Although he’s in Indianapolis for the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was asked several questions about current members of his team, including pass rusher Vic Beasley.
After leading the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016, Beasley finished with five sacks last season. The drop-off caused many to question how the Falcons were using Beasley, especially the number of snaps he took at linebacker instead of defensive end.
“For a stretch there, we felt the best thing for us to do would be play him in both roles – at [linebacker] and at the nickel defensive end,” Quinn said Wednesday. “We’re just going to go back to what he does best. At the time, we needed to use him in that role, but we’ll feature him as a defensive end all the time in 2018.”
Following the Falcons’ end-of-season press conference, Quinn declared that Beasley would be moving back to defensive end full-time in the future, and he reiterated that claim on Wednesday.
While Beasley did play linebacker for the Falcons at times in 2017, it’s important to note that he still spent the majority of the season rushing the passer. Quinn went into further detail about how the team deployed Beasley last year. “We played probably in our defense this year close to 70 percent in nickel,” Quinn said. “In our nickel defenses, Vic was a defensive end … and in our base packages, which made up the other 30, sometimes 35 or 40 percent of the time, he would play linebacker. He had always been our backup linebacker at that spot, but we really featured him in the nickel package, and we will always continue to do so.”