Philip Wheeler didn’t start the 2015 NFL season with the Atlanta Falcons, but did a fine job playing in multiple linebacking roles for the Falcons last season. He was one of the few players in that level of the defense for Atlanta that could both drop back into pass coverage and rush the quarterback effectively.
The former Georgia Tech standout seemed to make the most of his time with the Falcons in 2015 and would probably play big snaps again for Dan Quinn’s defense in 2016. Of the free agents that played for the 2015 Atlanta Falcons on the defensive side of the ball, Wheeler seems like he has the best scheme fit of any of them.
Scheme fit will be a crucial part in how Quinn and his staff construct their defense in 2016. Atlanta went from one of the worst in football in 2014 to middle of the pack in 2015, despite again having almost no pass rush.
If the Atlanta Falcons believe that they have a role for him, the Falcons should consider bringing back Philip Wheeler to the 2016 Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta needs both more depth and explosiveness at linebacker. Perhaps Wheeler can grow in the 4-3 Under scheme to help the Falcons again in 2016?
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