Campbell loves working with “Big” Chuck Smith

Credit: John Bazemore

Credit: John Bazemore

Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell is working through his move to strongside linebacker.

“The biggest thing I’m trying to improve on is my line of scrimmage technique,” Campbell said. “I spent the whole offseason training with a (defensive) line coach. Just really working on my hands, my get off, my hip explosion and different things.”

Former Falcons standout “Big Chuck” Smith, a private coach now, worked with Campbell this offseason. Smith played for the Falcons from 1992-99 and one season with the Panthers (2000) and finished with 58.5 career sacks.

“Chuck Smith is amazing,” Campbell said. “I worked with him pre-draft. Once I got here I found I wouldn’t really be doing too much on the line of scrimmage stuff, so I stopped working with him a little bit.

“But this past offseason, once I found out was playing (strongside linebacker) again, I started back working with Chuck. He’s an amazing guy. He’s helped me out so much.”

Campbell played weakside linebacker last season, but the Falcons are looking for better ways to cover tight ends.

They are hopeful that Campbell has the power to disrupt the tight end in the contact zone and then have the speed to run with them in coverage.

“He’s got the ability because of his size to match up on tight ends and man to man,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We love the battle that he and (tight end) Austin Hooper do almost on a regular basis.”