FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Free agency came and went in the blink of an eye and just like that, the Falcons are about to conclude their offseason program and break for the summer. With little holes to fill on their roster, the Falcons signed three veterans in free agency back in March: Brandon Fusco, Logan Paulsen and cornerback Justin Bethel.
Those three players have spent the past two months getting adjusted the Falcons scheme and head coach Dan Quinn provided an update on how their specific offseason has been.
He started off with Fusco who has started 80 games in his seven NFL seasons. The most recent team he played for before signing with the Falcons, the 49ers, run the same zone-blocking offensive scheme Atlanta does so that helped in his adjustment.
“We put Brandon right in at right guard and fortunately part of the system he’s been a part of, he was able to acclimate pretty quickly,” Quinn said. “Although for a lineman it’s more difficult to evaluate at this time. What you do see is his length as a pass protector. [He has] long arms, can get in front of guys easily that part really came through like a veteran should.”
The next player Quinn mentioned was Paulsen, the Falcons’ newest tight end. Paulsen was also most recently with the 49ers, having played in 14 games in the 2017 season. Primarily used as blocking tight end, Paulsen’s experience in the zone-blocking scheme is something Atlanta will also count on in the upcoming season.
“For Logan, I’ve been as impressed on the field as I have behind the scenes with him and the impact he’s made on Hoop [Austin Hooper] and Saub [Eric Saubert],” Quinn said. “He’s really gritty, really strong on the end of the line and that’s [where] we’re really going to try and feature him the most.”
Then there’s cornerback and special teams ace, Bethel. The Falcons made an emphasis to get better on special teams this offseason and the addition of Bethel certainly helps. Bethel, a two-time special teams Pro Bowler, is taking on a leadership role in the group, helping young players like rookie Russell Gage and others come along.