With Vic Beasley out with a hamstring strain/tear, Falcons rookie Takkarist McKinley played 48 of the 70 defensive snaps (69 percent) and finished with two tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, a quarterback hit and a batted pass in the 30-26 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
“I expected him to get in and play really hard,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “You know, we’ve put him on the right side, he’s played on the left side, so as you go in, especially through your rookie year, you’ve got to kind of have some on-the-job training.”
The only glaring mistake he made was allowing Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to break containment when he scrambled to his right.
“You have to learn, you have to make some mistakes along the way,” Quinn said. “His performance, when he looks back at it wouldn’t be all clean, but I think he’ll like how hard he played.”
Brooks Reed played 31 percent of the snaps and Derrick Shelby played 20 percent. McKinley, Reed and Shelby were mentioned as the three players who would get the majority of snaps in Beasley’s absence.
The Falcons finished with two sacks and five quarterback hits. On the season, the have nine sacks and 22 quarterback hits.
McKinley will continue to get more action with Beasley injured.
“He’s really learning this game and the more experience you get, you have a tendency to be able to fall back on some of those experiences,” Quinn said. “I’m not going to get beat on this again. This guy chipped me, how do I deal with that? I love that he’s getting some of this on-the-job training right now.”