Grady Jarrett has been the salvation for a defensive line that has underachieved this year. Jarrett, in his fourth year from Clemson, has 38 tackles, four for loss, and four sacks.
Jarrett, who grew up in Atlanta, had seven solo tackles and four assists last week against the Ravens. He also forced two fumbles in the loss.
“We all see how hard he plays and the strain that he puts in behind the scenes,” coach Dan Quinn said. “Grady’s put in a lot of work to get to that space that he’s at. He’s one of the hardest workers that we have and that I’ve been around.”
Although Jarrett is a 300-pounder, he has remarkable quickness at the line.
“He’s somebody we rely on and based on his quickness, he’s able to cause some tackles for losses,” Quinn said. “He’s able to cause some forced fumbles against running backs based on his ability to shoot the gap. His relentlessness is something I always appreciate.”
The rest of the defensive line got a poor rating from Quinn.
“Terrible,” he said. “No. 1, when we play our eight-man fronts, I expect us to stack the box and play really good, aggressive, single-gap football. I expect us to hit the quarterback and create takeaways that way.”
The Atlanta defense ranks 24th in passing yards allowed and 27th in rushing yards allowed. They are 31st in third-down defense.