“Our sub defense is our base defense because we play it 65 percent of the snaps,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith tells Daniel Cox of atlantafalcons.com. And while defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s unit is multiple and versatile, he wants players to be dependable at one job first and foremost, particularly in the secondary: “I would like that back end to be set with guys that are really good at one position. I’d rather have a specific guy right now than a jack-of-all trades. When you get to the front, the jack-of-all trades really becomes a little bit more valuable because when you’re attacking protections…or going from 3-4 to 4-3, those looks, that’s where you want it to be a little bit more versatile.”
Here’s some more morning NFC links:
- ESPN’s Vaughn McClure relays brief quotes from Nolan on his defensive rookies, including fourth-rounder Prince Shembo, who will be used at inside linebacker despite playing outside at Notre Dame.
- Bears outside linebacker Jon Bostic struggled during his rookie season, but the team thinks the second-year pro will be better as the defense moves away from a base cover-2 scheme, writes Adam Jahns in the Chicago Sun-Times. “I feel a lot more comfortable this year, especially with all the changes to the defense,” said Bostic. “A lot of the changes that we did make, it’s a lot more natural for me. I can play how I’ve been taught literally from little league to high school to college to now. It’s back to playing how I used to.”
- Packers 2011 first-rounder Derek Sherrod, who went through the off-season program healthy for the first time, faces a make-or-break season after the team declined his fifth-year option, notes ESPN’s Rob Demovsky in his Saturday mailbag.
- The Seahawks starting linebackers — Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith — will combine to make approximately$2.86MM in base salary next season, notes Todd Dybas of the News Tribune.
- “If you think [Redskins receiver] Santana Moss is a goner come September, think again,” says Rich Tandler of CSN Washington.
- The Rams are converting defensive lineman Mason Brodine, who spent two seasons on the practice squad, to tight end, per Joe Lyons of the Post-Dispatch.