NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Falcons

Falcons DE Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks in only his second season. Since then, though, Beasley has struggled to keep up that level of play. He’s failed to record double-digit sacks in three of his first four seasons. 

“I know I’m a good player,” Beasley said via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. “There’s a lot of things that I can work on, but I know that I’m a good player. For me to remain in this league and to be the great player that I want to be, I have to be consistent. I just have to do better. Humans make mistakes in life. You have to make it up in your mind that you’re going to do better. A lot of times when you strive to be great, sometimes things don’t go your way. But you continue to remain optimistic in those situations.”

Beasley has worked closely with Falcons HC Dan Quinn to further develop his game. He models his game after Broncos LB Von Miller because of their similar builds, but Quinn has worked with him on his fundamentals against the run and adding in countermoves to his usual speed rush. 

“I thought in the run game, those fundamentals, I thought that’s been an improvement,” Quinn said. “We’ve worked hard, for him, in the pass rush. I won’t get into all the specifics but some things: counters, what to set off with. So we’ve spent a good bit of time on that. … He’s off to a good start.’’

  • Falcons WR Calvin Ridley worked to the side on Monday as he recovers from a tweaked hamstring. (Vaughn McClure)
  • Falcons WR Julio Jones says he’s not waiting for Saints WR Michael Thomas to sign before agreeing to his own extension: “There’s nothing at this point to tell.” (Kelsey Conway)
  • Jones says he won’t play this preseason. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)
  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn said the team sat OT Kaleb McGary with an illness in practice and it’s uncertain if he’ll play in the Hall of Fame game. (McClure)

Panthers

Panthers LB Bruce Irvin says he’s serious when he compares the front seven in Carolina to the one he went to two Super Bowls with in Seattle. He also says so far Carolina has been a much better fit for him than last year with the Raiders and Falcons. 

“We can get after the quarterback. When you bring it all together and everyone plays for one another, it becomes a scary group,” Irvin said via Max Henson of the official team website. “We got a bunch of guys who have done great things in this league. A lot of knowledge. It’s a great scheme. I have a voice as one of the older guys. Coach Rivera lets the older guys control their rooms and I can just be myself. I can talk (expletive) and be myself. That’s my game.”

Saints

  • According to the Athletic’s Larry Holder, Saints QB Taysom Hill has looked more like a viable NFL quarterback during training camp this year and got some reps with the first team during 7-on-7 drills.
  • So far during camp, Holder notes the Saints are utilizing TE Jared Cook in similar ways to how they used Jimmy Graham
  • Holder mentions CB P.J. Williams has held off CB Patrick Robinson for the starting nickel corner position.
  • Sixth-round S Saquan Hampton has been impressive filling in for S Marcus Williams on the first-team defense, per Holder. 
  • Saints S Vonn Bell says he’s bulked up 10 pounds to 215 heading into 2019. (Mike Triplett)
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