One of the words used to describe Derrick Shelby is physical. Mohamed Sanu has been characterized as a big, physical wide receiver. Matt Schaub lifted weights a couple of years ago. You get the picture.
Free agency has thus far been about acquiring tough, physical players, and that certainly fits with one of Dan Quinn's stated goals this offseason.The Falcons have been called everything from a finesse team to a pillow soft one in recent years, and added players known for their toughness and physicality is bound to improve that, however slightly. What none of these players are known for, though, is their speed. That changed a little bit with the additions of Aldrick Robinson and Demarcus Van Dyke yesterday, but those are fringe roster players, not building blocks.
It's increasingly clear that the "fast" part of Dan Quinn's favorite equation* is going to have to come from the draft, where the Falcons could eye players like Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee, who is known for his quickness. There's nothing wrong with that approach, of course, but it is odd that the Falcons have thus far chosen to eschew fast players altogether in their free agent class given what a major liability that was at times, especially in the linebacker corps.
There's still a chance Atlanta will land a player like Tennessee's Zach Brown, who offers speed in spades, but I'd expect the Falcons to largely wait until April. We'll see how that goes.
* Fast + Physical = Fired Up