It's another big day for the Atlanta Falcons as Dan Quinn is set to hold his first official team meeting as the club's head coach. Beginning from his first day on the job in February, he mentioned several times how exciting it was going to be to connect with his players, among the many benefits of the job he appreciates the most.
One such player Quinn is already familiar with is Falcons defensive end Malliciah Goodman, having scouted him during his path to the draft as a defensive star at Clemson in 2012.
Entering his third NFL season, Goodman has already met with Quinn in Atlanta and was instantly impressed with his head coach's energy and passion, along with his defensive success, including a Super Bowl title in 2013.
"You always get excited about that stuff," Goodman said. "He knows what he's doing. He has a record of putting together good defenses, and it's not like he needs all the top guys to make something happen. He brings everybody together and utilizes what each individual does well and then expands on that."
Quinn has already been helping Goodman prepare for what could be his best season yet as a pro, strategizing where to best play the 6-foot-4, 274-pound lineman, based on what he does best. The plan is to move Goodman back outside, where he spent most of his time at Clemson.
The Falcons' 2016 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year
In 2012, Goodman ended his collegiate career in spectacular fashion, including 20 tackles, 9.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was named Clemson's defensive player of the game in the Tigers' Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU, totaling three sacks.
"I love playing on the defensive line and being an end," said Goodman, who played both interior and outside defensive line positions under the previous coaching regime.
"I'm a little more familiar with it and a little more comfortable with it. It's good to be back on the edge. I just have to continue learning at this level and increasing my abilities from what I previously did at the position."
Each of the goals Quinn has set for Goodman and the rest of his Falcons teammates is predicated on transforming the team into a consistent winner, and that is the message that will be conveyed during Monday's team meeting.
"He's done a lot of things that will create a competitive environment, on and off the field," Goodman said. "He's an energetic guy. He's excited about his job, and he's going to do everything he can to get us where we need to be."