There’s no two ways about it: Vic Beasley is a bad football player. He disappeared late into the 2016 season and has never reappeared. He’s mostly invisible on the field. This very site has been critical of him for quite some time, and fans have been trying to pinpoint his production problems.
There are some good ideas, and oh boy, there are some very bad ideas. The latest? Vic Beasley is lazy, not dedicated to getting better, and resistant to coaching, all thanks to this tweet from former Falcons defensive end Chuck Smith.
Smith, a local guy who put up 58.5 sacks during eight seasons with the Falcons, has run a defensive training program since way back in 2002. We’re fans of Smith around here, but preeminent pass rush specialist seems like quite the stretch. He’s publicly pushed for a pass rush role with the Falcons, but his only team coaching experience was one year with the Tennessee Volunteers in 2010.
A quick Google search finds players that trained with Smith meeting with mixed results in their following seasons. That’s no knock on Smith, and the simple fact is continued NFL success is a pretty expansive puzzle that players need to put together. We see players try all sorts of things to get better as there are countless ways for players to look for improvement. Kroy Biermann and Paul Worrilow worked with MMA trainers to get better in the offseason. Obviously, those programs didn’t work. We love to see players putting in the extra effort during the offseason, but one program isn’t turning any player, even Vic Beasley, back into a Pro Bowler.
How can I saw that for a fact? Because Beasley has done offseason training programs.
Beasley attended Von Miller’s pass rush summit in 2017. Beasley is one of the first to arrive during voluntary offseason workouts. Dan Quinn told Beasley to review his game film during the 2018 offseason, and Beasley said he used it to find problems in his game. You can go back to 2016 to see some of his offseason diet and workout results. In fact, he takes advice from a number of former players and current coaches.
Beasley took some pointers Wednesday from former Falcons ends Patrick Kerney and Chuck Smith, who combined for 141 NFL sacks. He got two different perspectives in technique. Kerney played long and rangy. Smith was more compact. Both gave Beasley a few ideas about timing, footwork and hand placement.
Beasley gets daily suggestions from his position coach Bryant Young, the former San Francisco star tackle who finished a 14-year career in 2007 with 89 1/2 sacks.
The results are obviously another forgettable year. It’s fair to criticize Beasley for his performance. Broader conclusions, including about his effort or desire to get better, are unfair and aren’t actually supported by his offseason work.
If being a great football player had a few easy steps you would see every player in the league making those same moves. Beasley’s been making a lot of the right moves but they haven’t resulted to the on-field success we expected. Missing one specific training program isn’t the reason here.