Falcons defensive scheme under Raheem Morris revealed

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

For the second year in a row, the Falcons will be adjusting their defensive scheme.

Following Dean Pees’ retirement, Arthur Smith hired Ryan Nielsen, who oversaw a dramatic improvement on that side of the ball. Granted, the offseason brought a ton of personnel upgrades, but Nielsen’s impact has to be acknowledged.

Pees ran more of a base 3-4, which prioritizes smaller, more athletic edge defenders, while Nielsen called more of a 4-3 base defense. It resulted in a guy like DeAngelo Malone, a smaller edge defender, losing his role.

Now, under new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, the Falcons are going back to a 3-4 base, but he did add that they’ll be multiple and let the situation dictate their looks.

My first thought was the Falcons don’t have a true nose tackle, which makes that an offseason priority. It doesn’t need to garner significant investment, but it must be addressed.

Secondly, this spells good news for Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone. The former came around last season and provided a glimpse of what a reliable pass rusher could look like. The latter played sparingly, mostly on special teams, so getting a third-round pick back into the fold is great news.

Other guys like David Onyemata, Grady Jarrett, and Zach Harrison shouldn’t be affected too much one way or the other.

The Falcons are also assessing the offensive side of the ball as they prepare to decide on a scheme and therefore a quarterback to run it. There’s a lot to figure out between now and the start of free agency.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: