Where has Vic Beasley been during OTAs? The answer is pretty simple and straightforward and maps more or less to what we expected when we first learned that he wasn’t attending OTAs in the first place, and it’s essentially him training in his hometown and working alongside fellow 2015 first rounder Bud Dupree.
That comes to us from a new story from ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, who chatted with Beasley and gleaned a little information and got a stock-sounding quote from Beasley, who took the time to reassure anyone who’s doubting his work ethic.
“I’m just working as hard as I can,” Beasley said. “I’m training hard. I’m excited about this season.”
This all might sound a little sarcastic on my part, but I’m actually happy to have a little additional detail. This is a critical year for Beasley, who will head into free agency next season and will be looking for a multi-year deal from the Falcons or another team, and it’s not like he was going to skip OTAs to sit around with so many years of his career in front of him. He’s just trying to get training he felt he wasn’t going to get in OTAs, and if it helps him have his best possible 2019, I think that’s all we can reasonably ask for.
Beasley has to think about his future and his best path forward because it may or may not be with the Falcons, and he can’t worry overmuch about pleasing the fans or the coaching staff in light of that. Getting in work with another pass rusher in search of a good year and doing his work close to home might be the best thing for an affable guy who has never been about the spotlight, and whatever the perception of a player in such a critical year skipping OTAs to train elsewhere, Beasley does have to do the best thing for him.
The perception issue is one I’ve brought up multiple times because a significant portion of the fanbase has predictably been sour about the move after Beasley had a shaky 2018, and Dan Quinn has made his feelings about Beasley’s absence (in typical Dan Quinn fashion) vaguely clearish.
When I asked Coach Quinn about not having Vic Beasley at OTA's DQ said "it's a bummer".— MikeBell929 (@MikeBellATL) May 31, 2019
Critically, Beasley made it clear he’ll be there for mandatory minicamp, and he therefore he’ll be around the team the rest of the offseason. With Steven Means’ injury and the only two significant additions to the roster being Adrian Clayborn and John Cominsky—not to mention the team paying out $12.8 million to Beasley this year—it’s not like he’s in any danger of seeing his role reduced or ending up in the doghouse in the early going because he missed some voluntary time. It’s beyond obvious that if he doesn’t have a great year, the Falcons will keep trotting him out there because they didn’t give themselves a lot of options, and the fanbase will turn on the man as they never have before. Beasley’s not unaware of that, but in the same way Dan Quinn bet on himself by taking over the defensive coordinator gig, Beasley’s betting on himself by training in his own way in the limited window he has to do so. Hopefully the hands on work between the two that DQ promised us will just supplement that.
If Beasley has a great year, this small drama will blow over, even if he prices himself well out of the team’s range heading into the 2020 offseason. That’s a discussion for the far-off future at the moment. For his sake and the team’s sake, I’ll be rooting hard for the best possible outcome.