Falcons: De’Vondre Campbell needs to be benched

ccr190929028 ten at atl

The beginning of this Atlanta Falcons season has been demoralizing for a team and a fan base that entered 2019 with such lofty expectations. The defense was back to 100%; the offensive line was revamped; the skill positions were as loaded as ever, and the pesky coaches that were responsible for 2018’s downfall were no longer in the building. This was supposed to be a resurrection year. Instead, Atlanta looks as lifeless as they ever have in the Dan Quinn era.

A plethora of things have gone sideways for the Falcons on their way to a 1-5 start, but the players have to bear most of the responsibility for the product on the field. Several guys, especially on defense, are wildly underperforming, and the last few weeks might be the writing on the wall for De’Vondre Campbell.

Let’s start with this play against the Texans, courtesy of The Falcoholic’s Allen Strk.

Don’t worry; there’s plenty of more plays coming that highlight Campbell’s ineffectiveness against both the run and the pass. Several times, he appears to be doing his own thing, unbothered by whether he’s supposed to be playing man or zone. In a limited sample size, Foye Oluokun has vastly outperformed Campbell, yet Quinn has refused to make the switch – despite admitting over the last several weeks that he will be re-evaluating personnel decisions following the Falcons’ porous start.

Here is Campbell again versus the Colts:

In each game, Campbell is picked on because of his lackadaisical awareness. Unfortunately for him, it’s a contract year, and he’s losing out on money with every passing week.

Here is Campbell most recently versus the Cardinals

With Campbell doubtful to be a part of the team’s future, the Falcons are even more incentivized to see what they have behind him. Oluokon shined last season and usurped Duke Riley for his starting spot. With Deion Jones back to full health, he’s been forced to take a back seat. The Falcons defensive woes are primarily in coverage – an area Campbell has shown clear regression through six games. Oluokon was a safety at Yale, seamlessly making the transition to linebacker as a rookie. He’s a far better option to fix Atlanta’s ongoing problems against the pass.

If Dan Quinn wants to save his job – whether that’s even possible or not – starting a hungry youngster would be a step in the right direction, potentially correcting the schematic problems that exist with Campbell on the field. It also sends a message to the team – missing assignments cannot go unpunished. Regardless of the start to this season, there are still ten games remaining, and every step needs to be taken to try and turn this around.


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