The Atlanta Falcons invited five players to their three-day minicamp, which began on Tuesday, June 8, and ended on Thursday, June 10.
Out of the five, the Falcons are expected to sign outside linebacker Jeff Holland, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
After going undrafted in 2018, Holland signed with the Denver Broncos where he played three games and made six tackles that season. Since then, he’s had a few short stints with the Cardinals, Bills, Chargers and Rams.
The 6-2, 249-pound LB is a Jacksonville, Florida native and spent his collegiate career in Alabama at the University of Auburn.
Holland will join linebackers Mykal Walker, Foyesade Oluokun, Deion Jones, and Barkevious Mingo on the depth chart.
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New Coach, New System
With Dan Quinn outta there, the Falcons’ coaching staff will look a lot different this season.
Head coach Arthur Smith was able to drag Dean Pees out of retirement to join his staff as the team’s new defensive coordinator, where he will be tasked with finally turning around the Falcons on the defensive side of the ball.
And while Pro Football Focus as the Falcons ranked at No. 31 in the league for defense, Pees is all but confident he can handle the “noise,” especially regarding the Falcons’ lackluster pass rush.
“We heard the same thing when we went to Tennessee, we have no pass rush,” Pees recently told 92.9 The Game. And yet we were a good 3rd down defense and got a lot of pressure. We need smart guys & we got smart guys. We’re going to come from everywhere every week, so hang on”
Pees plans on running every scheme imaginable which will play out all dependent on the opposing offense and another thing he made clear is that he plans to blitz (a lot).
Of course, the Falcons have gem playmakers in Grady Jarrett, Dante Fowler, Deion Jones, and Foye Oluokun, but the rest are young or inexperienced guys that they’ll have to rely on next season.
Mykal Walker Is Confident in Pees’s System
Second-year linebacker, Mykal Walker, should play a key role on the Falcons new defense after spending his collegiate career moving around at defensive end, and inside and outside linebacker.
Walker played just 36% of the snaps on defense behind Jones and Oluokun last season, but his percentage should spike once Pees realizes he can utilize Walker at multiple positions.
Pees’s defense will be similar to the one Walker played for in college at Fresno State, which he seems to be excited about.
“I think this playbook kind of complements what we do out here,” Walker said via the Atlanta Journal-Consitution. “We run a lot. We run fast. This defense gives us that freedom to run around and make plays. I think just being here every day with this new coaching staff and players, I’m starting to get my own little spin on things. I’m starting to see things faster and break on the ball a little better.”
Walker also noted that the one thing the defense needs to do better in order to be successful is to truly understand the playbook and let the coaches take it from there.