How the slot corner is going to change for the Atlanta Falcons


Between the 1970’s-1990’s, the Atlanta Falcons were famous for their “Grits Blitz” defense and Steve Bartkowski was the franchises all time leader at QB.

Every year the NFL is changing in the way the game is being played. Before the rules changed helping wide receivers and quarterbacks protect themselves, the NFL was all about physicality and how strong each person on the team was and the Atlanta Falcons were no exception.

Fast-forward to today’s NFL teams are becoming lighter and faster. An example of this is Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. Jones is a premier linebacker and is light on his feet but is incredibly fast and has unbelievably elite coverage skills.

The positions in the NFL are constantly changing and the newest one that not a lot of people are discussing is the slot corner. In today’s NFL most people think of a slot corner as being shorter and have great tackling skills.

Former Atlanta Falcons corner Brian Poole is a good example. However, the league is slowly going to be transitioning to slot corners who have sideline-to-sideline range and are fast.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is a pioneer in today’s NFL when it comes to defense. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the Tampa 2 defense was the premier defense. Dan Quinn’s cover three scheme is now the premier defense in today’s NFL.

The two best defenses in the NFL this decade are the 2013 Seattle Seahawks and 2015 Denver Broncos. Both defenses have similarities and differences. Denver was a 3-4 focused around generating pressure from their outstanding defensive line while shutting down wide receivers with corners like Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.

In 2013 the focus of the cover three scheme is to have their edge rushers tee of on the tackles with one-on-one matchups and have the linebackers cover a wide range in the middle of the field. The secondary also helped the cover three scheme but every member of the Legion of Boom in 2013 fit the scheme perfectly.

A common component to both of these defenses is their nickel corner. On the Broncos they had Bradley Roby who is a fast corner that can go sideline to sideline. For the Seahawks they had a combination of Jeremy Lane and Walter Thurmond.

Next. Julio is aging like a fine wine to the Atlanta Falcons benefit. dark

Luckily for the Atlanta Falcons, Damontae Kazee, who was tied for the league lead in interceptions during the 2018 season, is helping lead this transition. Rookie CB Kendall Sheffield from Ohio State, who has blazing speed, will also be another key piece in the very near future and will be another option for them as the slot corner as his career progresses.