BIRDLAND – Here’s some Ray Hamilton from the rookie minicamp that I didn’t get to share with you all.
Hamilton, the defensive line coach, shared some insight on his players and how some of the defensive package will change.
ON ROOKIE JONATHAN MASSAQUOI: “He performed like we thought he would. He’s a guy that has some pass rush traits. Some pass rush ability. A lot of times those guys look really, really good with no pads on. Which, they are supposed to, seriously. If they are a pass rusher, then you’re supposed to look good when you have no pads on and he looked really good with no pads on. He’s a quick, explosive guy. He showed the ability to learn in our system. It’s just a matter of him picking up the system and blending in. When we put the pads on, when the real stuff starts, we’ll see how he does.”
ON ROOKIE TRAVIAN ROBERTSON: “He’s a big guy that can move. He’s the biggest guy that we’ve had in camp since we’ve been here. But he’s a big guy that can move. A big, strong guy at the point of attack. He may be the strongest guy on the team. . . He looks good in there.”
ON DEFENSIVE END RAY EDWARDS: “Ray was a little bit hurt last year. He came in after knee surgery. He came into a new system, but I thought that last year he was still a pretty productive player [against] the run. He was one of our best guys effort-wise. He played hard all of the time. This year, his second year in the same system — well most of the same system — he’s coming back, he should be fine this year. I expect him to do fine and get better.”
ON DEFENSIVE END LAWRENCE SIDBURY: “He’s a guy that, we’ve got a good group of young defensive ends, him and (Cliff) Matthews, those guys this year have to come back, improve and show that they can be productive day-in and day-out and help us out a little bit. We expect him and Matthews to come in and compete for jobs.”
ON NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE NOLAN: “We’ll have a pressure-type defense. If you are pressing, then you are sending other people. You are sending some linebackers and defensive backs and stuff like that. It’s kind of like the Jets. The sacks are going to be spread around. If you are only rushing four guys, then your sacks are going to be mostly with your defensive line. In our system, we have other guys rushing and coming in there like that. The whole key is to put pressure on the quarterback. This is a quarterback-driven league. The whole key is to put pressure on the quarterback and make him have to make quick decisions. Hopefully, he’ll make some wrong decisions and then we’ll get some interceptions, sacks and everybody will be productive.”
ON DEFENSIVE END JOHN ABRAHAM RE-SIGNING: “He’s an amazing guy. We were watching tape and at 34 years old, he can still do some things that I see young guys can’t do. We don’t expect him to slow down at all. He’s doing his rehab. He does his rehab program every offseason. His strengthening program. He’s phenomenal. He’s a rare pass rushing breed and he can still do that very well.”
ON IF THEY HAVE TO COUNT ABRAHAM’S SNAPS BECAUSE OF HIS AGE: “We have a rotation on the defensive line. In a 60-snap game, he’s probably playing about 40 to 45 snaps, which is good for him. It keeps him going and keeps him fresh. Now, if a team is passing more, then he’s going to get more snaps. He can play the run and he can play the pass, so we just try to (rotate) him. . . Every team in the league now has seven or eight defensive linemen that they play. You try to roll those guys (into the game) and keep them fresh. We are the only people, besides the offensive line on the field that is making contact and wrestling with somebody on every single snap, so that wears your ass out.”
ON DEFENSIVE END KROY BIERMANN DROPPING INTO COVERAGE MORE, PLAYING SOME HYBRID LINEBACKER: “He can do some things. I don’t’ know how much we’re going to be doing that with him. He can do some things in some different categories that we haven’t done in the past in our defense. He’ll be a guy that can do some things, but I don’t know how much of it we’re going to be doing.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog