http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-bl ... -missions/
— When studying the Falcons’ defense, their opponents need a GPS to keep track of defensive end Kroy Biermann.
In defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s hybrid 4-3/3-3-5 scheme, Biermann lines up in just a few spots, but could end up just about anywhere on the field after the ball is snapped.
Some schemes call for him to rush, or cover or spy the ball carrier, like he did last week against Michael Vick and the Eagles.
“He’s playing four different spots and special teams,” defensive end John Abraham said. “The man is a beast.”
Other times, Biermann may drop 20 yards into coverage like a safety.
“Obviously when Kroy closes the middle (of the field), that’s a different look for the quarterback, and Kroy knows that and it’s kind of exciting,” Nolan said. “I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do it all the time. I don’t plan on doing it all of the time, but he should do it enough that it creates some uncertainty for the other team.”
Biermann racked up a season-high seven tackles and a sack against the Eagles.
According to the coaches’ film, Biermann, who started three games at left end, ranks sixth on the team in tackles, with 29. He also has two sacks and seven tackles for losses. He’s also the second-leading special teams tackler behind Chris Hope.
Biermann likes his role.
“There are a lot of different looks, a lot of positions, a lot of things to know to keep the offenses guessing,” Biermann said. “There are some things that I have to do in addition to being a regular defensive end. It’s exciting and it’s fun. It keeps those offenses guessing on which gap you are hitting and it gets you some free looks.”
Nolan’s moves and unpredictability make the Falcons difficult to prepare for.
“We have some things we can do to neutralize a lot of stuff,” Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said. “Without getting into our game plan, we are going to neutralize a lot of that and go with what we know. Obviously we can’t account for everything.”
Biermann is not sure if he’s still a defensive end.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Sometimes I am, but you never know. It just depends on the play.”
More than any other player, Biermann is the one who is more intrigued by the weekly defensive meeting.
“He definitely keeps it fun and lively,” Biermann said. “A lot of things stay the same. We’ll tweak things here and there. We’ll change some of the looks weekly.”
Biermann has embraced the multiple roles that he’s been asked to play. “It’s something that I‘ve taken in stride,” Biermann said. “I love being in the position that I’m at. I’m excited to be winning.”
Biermann gives his teammates credit for freeing him up to basically be a roamer. “It’s a credit to all of these guys because we all have to learn a bunch of different things,” Biermann said. “The safeties are doing good with the looks. The linebackers are doing good with their looks.”
Biermann dropped into coverage for the past four years, but not as extensively and as far as he’s does in Nolan’s scheme. He has played well in space and has two career interceptions. “Obviously, some of those responsibilities have changed,” Biermann said. “Rushing, stopping here and there and hitting different gaps.”
On top of all of the different positions, Biermann still enjoys his special teams duties. “I love to run down there on the kicks,” Biermann said. “That’s fun. I’ve always loved that.”
Sean Weatherspoon is out for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas
Matt Ryan is climbing the charts to elite status
Tony Gonzalez needs four catches to reach 50 mark for 15th straight season
Video: Matt Ryan on scoring in the red zone
UNDEFEATED: Can the Falcons pull it off?