Q&A Dan Quinn: He wants to partner with Julio Jones ‘for a long time’

New Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said during Tuesday's introductory press conference in Flowery Branch that he would have a hand in reworking the defense with help from assistant coaches Richard Smith and Raheem Morris, but was unsure whether he would be calling plays.

New Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said during Tuesday’s introductory press conference in Flowery Branch that he would have a hand in reworking the defense with help from assistant coaches Richard Smith and Raheem Morris, but was unsure whether he would be calling plays.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who can’t wait for the team’s offseason program to start on April 6, addressed several of the team’s pressing concerns with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone call from the owners’ meeting on Wednesday.

Sam Baker is going to get a look at guard, Dezmen Southward will get a look at playing cornerback on the outside and at free safety, Kroy Biermann will get a shot at Leo and he shot down the report that Falcons were in talks with Seattle to acquire defensive end Michael Bennett.

Here’s what Quinn had to say:

On Rule changes: “I’m just learning. It was really kind of cool feeling, OK, this is where a lot of the decisions are made. We were just kind of going through the discussions. It was good to go through. It was nothing that I thought ‘man, this going to make a   big change.’ I didn’t feel that way.”

On getting Julio Jones’ deal completed: “For me, just knowing the type of player that he is. Hopefully, we’ll be connected for years to come. I can’t wait to get started with him. I can’t wait to partner up with him for a long time.”

Why did you all bring back Kroy Biermann?: “Well, he was somebody that we always wanted back. I’m thrilled that he is back. He’s played, has versatility and has experience playing defensive end, he has experience playing outside linebacker. But we are going to play him at our Leo spot. I can’t way to get started with him as see his competition, attitude and finish. Those are all of the things that he can bring. I can’t wait to get started with him.”

Former Seahawks defensive end O’Brien Schofield here celebrating a sack against the Bears in 2014. Schofield nearly signed with the Giants, last offseason but failed a physical. He's listed as an outside linebacker by the Falcons. JOHN FROSCHAUER — The Associated Press

Former Seahawks defensive end O’Brien Schofield here celebrating a sack against the Bears in 2014. Schofield nearly signed with the Giants, last offseason but failed a physical. He’s listed as an outside linebacker by the Falcons. JOHN FROSCHAUER — The Associated Press

On O’Brien Schofield: “O.B. plays with a lot of energy. He’s got great versatility. He started at Leo. He’s started at Sam and just, whatever it takes, that’s OB. ‘Coach, I’ve got this.’ He’s one of those people. Whatever you need, I got it. I love his attitude. I love his style of play. So, for him to be here and connect with the guys is really important.”

On Adrian Clayborn: “We like those guys who have versatility. I really feel like he has great versatility although he hasn’t played a lot at D-end as a wide three-technique. He can do that. So we’re going to play him at both defensive end and defensive tackle in some spots.”

On free safety: “Those (Charles Godfrey and Dezmen Southward) are the two guys that we can’t wait to get started with. When you’re playing a lot of three deep you have to play range and be a good tackler. You’ve got to have great ball skills. Both of them have great experience doing it. We are looking at Southward at corner, too.”

Outside or a slot corner: “I know that he’s long and fast. …I can’t wait to find out what he can do. Outside.”

On running back Devonta Freeman: “I certainly think he’s ready for (an increased role). He’s perfect for (the scheme) and he can catch. We’re real anxious to see what he can do. I just love his competitiveness, his toughness and his attitude.”

Michael Bennett (72) reportedly wants to be traded to the Atlanta Falcons to be reunited with head coach Dan Quinn. (Scott Eklund/Associated Press)

Michael Bennett (72) reportedly wants to be traded to the Atlanta Falcons to be reunited with head coach Dan Quinn. (Scott Eklund/Associated Press)

On William Moore and Jake Matthews recovery from off-season surgery: “The guys who had the offseason surgeries, they are off to a great start. I’ve had a chance to meet with the training staff and I keep up with them. I see them in the building and I know they are working extremely hard. Those guys are so fired up to get going. It’s hard coming back from injury. It’s a long road at times. So for those guys to doing as well as they are, it’s a real plus for us.”

On Sam Baker in the mix playing tackle and guard: “Yes. He’s one of the other guys who’s rehabbing his arm and trying to get ready to do what he can do. With all of the experience that he has, it’s not like he’s can just play left tackle. He’s played a number of spots. We’ll just see where it goes with him.”

On talks with Seattle to trade for Michael Bennett: “There has not been (any talks). I don’t know where that story came from. It was just one of those random things that should have been mark down as ‘nothing.’ He’s a great player, but there have been no talks at all.”

FALCONS STORIES

Falcons to focus on adding another cornerstone

Quinn-Dimitroff partnership off to a strong start

Q&A with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn at the combine

Falcons coach Dan Quinn fired up to watch pass-rushers

Q&A with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff on moving forward

Falcons to keep character filter on draft picks

Falcons close to re-signing kicker Matt Bryant

Falcons LT Jake Matthews recovering from offseason surgery

Falcons plan to extend WR Julio Jones contract

Falcons could target Denver TE Julius Thomas in free agency

Falcons’ roster gutting could have big names (i.e. Steven Jackson)

Cutting the Falcons roster — Should they stay or should they go?

COMBINE STORIES

Todd Gurley speaks about autograph-signing caper

Bucs appear set to cast future with Jameis Winston

Todd Gurley intriguing prospect to NFL teams

Alabama stars Cooper, Collins headed for first round

Chris Conley puts on a dazzling show at the combine

Waller, Smelter out to prove NFL standing at the combine

VIDEO DEPARTMENT

Watch: D. Led — Falcons news at the combine

Watch: NFL Network’s Mike Mayock at the combine

Watch: Jameis Winston to throw at the combine

Watch: Todd Gurley has interviews set up with 24 NFL teams

Watch: Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff at the combine

Watch: Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the combine

Watch: Rams GM Les Snead on the pass-rush talent at the combine

FALCONS COMBINE MEETINGS

Oregon DE Arik Armstead talked scheme with the Falcons

Falcons met with Alabama quarterback Blake Sims

Falcons to meet with Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr.

Falcons met with Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

Falcons met with Alabama safety Landon Collins

PHOTO GALLERIES

Photographs from the 2015 NFL scouting combine

Photos of players with Georgia ties at the scouting combine

Photos of NFL pass rusher set to enter free agency

 


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