When the Atlanta Falcons drafted Vic Beasley out of Clemson a couple of months ago, they were hoping plays like this one would happen more often:
Beasley is No. 44, who comes in on the far right side of the screen. Beasley pushed left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson all the way back into quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, doing exactly what he should do to the New York Jets’ best offensive lineman during their preseason game Friday night.
Then, you also see Adrian Clayborn (No. 99) embarrass Jets offensive guard James Carpenter, throwing him to the ground before going after Fitzpatrick. Just like that, the quarterback’s pocket is completely destroyed, and the defense can feast on a helpless Fitzpatrick.
The offensive line that got blown up on that play ranked No. 13 in the NFL a year ago, according to Pro Football Focus. So that’s no scrub line right there.
“I love this system,” defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux told AtlantaFalcons.com. “I think everyone in the system will play well to the best of their ability … I want this year to be a special year.”
This is exactly what Falcons fans are hoping to see on a more regular basis in 2015: get more pressure on the quarterback and give the young, talented secondary a chance to intercept passes.
New head coach Dan Quinn seems to have a plan that’s going to work, and remember – the Falcons don’t have to be great on defense, but they do need to be competent. The offense is still supposed to be the shining star of this team, but they’ll only be able to dominate on the scoreboard if the defense can get off the field.
And if you’re worried about the offense, don’t be. Matt Ryan has quarterbacked three drives so far this preseason, and the Falcons have scored a touchdown on all three.
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