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Quinn: 'We're Very Excited About Our LB Group'

When Dan Quinn talks about the emphasis he's putting on building a defense that is fast and physical, they aren't just words.

Take a look at the linebackers he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have drafted in the past two years and you'll see just how committed Atlanta is to building speed on defense.

Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell and Duke Riley all ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine.

Quinn doesn't just want speed at this position, athleticism and strength are necessities too, and the Falcons have that in LaRoy Reynolds and Kemal Ishmael. Atlanta re-signed Reynolds and Ishmael this offseason, both of whom were key depth players at linebacker during the 2016 season.

The Falcons have built a linebacker corps full of guys who can run and hit, the mantra of Quinn's program.

And Atlanta's head coach couldn't be more excited to see his vision of what he wanted from the get-go of this group finally come to life.

"The speed and the athleticism and the way we want to attack, it 100 percent [fits what we want], so we are very excited about that group, amongst others, but that group we are very, very excited to be working with them," Quinn said.

Speed at linebacker is essential in Quinn's defense because these players are asked to close ground quickly, fly around the field and swarm to the ball.

Jones is a prime example of how having a player with great speed at this position can benefit an entire defense.

The Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate's speed allowed him the time to diagnosis situations and react, without losing any ground. Jones was the Falcons leading tackler in his rookie season with 106 total tackles. 

Although it's hard to predict exactly what will happen in the 2017 season, one thing we know is certain when it comes to the Atlanta Falcons: The linebackers will play fast and physical, at all times.

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