After leading the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016. Head coach Dan Quinn changed Beasley’s role in 2017 using him more as a linebacker. The move caused his sack totals to drop off drastically in 2017 finishing with 5 sacks.
Here’s Coach Quinn’s explanation for the move.
“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. “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.”
Although Beasley played more as a linebacker in 2017, its important to say he played majority of his snaps in nickel defensive end, partly because of the injury to Duke Riley who had meniscus surgery.
Falcons wanted to take advantage of Beasley’s athleticism but it hurt the pass rush this year even with Adrian Clayborn’s 6 sack performance against the Cowboys.
Quinn goes on to explain his thinking.
“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.”
In a interview with 92.9 The Game Beasley speaks on his role in 2018.
” I know coach understands and he sees that my best fit is at defensive end, and that’s where I’ll help benefit the team mostly.“
In other words… I’m tired of the BS, put me back at defensive end and watch me do work.
What are your thoughts Falcons Fam? How did you like seeing Vic Beasley at linebacker last season?