Falcons appear to rely on internal candidates to replace Barkevious Mingo on the EDGE

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After the team terminated the contract of Barkevious Mingo, there was a frenzy of speculation that the Falcons were going to replace him with Melvin Ingram, Justin Houston, or some other high-profile edge rusher still left on the free-agent market at the time. It was wishful thinking because, as I suggested in the most recent Talkin’ Birdy episode that previews the team’s training camp, Terry Fontenot will likely rely on the internal candidates to replace the production loss from Mingo.

As Tori noted, Brandon Copeland has been working with the outside linebackers in what appears to be an obvious replacement for Mingo. Copeland played last year in New England under Bill Belichick but has familiarity with linebackers coach Frank Bush who spent the 2019-20 seasons serving as the Jets’ linebackers coach. During those two seasons under him, Copeland recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks. In five seasons, Copeland has tallied 119 tackles, 19 QB hits, and seven sacks. He’s a quality player who can provide depth at multiple positions — off-ball and outside linebacker.

Falcons fans can also expect John Cominsky and Mykal Walker to transition to playing more EDGE than their natural positions — defensive end for Cominsky and off-ball linebacker for Walker. From the second practice of training camp, McElhaney noticed Cominsky being used all over the line.

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