Falcons rookie Shembo could see more pass-rush chances

Falcons selected Prince Shembo (53) in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.
Falcons selected Prince Shembo (53) in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

The Falcons’ need for more pressure on the quarterback could mean more chances for rookie linebacker Prince Shembo to rush the passer.

Shembo, an inside linebacker, has rushed the passer only a handful of times this season but has shown flashes of ability to get to the quarterback. Shembo said he lined up on the outside for four plays during the 30-20 defeat at the Giants on Sunday.

“I would like to do more of it,” Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. “He fits on the outside. He did it in college. He’s stout enough to play that. That is something we will continue to probably use as we go forward.”

Shembo collected 19.5 sacks in 48 games (32 starts) at Notre Dame. The Falcons selected him in the fourth round of the draft with the idea he would play outside linebacker but moved him inside after Sean Weatherspoon suffered a season-ending injury in June.

Shembo said he rushed the quarterback off the edge on a high percentage of his snaps at Notre Dame. He said he hasn’t done much of it since the Falcons moved him inside.

“Pass rushing, you have got to practice it all the time,” he said. “Osi (Umenyiora) told me you have to perfect your craft. It’s something you have to do every day, like brushing your teeth. Maybe if I do that, it will come back. As of now, wherever they put me, that’s what I am going to do.”

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