The Atlanta Falcons added a big upgrade to their defensive line depth this week, with the signing of former Kansan City Chief Allen Bailey.
Bailey has always been a stout run defender, known for his power, and he had a bit of a semi-breakout season as far as pass rush is concerned with a career high 6.0 sacks in 2018.
“On the new addition of Allen, he’s somebody we’ve had our eye on for some time. He’s got versatility at defensive end and defensive tackle. His toughness, his attitude, the edge he can bring to our club is something that we really want,” said Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
Quinn is an inspiring motivator and an overall very persuasive guy. He used his full persuasion skills to lure Bailey over to the Falcons following the injuries to Michael Bennett and Steven Means on day one of Training Camp.
“We actually brought him in (Bailey) in spring. We’ve known Allen for a long time and we followed him until right after the season. When he was a free agent, he was somebody that we targeted,” Quinn said. “I’m really glad that he wanted to be a part of this, because we really wanted him to be here.”
“You have to refer to Dwight Freeney, he got harassed by me for quite a long time, and Allen certainly had the same harassment over his summer from me as well,” Quinn added, when asked about having to wait to sign Bailey.
Freeney was signed by the Falcons ahead of the 2016 season, Quinn’s sophomore season as the team’s head coach, and helped the team make a run at the Super Bowl with 3.0 sacks over the course of the season. The intangibles are what set Freeney apart, however, as he provided invaluable mentorship to Vic Beasley, who led the league with 15.5 sacks that year.
Quinn concluded by saying that he initially didn’t know if Bailey would sign in Atlanta, as he had visits to other places. He also credited Bob Sutton’s influence in the signing. Sutton joined the Falcons’ training staff as a senior assistant this offseason, and worked as Bailey’s defensive coordinator in Kansas City.
Bailey will provide some treasured depth along the defensive line, and defensive end especially. With the team’s plan to convert fourth-round pick John Cominsky into a DT, the Falcons didn’t address the DE position at all this offseason beyond the signing of Adrian Clayborn.
It’s comforting to know that if Beasley or Takkarist McKinley fail to live up to expectations, that the team’s pass rush won’t be a barren wasteland consisting of Clayborn and not much else.
Dan Quinn got his guy, and the defense is better than it was before the signing as a result.