The Atlanta Falcons are famous for a lot of things. Decade after decade of decidedly mediocre football? Check. A good but "not quite elite" quarterback? Check. An owner who strongly resembles a French butler? Check. But there's one thing they're not famous for: a pass rush.
Sure, the Falcons have had their fair share of quality pass rushers. Even in recent years, guys like John Abraham and Osi Umenyiora had undeniable talent. But one quality pass rusher does not a pass rush make ... or something like that. Simply stated, over the last five years, if you're a quarterback facing a Falcons defense, chances are you will have plenty of time to throw.
So how does the team set out to fix this problem? Well, they hire a guy who specializes in fixing this exact issue. Credit to the AJC's Jeff Schultz for the quote.
"I have spent more time with pass rushers, and that's by design because it's my area of expertise," said Falcons coach Dan Quinn, a former line coach and defensive coordinator in Seattle who's less than two weeks into his first training camp as a head coach. "Some head coaches have a background with quarterbacks so they lean in that direction. I lean towards pass rushers."
I sincerely hope Quinn can get this defense turned around. With the addition of some key free agents and subsequent drafting of Vic Beasley, it's hard to envision a scenario where the pass rush doesn't improve, at least marginally. Best case scenario, it improves significantly, immediately upgrading the defense. That'd be a true game changer for this team; just imagine Desmond Trufant if he didn't have to stick to opposing receivers for hours and hours. Scary stuff, eh?