With the exhibition season winding down, we checked in with Falcons linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich.
Here’s what he had to share with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his position group:
Q: How are the linebackers doing as a group?
A: “They are doing well. Some guys have made some big time jumps and have shown the ability to play at this level where they might not have before. I’m excited about the group especially for this week. We are going to get some guys back. Deion (Jones) is a little bit more full-go as far as the amount of reps that he’s doing. Foye (Oluokun) is back in the mix. We are finally back at full strength.”
Q: How’s Jermaine Grace been playing?
A: “He’s made huge strides as far as his knowledge of the game and his football IQ. He has the ability to articulate the game. What’s so cool is that even on the sideline of a game where it’s very hectic and sometimes people don’t see it very well, even if they see well, they can’t articulate it well. But he’s been able to do that and that was something that he really struggled with previously.
» MORE: Jermaine Grace making noise
Q: Good coaching?
A: “To hear him really start to get it and doing so the game is really starting to slow down for him. Here’s a really good athlete who’s now able to anticipate. I think the byproduct is the plays that you are starting to see him make.”
Q: Is that the thin line that needs to be crossed for a player trying to make the team?
A: “Yeah, we’ll see. There’s a lot of really good players in the group. But I think he definitely has proved that he can play at this level.”
Q: How’s former Georgia State and Brookwood High linebacker Chase Middleton performing at linebacker?
A: “He’s doing good. He’s a fantastic kid. Essence of ball type kid. Tough. Goes hard. He’s all in. He loves ball. He’s got a passion for it. He’s been awesome to have in the room and out here at practice. It’s been cool to get him in the games, too. His first NFL play was a tackle for loss and a nice tackle, too. Who says they get to start their NFL career in that way, it was so cool. I’m happy for him.”
» MORE: Falcons impressed by Middleton’s development
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.