Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley and Rams running back Todd Gurley’s NFL careers will be forever intertwined.
With Gurley sitting on the draft board back in 2015 when the Falcons picked eighth, they selected Beasley because they needed a pass rusher. Two picks later, the Rams selected Gurley, who played at the University of Georgia.
The two crossed paths early in the Rams' 37-10 victory over the Falcons on Sunday. The Rams sent Gurley out of the backfield on a wheel route. Beasley had him in coverage one-on-one.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff floated a nice pass over Beasley’s head for a 8-yard touchdown to make the score 10-3. Safety Jamal Crawford came over too late to help.
Credit: Alyssa Pointer
Credit: Alyssa Pointer
But Beasley, who’s heard the trade rumors, feels he’s let down head coach Dan Quinn.
“Yeah, I feel like I’ve let him down,” Beasley said. “He’s made some great calls. We just have to execute. He’s making good calls. It’s up to us to execute them.”
The Falcons dropped to 1-6, which ties their worst start since the 2007 season under Bobby Petrino. There doesn't appear to be a quick turnaround and now with quarterback Matt Ryan's ankle injury, the season could be over.
“It’s very tough,” Beasley said. “It feels like a lot of times, every week, we definitely feel like we have the players to go out there and win. But it just ain’t happening for us right now.”
The Falcons did not get a sack for the fourth straight game. They did have three quarterback hits.
“We almost got there,” Beasley said. “But almost doesn’t get it done. We’re getting pressure, but it’s just not turning into sacks for us.”
Beasley doesn’t know if the trade rumors are legitimate.
“Yeah, I’m aware of it,” Beasley said. “I’ll just continue to help this team win games for as long as I’m here. If a trade does happen, I’ll just take it as it is.”
Beasley said he wants to say with the Falcons.
“I didn’t ask for it,” Beasley said. “Just taking it one day at a time. If upstairs, coach (Quinn) and (general manager Thomas) Dimitroff feel that’s what is needed, I’ll understand. But as long as I’m here, I’m going to try to help this team win games.”
Beasley lead the league in sacks with 15.5 in 2016 and won the league's Deacon Jones award. Teams figured out his moves and his inability to develop a counter move is why he's having trouble getting to the quarterback.
Quinn wanted to work with Beasley this past offseason to develop some counter moves, but Beasley elected to stay away from the offseason program and workout on his own.
He’s not sure if he needs or would welcome a fresh start.
“I feel like we got the players in this room to win games,” Beasley said. “I feel like we’re definitely capable of winning games. I feel like, if they feel I need a fresh start, while that’s understandable. But the team here, the players here ... is the same collection of guys who went to the Super Bowl a few years ago.”
While the Falcons have not been competitive for most of their games, they continue to say they are a tightly knit group.
“We are so close to getting over the hump,” Beasley said. “I think it really just comes down to execution. Teams are executing better than us.
“We have to work hard and continue to believe in one another.”