Flowery Branch — The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The easiest way to have a great pass rush is to employ a great pass rusher. Funny that it took the Atlanta Falcons this long to figure that out.
Actually, not funny. Sad. But happier days could be at hand.
Vic Beasley has the capacity to be what the Falcons have long lacked — a consistent source of pressure. (John Abraham was capable of bringing pressure, but nobody would describe him as consistent. When he was good, he was very good. When he wasn’t, he was invisible.)
This was Thomas Dimitroff, still the general manager, speaking Thursday night: “It’s nice to know that we’re adding pass rush to this defense. For me personally to see that happen, being around here since 2008 and (seeing) Dan’s approach to defense with a guy like that in tow, is going to be a nice addition for us.”
To these ears, that sounded disingenuous. Dimitroff has been GM since 2008. He was in charge of scouting and drafting for seven years. (He isn’t now, though he retains final say over the draft itself. Although new coach Dan Quinn has final say over the roster. Feel free to diagram that organizational chart.) For most of those seven years, Dimitroff insisted he and former coach Mike Smith — whom Dimitroff helped hire — were “simpatico.”
In the continuing absence of a pass rush, Smith would tell us media types that sacks were “overrated.” Which isn’t to say they’d have been unwanted. Had Dimitroff been able to find a true pass rusher, I feel reasonably certain Smith would have found use for him.
Ah, well. Ancient history now. Vic Beasley should bring the big heat, and we should be able to move past the failed trials of draftees Lawrence Sidbury and Jonathan Massaquoi and the free-agent duds Ray Edwards and Osi Umenyiora. We forget the days of Mike Nolan trying to scheme around the lack of a pass rusher by saying he’d rather have “10 guys with four sacks than four with 10 each.”
It’s to Mike Smith’s credit that he won as many games as he did — 56 in his first five seasons — without a pass rush, or much of a defense. It’s a source of enduring mystery that this career defensive man allowed his defense to remain substandard.
Maybe Dimitroff didn’t find him the right players. Maybe Smith didn’t insist on having the right players. Whatever the case, there was no such disconnect with the first pick of Quinn’s stewardship. This defensive man wanted a pass rusher, and he got him.
From myajc: Vic Beasley — the right pick at the right time.