The third year can be a leap year for defensive linemen, and there are high hopes we’re going to see that in 2019 for Takkarist McKinley. Those hopes are shared by one Dan Quinn, perhaps the most important person to throw his faith publicly behind the defensive end.
It’s Quinn, of course, who was least strongly responsible for the team’s move to trade up and get Takk in the 2017 NFL Draft. It’s DQ who has been in Takk’s corner throughout criticism of the player during his first two years, whether that criticism has been valid or not. And it’s Quinn who sat down for an interview yesterday and put his strongest endorsement yet down for Takk, in an offseason where he’s seizing the reins of the defense.
Great visit with Falcons HC Dan Quinn...— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) June 10, 2019
I asked him.. the one player.. when the 2019 season is over... we can say DQ said back in June he’d have a monster year.... he didn’t hesitant and said...@Takk pic.twitter.com/DG28ge3IhS
Quinn’s selection of Takk for this particular honor is not shocking, but it probably tells us we should up our expectations for the gifted defensive end. There were stretches of the 2018 season where Takk looked borderline unstoppable with his strength and technique, and while those stretches weren’t consistent enough to put together the kind of mind-blowing season that earns players huge hype and Pro Bowl nods, it was enough to think he’s on the verge of putting things together. Takk has 13 sacks in two seasons, has hit opposing quarterbacks 25 times over that span, and is still just 23 years old.
So let’s happily embrace Quinn’s words here and plan on Takk breaking out and delivering the double digit sack season he’s been pushing himself to deliver, and hope that 2019 is the kind of year we look back on as the start of something truly special.