Every Falcon fan wondered about Dwight Freeney. He’s an experienced, NFL veteran that can get to the quarterback, even at age 36. “I just didn’t think he’d sign this soon,” stated Wes Durham, play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Falcons.
“I thought he’d be here by week 3. I thought he’d be the third preseason game in Orlando against the Dolphins.
But he didn’t. Freeney signed with the Falcons on Tuesday for $2M plus incentives. It’s a low risk high reward move the team and Durham echoed those words.
“I think it’s a great addition. I think Freeney brings a lot to the table here. He’s a guy that in situations can be very productive for Atlanta.
Durham, who spoke to Kevin Pate of Big Time Atlanta Sports, added more on the Freeney signing:
“The one thing I want to stress here is that Freeney is not going to be on the field for every snap defensively. He might play 20 snaps a game, but he’s a guy that can get to the quarterback. Even at his age, the one thing about him is that he’s a dynamic pass rusher. The one thing Atlanta desperately needs is dynamic pass rushing. You can’t go through another season where you only have 16 sacks as a team.
Carolina, a team that won the NFC, had that many in five weeks.
“Atlanta has got to get to the quarterback in order to solidify what Dan Quinn wants to do on that side of the ball,” stated Durham, who continued to sing Freeney’s praise.
“I’m all for a one-year $2M deal that’s loaded up with incentives that could give him another $2M. He’s going to be an influence on this team. I hope it’s as positive as I suspect it will be, because I heard great things from Arizona.
And what were the things he heard from Arizona?
“What an unbelievable team leader he was and a good veteran in the locker room. There are good veterans and bad veterans in the NFL and Freeney, for all indications, was a really good guy.
Freeney will be a great mentor to the young guys the Falcons plan to groom on defense, but, more importantly, he’ll be a factor with the pass rush. This was a move the Falcons needed to make a move on defense and they did with former pro-bowler. Chuck Smith, a former Atlanta Falcon, placed Freeney’s spend move as the best all-time, even in front of former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle John Randle.
“He’ll do it a three-step or a five step and he’ll use his inside foot,” Smith said.
You know it’s coming and there’s nothing you can do about it. Freeney had eight sacks with the Cardinals last year, but just 4 sacks in two seasons in San Diego. It doesn’t matter which Freeney is coming to Atlanta. It’s a move they had to make and thankfully they did.