Falcons: Reed a fit for role in Quinn's system
The re-tooling of Atlanta’s front-seven to fit the scheme of new head coach Dan Quinn began in earnest today with the intriguing signing of Brooks Reed as the free agency window opened. A 3-4 outside linebacker with the Texans for the duration of his rookie contract, a move inside was mooted (at least in combination with work on the edge) but ultimately shelved when the Texans lost No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney for most of the 2014 season. That move along with Reed playing more than 100 snaps in coverage for each of the last two seasons would indicate that he could be lined up to play Bruce Irvin’s role in Quinn’s system.
Far from the league’s most electric pass rusher, Reed has consistently done his best work as a run defender, earning a positive grade in three of his four seasons in the league. Consistency has been the name of Reed’s game in that regard with only seven single games with a run defense grade below -1.0 in his four-year career. Limiting Reed’s forays into the backfield would minimize the weakest aspect of his game with his -13.6 pass rush grade in 2013 indicative of his ineffective work as a lead pass rusher.
Under Quinn’s tutelage in Seattle, Irvin was a run-oriented defender (+16.2 run defense grade last two seasons) with more timely interventions as a pass rusher than a high volume of pressures. Reed’s performances in Houston hint that he could be an ideal fit for that type of role, though his grades were not a match playing a position that puts more of a premium on the weakest part of his game, his pass rushing.