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.”
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.”
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 COMBINE MEETINGS