Good afternoon! Welcome to the Cover 9@9 blog. It’s normally our weekly list of nine things at 9 a.m. Wednesday that you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons. But today, we waited until interviewing head coach Dan Quinn at the NFL scouting combine.
1. Quinn plans hands on approach with Beasley. The Falcons plan to honor their commitment to Vic Beasley for his fifth-year $12.8 million option, but Quinn plans to change how Beasley works.
He wants him to be more consistent.
“If we stay doing what we are doing, we’ll probably get the same results,” Quinn said. “I’m very much looking forward to having a hands on approach with him. I told him by the end of the spring he’s going to either love me or hate me. I’m good with either, but we are going to put it in. He knows the work that it is going to take to play really consistent and I’m looking forward to seeing him do it.”
2. Jarrett could get tagged. Quinn wouldn’t rule out Jarrett getting the franchise tag if the two sides can’t work out a deal.
3. Falcons like UGA players. Nine players from Georgia are set to workout at the combine.
We had the Falcons taking former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker in our latest mock draft. After talking to Quinn, returner Mecole Hardman is also on their radar and he mentioned defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter.
“In different ways from like corners, running backs and returners, it’s a good topic for where we are at,” Quinn said of the Georgia players. “I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys here and meeting them some. The nice part about some of the UGA guys is that we get to go over and see them.
“Now, my connection with (Georgia coach) Kirby (Smart) I have a good feel for their team now. We’re spending more time together. We are disappointed we were not able to add some (Georgia players) last year. There are some good players coming out this year that would certainly make good additions for us.”
4. Holyfield expected to shine. Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield needs to run fast in the 40-yard dash. He’s been training with Christian Coleman, one of the nation’s top sprinters.
“I think it’s going to be a fast group,” Quinn said of the running backs. “For sure, looking at (Holyfield’s) tape, he’s going to be hauling ass. There is going to be some low times and based on his background I would say that he’s going to be someone that’s going to be one of the faster ones here.”
5. Sambrailo is the right tackle. Quinn helped to clarify the status of right tackle Ty Sambrailo.
6. Tevin Coleman basically gone. Quinn didn’t sound optimistic about the return of running back Tevin Coleman, but he doesn’t plan to hand the No. 2 running back spot to Ito Smith.
“He’s certainly has shown that he’s capable of that, but if that (Coleman leaving) takes place, there will definitely be other guys that we put into the mix to compete with (Smith),” Quinn said. “I don’t like going into it saying that you’re automatically here and you’re automatically here unless your names is (Matt) Ryan or (Julio) Jones. They are not competing with anyone else for their spot.
“At other spaces, you better believe that we are going to try to create as much competition as we can in lots of spots, running back being one of them.”
7. Freeman update. Running back Devonta Freeman is running after spots hernia surgery.
“What I can say is that I’m looking forward to Devonta (Freeman) combing back,” Quinn said. “We really missed his energy, his style and slashing ability. He’s doing well.”
8. Cornerback is a priority. With the release of of Robert Alford and Brian Poole not being tendered, the Falcons have to re-stock the cornerback position. Quinn noted that it’s a priority and that they had nine picks in the draft.
“It’s definitely in the front of our thinking, but there are other positions that are in the front as well,” Quinn said. “I think you can get some starters in a number of rounds all the way up through fourth and fifth (rounds of the draft.) We are living proof of that. (Damontae) Kazee, Grady (Jarrett), DeVondre (Campbell) and others.
“As you are going through there, I’m not going to say this is the first order, this is the second. It’s definitely a position that we can add more too, certainly (we need) more depth at corner.”
9. Fusco update. The Falcons hoping to have guard Brandon Fusco back by training camp. “He’s definitely back to full rehab,” Quinn said. “The first part with the break is like doing the operation, then it’s the healing. Because it’s not like a ligament where you can start the rehab process right away.
“You have to heal and then you can get going on the mobility and strengthening. Maybe he does something in the spring, but for sure, our goal would be for him to back for the (training) camp side of things.”
He said Fusco is not running yet.