Imagine it's Christmas. Not your childhood Christmas - there's too much hard alcohol, tears, and burnt yams to make that memory palatable. Imagine the kind of Christmas you see in car commercials. You walk down the stairs, throw on a robe, walk outside, and surprise! Featured prominently in the fresh snow is a shiny new car. It's right there, just sitting in your driveway, wrapped in a ridiculously oversized, fancy red bow. It's not a minivan; it's a sports car. Sure, it's not a particularly prudent purchase. And sure, it may get repossessed at some point. But your wife knew you wanted it, and it's Christmas, so why not?
That's how Dan Quinn felt when the Atlanta Falcons drafted Vic Beasley. Beasley is Quinn's fancy new toy, complete with edge speed so good you'll want to slap your momma. Two games into his rookie campaign and Quinn is experiencing zero buyers remorse. In his post-practice comments yesterday, Quinn sung Beasley's praises. Our own Jeanna Thomas was there.
"Well I think number one is the speed off the edge. And we've known that with him. For him, continuing to develop, the top part of the rush, the finishes of the rush. That's probably the hardest part to learn. Ya know, knowing how to use your hands initially. And when a guy ties you up, how do I get off and finish? The competitive part is there. The run game has come along exactly like we'd hoped. So, it's right out there for him, and I'm pleased with where he's at."
That's about as complimentary as it gets under these circumstances. Obviously we're only two games into what will ideally be a long, fruitful career for Beasley in Atlanta. But he is just a rookie, and Quinn obviously wants to help him reach his ceiling. Quinn is essentially giving him a quiet, knowing nod. An "atta boy," if you will. Meanwhile, Quinn isn't taking all the credit. First, he's got some helpful veteran leadership at his disposal. Second, Beasley is very malleable, a calm guy that just does the work.
"He's got some real good veteran leadership around him wiith Babineaux and Clayborn who are guys who can also bring him along and [Vic has] got a real calm demeanor about him, where he doesn't get too high or too low so he can stay at it."
Beasley is doing all the right things to this point. There's plenty of football to be played this season, and Beasley's legacy, whatever it will be, is hardly set in stone. Many a rookie has thrived in his rookie campaign only to falter as years went on. (Just ask Adrian Clayborn.) For now, Beasley is undoubtedly on the right track.