Falcons weakside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has had a fine rookie season, but needs to smooth out some rough spots down the stretch.
Campbell, who’s seventh on the team with 43 tackles, will be on the hot seat against the 49ers on Sunday.
Campbell also has six passes defensed, but needs to flow with better instincts in coverage.
“The thing that I’m seeing the most from him and Deion Jones is the communication at linebacker,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “Knowing the alerts are about to happen and getting the call out, not just for themselves, but for their other teammates.”
Campbell, a fourth-round pick out of Minnesota, is fourth on the team with five tackles for loss.
After 17 games overall, Quinn no longer considers Campbell a rookie and wants him to play faster.
“That’s when you need the reps over and over and over again, because once that starts happening, that’s when kind of the whole essence of this thing comes together, where you can play faster,” Quinn said. “When you have better communication about a play that is likely to take place, you’re able to play faster. If they do something else, they do it, but that to me is real.”
The Falcons believe Campbell’s instincts will improve.
“That’s kind of the whole making the call come to life, that’s what I’m talking about with that communication,” Quinn said. “They’re about to run this, and if they do, then you can go nail it.”
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