Beasley Discusses Position Change: Vic Beasley, Jr. has been putting in extra work this offseason as he transitions from the LEO position to SAM (strongside) linebacker. The 2015 first-round pick will be asked to drop back into coverage more often in his new role, which he did successfully during limited chances in his rookie season. He showed the coaches that he can keep up with opposing receivers when he picked off San Francisco’s Blaine Gabbert in Week 9 of his rookie campaign.
“It’s off to a great start,” Beasley said of the change. “I played a little bit of linebacker in college, but it’s different in the league; there’s more responsibility. But I’m off to a great start with it. … I’m pretty sure in the game plan they’ll use me in rushing and obviously dropping back, going back and forth.”
Addressing Injury Concerns: Beasley played all of last season with a torn labrum, and though many were concerned about his injury, it didn’t prevent him from participating in practice or getting snaps during the regular season. Now, it’s a nonissue: Beasley said his shoulder is at full health and, with the help of a nutritionist, he’s been able to add some upper-body weight in the last few months.
“Honestly I think it’s blown out of proportion,” Beasley said of his torn labrum. “Last year, it really didn’t hinder me. I played with the labrum in college … Now, I’m off a great start and I feel 100 percent with my labrum.”
Studying a Superstar: To help him take the next step in 2016, Beasley has been poring over tape of arguably the best pass-rusher in the world.
“I watch Von MIller all the time. We share a lot of similarities,” Beasley said. “I don’t necessarily try to be like him because I’m my own person, but we do share a lot of similarities and I try to mirror some of myself out there.”
DiMarco Fine With New Blocking Rule: The NFL’s new chop block rule, explained here, could force Atlanta’s offense to make some adjustments because of their zone blocking scheme. While it may help the opposition, fullback Patrick DiMarco believes that, if it makes the game safer, implementing it is a good decision.
“You got to protect guys in this league,” DiMarco said. “Guys don’t play long enough as it is; three years isn’t long enough. So the more we can preserve guys playing longer, helping their families out and everything, the better.”
Cutting Down on Mistakes: As the Falcons’ offense works through the current portion of their offseason program, the goal is clear: Figure out how to clean up the mistakes that led to Atlanta’s second-half slide last winter.
“We just have to get better at being us. Do what we do,” said DiMarco. “I think at some points last year, we got to a point where we thought we needed to do something else because we got in a slump, when really, we’re good at what we do. (We need) to stick to what we do. And that’s kind of what we’re mainly focused on. … We’re on our craft and getting better at what we do.”