Calais Campbell is a big believer in the Falcons defense

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It’s been five years since the Falcons had anything better than a paper thin defense. Aging players and bad contracts have made it nearly impossible for the unit to succeed, but that is set to change in 2023.

Terry Fontenot finally had money to spend in free agency, and he kept true to his word about improving in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. Calais Campbell, David Onyemata, and Bud Dupree are set to start across the front, giving the Falcons the best pass rush they’ve had in perhaps over a decade. The addition of Kaden Elliss also solidifies the second level, and Jessie Bates III gives the Falcons a captain of the defense at the backend. There are some questions about the depth, but if this group can stay healthy, they can be one of the better defenses in football, something that hasn’t been said about the Falcons in a long time.

Calais Campbell is a future Hall of Famer. He’s amassed over 800 tackles and is one sack shy of reaching 100 for his career. The 15-year veteran has experienced everything one can possibly experience in this league, and he was not holding back when talking about the potential of the Falcons’ defense in 2023.

” I saw it in coach Nielsen’s eyes,” Campbell said on 92.9 The Game’s Dukes and Bell. “I love the way he explained and broke down the way we are going to play defense, and I saw the moves that were made to make sure that we can do that at a high level. Bringing Jesse Bates in, bringing in Kaden Elliss. Those guys, you turn on the tape, they show up. I was in the division with Jessie Bates. I saw it first hand,” Campbell continued.

“Our defense is going to be good. We are going to be real good.”

“Our defense is going to be special.”

Quarterback play gets all the national attention, and it should for the most part. It’s next to impossible to win a Super Bowl in this day and age without a premier quarterback. However, the game is still won in the trenches.

Last year, the Falcons offensive line transformed into one of the best groups of maulers in the league, establishing one of the league’s top rushing attacks. They return four starters and insert a 2023 second-round pick at starting left guard. That kind of continuity and development should result in even better results this season, and now their defensive line is catching up. If this group can be as productive as they look on paper, the Falcons should dominate in the trenches, which will result in a helluva lot of wins, even if Desmond Ridder doesn’t prove to be anything spectacular.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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