FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes Vic Beasley's thoughts on his 2017 season and his goals moving forward as well as felony charges for Reuben Foster.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
ESPN: Vic Beasley looking to be a difference-maker again
One year after leading the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016, expectations were high for Vic Beasley's third season with the Falcons. Beasley was used in a more versatile role, however, and his contribution to other areas of the defense diminished his sack total, leaving him with just five sacks on the season.
This offseason, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has stated Beasley will move back to defensive end in a full-time capacity, allowing him to focus entirely on getting to the quarterback. Speaking with ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Beasley echoed that notion.
"I'm focused on one thing," Beasley told McClure. "I don't have to worry about playing the linebacker position; strictly defensive end. I focus on getting after the quarterback. That makes things a lot more smoother and a lot more simple for me."
Beasley also discussed a conversation he and Quinn had following the season, where Quinn advised him to go back and thoroughly study the game film from last season. From that study, Beasley says he saw several instances where he could have become a "difference-maker."
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BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
NFL.com: Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was charged with multiple domestic violence and weapons counts Thursday in connection to a February arrest, according to NFL.com's Austin Knoblauch.
The three felony charges Foster is facing derive from an alleged attack on his girlfriend. The charges include: domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm; forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime; and possession of an assault weapon.
If convicted on all charges, Foster faces the possibility of more than 11 years in prison, according to the report.
Foster was considered among the top players in last year's NFL Draft before character and injury concerns caused him to slide on draft night prior to the 49ers trading back into the first round and selecting him with the 31st-overall pick. In his rookie season, Foster started 10 games and recorded 72 tackles.
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