Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has been a part of Atlanta’s defense since the club took him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He’s developed into a key part of the unit, recording 25.5 sacks, 51 tackles for loss, and 77 quarterback hits isn his six seasons.
Though the Falcons reached Super Bowl LI in the 2016 season, Atlanta’s only top 10 defense since Jarrett’s been on the squad was in 2017 — when the club finished No. 8 in points allowed and No. 9 in yards allowed.
Atlanta is in its first year under head coach Arthur Smith and defensive coordinator Dean Pees. But Jarrett said Thursday that he doesn’t feel the team’s defense is rebuilding.
“We have the guys to have a great defense,” Jarrett said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Falcons do have some pieces, but finished 29th in yards allowed and 19th in points allowed last season. The club has a lot of work to do to get it from bad to great in 2021.