Atlanta Falcons’ McKinley caught in old school vs new school


Old school mentality does not mix with new school rules and metrics. Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley is a shining example.

In 2018, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley was second in the National Football League among all defensive players with a pressure rate of 15.6 percent; only the Bills Jerry Hughes was higher. This became a topic of discussion among Atlanta radio hosts Jon Chuckery and Hugh Douglas Wednesday.

They want sacks, not pressures, which is understandable. We all want more sacks, hell, we NEED more sacks. Ever since Mike Smith said, “sacks are overrated” in 2014, it seems like whomever is rushing the passer for the Falcons cannot quite seem to finish the play. If an “almost sack” was a real stat, the Falcons defensive line would be kings of the NFL.

The frustration is understandable.

However, what is missing from this old school conversation is the new school metrics. The NFL competition committee has taken defense out of the game. The league does not want sacks, they want pressures.

Need an example – how about Rams linebacker Clay Matthews and the ridiculous penalties he picked up last season in Green Bay when sacking the quarterback.

The NFL wants us to be happy with pressures. They want us to forget about the moments we had as kids watching guys like Lawrence Taylor or Ronnie Lott obliterating offensive players. The NFL wants fans to be more concerned with their fantasy football standings and points and not how hard a 305-pound lineman hits a 200-pound quarterback in the waning moments of a big game.

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Yes, Jon Chuckery and Hugh Douglas are right, we want more sacks. We want Takk McKinley, Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones to finish the drill.  However, the NFL has a different mindset and until we see things their way, none of us will ever be completely happy watching another Falcons game.