So there’s actually less than 96 days until the Atlanta Falcons football (preseason) kicks off, but let’s be honest, most people are really looking forward to the September 7th Sunday afternoon showdown between the Dirty Birds and that team from New Orleans. They shall remain nameless. With that said, let’s take a brief look at the man who sports jersey No. 96.
A few months ago Atlanta announced the signing of former Miami Dolphin Paul Soliai to a five-year, $33 million deal. In his time with the Dolphins, the 6-4, 345 pound defensive tackle appeared in 99 games with 62 starts while racking up 4.5 sacks and 160 tackles. Considering the Falcons ranked next to last in the league against the run last year and allowed 138 yards rushing per game, Soliai should be of significant help to Atlanta.
With the rumblings of the Falcons moving to a 3-4 scheme this year, adding Soliai to the team seems to make a lot of sense. Teaming him up with fellow Falcon free agent addition Tyson Jackson, along with Jonathan Babineaux, will really beef up the front of the defense. If all goes as planned, granted everyone stays healthy, Atlanta should be more effective at stopping the run. Based on the moves made these last few months, it is clear defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is looking to revamp, rejuvenate, and redeem this Falcons defense.