The Atlanta Falcons beleaguered defense is about to get a boost.
The club signed veteran defensive lineman Bruce Irvin to boost the team’s waning pass rush and announced that middle linebacker Deion Jones has returned to the practice field.
Irvin signed with the team after being released by the Raiders. He reported to camp and will start on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Jones isn’t ready for game action, but he’s getting closer.
Quinn was an assistant coach at Seattle when he worked with Irvin and was happy to be reunited with the Georgia native.
“No. 1, it was an opportunity for us to add another pass rusher into our group,” he said. “I’ve had experience with him and to have that familiarity with the scheme and how we want him to play and the style and attitude that we love to rush with.”
Quinn said Irvin would be featured as a pass rusher within the group. The Falcons have only 17 sacks, with Takk McKinley (six) and Jack Crawford (four) the team leaders. Vic Beasley, who led the league in 2016, has one.
Irvin has three sacks this season. He had a career-high eight last year.
“We know the groups that we’re facing and every single chance that we have to add to our pass rush, we certainly are going to,” Quinn said. “We are at our best when we have a big number of guys that we’re going to try to feature in a number of ways like we’ve done over a few years. We’re really pumped to have him here with us.”
Jones was hurt near the end of the season opener, a game that saw him have nine tackles an in interception. The foot injury required surgery and forced him to the injured reserve list.
“We’re really pumped because he’s worked extremely hard to get back, so this is the next step for him, beginning the practice portion of his recovery,” Quinn said. “We’re really fired up to the No. 45 back on the field.”