Falcons: What moving Foye Oluokun to MLB means for Deion Jones

jones deion 2019

It is something you hear a quarterback and center call out before every single snap — “54 is the MIKE.” The MIKE is usually the middle linebacker and gives the offensive line a reference point in their blocking schemes. For many years in Atlanta, Deion Jones has manned that position, but that is likely not who will be there this year. “(Foye) has done a really nice job,” Arthur Smith said. “He had a very productive year last year. It’s early, but he’s taken over that role at middle linebacker.” After an impressive interception during a one-on-one against Qadree Ollison, there are many eyes on Oluokun’s progress in Dean Pees’ defense.


In his third year with Atlanta last season, Oluokun had three sacks, two interceptions, and 77 solo tackles. He’s a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can also drop into coverage with the best of them. Though this defense will be fluid between 3-4 and 4-3 sub-packages, Oluokun will likely be the man opposing offenses refer to as the MIKE, which designates Debo as the WILL backer.

Foye will be tasked with getting the entire defense set up, and Jones will be the flowing playmaker of the linebacker duo. Generally speaking, the WILL backer lines up 3-5 yards off the line of scrimmage and covers the guard to the weak side of the offensive formation — tasked with attacking the line of scrimmage, flowing from sideline to sideline, and make play after play on the football. Though it is slight, I believe this position switch benefits both Foye and Debo.




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