Falcons think moving Vic Beasley to defensive end will keep him fresher
Following a breakout 2016 campaign, Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley saw a notable drop in production from a sack standpoint this past season. A part of this dip came about from Beasley taking a more versatile role playing both defensive end and linebacker for a significant chunk of the year.
However, Falcons defensive line coach Bryant Young believes putting him solely at defensive end this upcoming season could lead to him bouncing back in a major way, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It frees him up to play more first- or second-down nickel and be available in that way and be fresher during the course of the game,” Young said. “Not that he couldn’t handle it because I thought he did a good job of handling the (strongside) and playing defensive end. Just having him available to play more reps at defensive end will be good for us.”
Through his first three years in the league, Beasley has proven to be one of the more disruptive pass rushers in the league. The fact that he had to play back in coverage at linebacker pushed him away from being able to pressure the quarterback as much. This switch to playing entirely at defensive end will allow him to be a bigger factor defensive that should help the Falcons boast a more formidable pass rush.
Atlanta had finished this past season with 39 sacks that ranked them 13th in the league despite Beasley’s drop in production in that department. The 2018 campaign could also be a huge season for Beasley as he enters the fourth year of his rookie deal where the $12.8 million fifth-year option on the contract for the 2019 season has already been picked up.
This could all set the table for the 25-year-old to bounce back with a Pro Bowl-caliber season while proving to be one of the top young talents at the position.