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Bryan Cox on Falcons defensive line: We're going to send a wave of people

Taking Vic Beasley in the first round was a big part of the Falcons' overhaul of their pass-rushers. Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox wouldn't pinpoint which group of players represents the most potent pass-rush foursome of the bunch.

"Who we send out as a starting group really is not that important because we're going to send a wave of people," Cox said following Monday's practice.

Sure, the Falcons haven't played a game yet, but there's reason for Cox to be optimistic about the pass rush coming from multiple sources this season. It all starts with first-round draft pick Vic Beasley, who's quickness and athleticism have been on display throughout training camp. Then Adrian Clayborn appears to be next in line with his ability to explode off the edge or power through the interior.

The other capable pass-rush contributors include Ra'Shede Hageman, O'Brien Schofield, Jonathan Babineaux, and rookie Grady Jarrett

"I call him `Truck Driver,'" Cox said of Jarrett. "He looks like a truck driver and he has the work ethic of a truck driver. When you talk about him, just his quickness and his speed. You talk about Vic Beasley and the stuff you saw on tape with him -- his first-step quickness, his speed. And he's shown toughness, quite honestly, I didn't know he had. So I'm impressed with him as well."

Cox also praised Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai for slimming down to better fit coach Dan Quinn's attacking, 4-3 scheme. He also noted how backup Kroy Biermann is looking a lot healthier than he was last season. And Cox singled out the play of undrafted rookie Joey Mbu as the backup nose tackle.

Despite all the above, Cox wouldn't declare the Falcons have all the defensive line depth they need.

"It's a lot better," Cox said. "Is it absolutely everywhere that we need it? Probably not. But the coaching staff, we've worked together. We've all looked at it. We've all been able to say, 'That guy fits. That guy doesn't fit.' (Defensive coordinator) Richard Smith has done a really good job. Q (Quinn) has done a really good job of just giving us information: Here's the player, here's the ideal fit, this is what we're looking for. But we have more of those kinds of guys on the roster now in terms of what we're looking for."

A few quick-hit items from the ninth practice of training camp:

• Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman remained sidelined by hamstring strains, while wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester missed his second consecutive day with a toe/ankle injury. Also, outside linebacker Brooks Reed continued to be sidelined by a groin/hip injury, and reserve defensive lineman Cliff Matthews remained out with an ankle injury.

• The offense worked a lot out of the two-tight-end set with pass-catching specialist Jacob Tamme and blocker Tony Moeaki. We'll see if that's the typical, first-down formation come game day.

• Undrafted rookie Terron Ward continued to run with the first-team offense at running back with Antone Smith behind. Smith is listed as third on the depth chart behind the injured Freeman and Coleman. Quinn said he likes Ward's attention to detail. Smith had a fumble during practice.

• The defensive backs, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford included, still have some work to do regarding keeping their hands off the receivers. There were several flags thrown in 1-on-1 drills, including one against Trufant.

• The music playlist included Kris Kross ("Warm It Up, Kris"), Public Enemy ("Bring The Noise") and Naughty By Nature ("Feel Me Flow").