PHOENIX – When asked to name a few players he wants to see improvement from in the upcoming season, Dan Quinn started with two of his former first-round picks.
Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley.
After an up-and-down campaign from both in 2018, Quinn has been vocal about his expectations moving forward.
“I’m expecting them to have a fantastic offseason,” Quinn said.
Since his league-leading 15.5 sacks in 2016, Beasley’s production has decreased. In the past two seasons, he’s recorded five sacks a year.
The Falcons need more from Beasley coming off the edge and with Quinn taking over as defensive coordinator, he’s planning to take a very hands-on approach to ensure he’s featured in the right ways.
“We’ve had some production and one year of really good production,” Quinn said of Beasley. “We’re going to work like crazy to get the things that he does best out in the forefront to help our team play like we’re capable of.”
On a number of occasions, McKinley has shown the type of impact player he can be in the Falcons’ defense. He’s recorded 13 sacks combined during his first two seasons in Atlanta.
After starting the year with 4.5 sacks in the Falcons’ first five games, McKinley went through a four-game stretch without any. He finished 2018 with seven sacks.
In order to ensure he doesn’t hit a “rut” again and is the player the Falcons are expecting him to be, Quinn said it will come down to “consistency in his preparation and practice.”
With some different techniques employed and new leadership on the defensive side of the ball, Quinn is confident about the type of production they will get from both Beasley and McKinley moving forward.
“We’re really going to feature these guys in a good way this year,” Quinn said. “We’re excited about some changes we’ll make with how we’ll play those two.”