Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank knew what he wanted when he enlisted head coach Dan Quinn to replace former head coach Mike Smith. He wanted a guy who could gradually rebuild the Falcons defense. Sure, it’d take time, but he needed someone to oversee that difficult process, implementing ideas that work.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock participated in a Combine conference call yesterday. He had one complimentary thing to say about the Falcons.
“[T]he Atlanta Falcons did an unbelievable job rebuilding their defense over a two year period and almost winning a Super Bowl. It was based on a couple things. It was based on speed and toughness. For instance, they drafted that safety, Keanu Neal, and he set a tone. They drafted in the second round, Deion Jones, the linebacker from LSU who is one of the fastest linebackers who ever ran at the combine. And he had a great year. De'Vondre Campbell, who I think they took in the fourth or fifth round, again, tough guy that could run.”
Mayock is not wrong. The Falcons defense is the envy of front offices everywhere, even if they’re still a work in progress. Going forward, other teams will look to replicate what the Falcons have done in a relatively short amount of time.