nugget-fueled heart burn. Over 8 years with the Falcons, Smith accrued almost 60 sacks. Damn impressive by any standard.
Smith started D Line Inc. in 2002 and currently trains or consults with 50 NFL defensive linemen/pass-rushers. He has trained 48 first-round draft picks, including former seven-time Pro Bowler Richard Seymour, the sixth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.
Whatever Clayborn learns from Smith is an added bonus to the instruction he'll get from his head coach, Dan Quinn. Remember, Quinn earned his reputation in the league for his expertise along the defensive line.
If Clayborn rediscovers what made him a first rounder in the first place, the Falcons are in for a real treat. A Clayborn/Babineaux combination inside could potentially give interior linemen fits. So cross your fingers, toes, arms, and legs, Falcoholics.