clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Falcons are adding toughness on defense, two years after they failed on that front

It should go better this time. Right?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We all remember the legendary #ToughnessCrusade of 2014, when a Falcons team known for its finesse, high-scoring, and lack of defensive physicality decided enough was enough. The team never used that phrasing, but it stuck, and the much-touted effort to produce a more physical football team fell very flat, and Mike Smith was fired at the end of the year.

The Falcons are at it again, as is evidenced by their signings of players like Derrick Shelby, Courtney Upshaw, and Alex Mack. All three are upgrades on what the Falcons had, if only in certain facets, but one of the very real benefits Dan Quinn and company will tout is that these are strong, physical players, with Upshaw and Shelby potentially adding some nastiness to a defensive front known more for its politeness and willingness to let Jameis Winston scramble for leisurely first downs.

This time around, things should go a little better, especially because the Falcons aren't shelling out huge deals to the likes of Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai, and they aren't making a big deal out of it. This is simply the kind of team the Atlanta Falcons want to be in 2016, and if all goes well, they'll actually be both fast and physical by the time September rolls around.