Falcons’ DE’s Will Fall Back Into Coverage Less Under Mike Nolan

by Knox Bardeen on July 12, 2012

Atlanta Falcons DE Ray Edwards Ray Edwards attempting to get to Drew Brees | Nov. 13, 2011 | PHOTO: Michael Benford, AtlantaFalcons.com


In the 2011 season under defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards rushed primarily from the left side of the defensive line, but spent considerable time on both sides. He played 243 pass-rush snaps from the left, according to Pro Football Focus, and 152 pass-rush snaps from the right.

On “NFL Total Access” on the NFL Network Thursday, Edwards agreed that new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan will continue to use Edwards on both side of the defensive line, but one of the bigger changes will be how frequently Edwards rushes the passer.

Edwards said Nolan expects him to “put relentless pressure on the quarterback” and to get after the quarterback non-stop.

“Last year we had a lot of drop-back with us, but now it’s just getting after the quarterback and making things happen,” said Edwards.

It sounds as if the defensive ends will fore-go backing off the line into coverage to spend more time attacking the passer under Nolan.

When it comes to pass-rush productivity, Edwards recorded an equal number of sacks from both sides of the line, two from the left and two from the right. But, he was far better from the left side at getting pressure on the quarterback.

Edwards’ total pressure figure, a signature stat from Pro Football Focus that adds sacks to quarterback hits and hurries, was 24 from the left, and just eight from the right.

John Abraham was exactly the opposite with a 35 total pressure score from the right and a 19 from the left. Abraham also had an equal number of sacks from both sides.


Article by Knox Bardeen

Knox has written 125 articles for Atlanta Field Report.

Knox Bardeen has been covering the Atlanta Falcons for four years. You can follow him on Twitter at @knoxbardeen.

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