We’re all wondering how Dan Quinn is going to elect to replace Keanu Neal, and while we won’t know for certain for a few days at the very earliest, he gave us some clues in his press conference Friday.
Per Quinn, the plan is for the Falcons to replace Neal with players they already have in the building. That includes Damontae Kazee (who looks pretty damn good), Jordan Richards (who came over as a reserve/special teamer but was a second round pick not all that long ago), and presumably Brian Poole in a pinch, as the hyper-physical cornerback can definitely play safety if he needs to. To fill the roster spot, the Falcons would presumably elevate Ryan Neal from the practice squad, giving them four true safeties on the active roster.
Dan Quinn says the plan is to stay in-house to replace Keanu Neal, with a combination of Damontae Kazee and Jordan Richards. Sounds like no Eric Reed unless things look ugly.— Oh no we suck again! (@FalcoholicMatt) September 7, 2018
The Falcons still may sign a veteran—it wasn’t ruled out, at the very least, and there are some quality options out there—but for this week at least they may very well choose to stay close to home. We don’t know how effective any of these guys will be and none of them are going to be Neal, but we’ll hope they can cobble together a group that is capable of playing well enough so that this Falcons defense can stay afloat.