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Dan Quinn to employ a more “hands on” approach with struggling pass rusher Vic Beasley

It sounds good in theory, but where was this earlier?

Baltimore Ravens v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you haven’t heard the news by now, it’s been reported that the Atlanta Falcons do not plan on parting ways with former number eight overall draft selection Vic Beasley Jr. As you can imagine, Falcons Twitter is in a frenzy and the fanbase doesn’t seem too happy about the team’s plans to pay Beasley $12.8 million which becomes guaranteed at the start of the new league year (March 13).

Today, head Coach Dan Quinn announced that he’d be taking up a new approach in Beasley’s development, opting for a more “hands on” style with the Clemson alum this offseason.

This sounds great on paper, but one has to wonder why Quinn waited until just now to do this — Beasley is entering his fifth year and his on-field performance has been completely underwhelming for a top 10 pick, outside of that stellar 2016 season where everything broke right for him.

Beasley failed to capitalize on that All-Pro campaign, with a 5.0 sack season in 2017, so I’m wondering out loud why Quinn and company didn’t take up this hands on approach to aid in his development last offseason.

Then again, it may not have made a difference back then and it may not make a difference now, as it’s incredibly hard to change a player’s habits when he’s this far along in his career. Beasley is still relying on his great first step and the speed rush, almost exclusively, the same way he was in his rookie year. He’s essentially playing a difficult game of chess and utilizing just one piece in that game.

Quinn thinks he can change those habits while adding more to Beasley’s game, however, and if he can then more power to him.

Maybe Beasley has a resurgence and builds on his strong end to the season — where he had 4.0 sacks, two passes defensed, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, in the final seven games of the season — I’m sure many fans (myself included) would be happy to eat some crow if that happens.

But maybe Beasley is exactly who many of us think he is — a guy who had an anomaly season in 2016, and who is now skating by on his 2016 season and top draft status. Look no further than the 14.0 combined sacks in the other three years of his career to build a case for that scenario. If that is indeed the case, then letting him count nearly $13 million against the team’s cap would be completely irresponsible on Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff’s part.

Time will tell.