During his first season in the NFL, the transition was not so easy for former Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell.
The first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, was thrown into the fire right out of the gate, and at times struggled. However, Terrell also showed promise and it is that promise that has new Falcons’ coach Arthur Smith and new defensive coordinator Dean Pees excited about the 22-year-old.
Last year, Terrell started 14 games as a rookie, while recording 74 tackles. He also had seven pass deflections, three forced fumbles and one interception. The only two games he did not start were due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Terrell says he likes Pees’ scheme because it gives him an opportunity to be more active on the field, similar to style he played under defensive coordinator Brent Venables at Clemson.
“Definitely look forward to this season with him and all of the things he is going to bring to the defense and to the team,” Terrell said on Atlanta Falcons.com. “I really like where we are at so far… just can’t wait to learn more.”
Terrell is just one of two starters returning from the Falcons’ secondary. Regardless, the former Clemson star is excited to see what he and can do in Pees’ scheme.
“I feel like this defense gives us a variety of things we can do,” Terrell said. “Just very multiple, everyone is hands on and active in the defense.”
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