Atlanta, GA

Falcons' cornerback A.J. Terrell looks forward to training with DC Dean Pees

LaShaun Williams

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A.J. TerrelAtlanta Falcons/Facebook

A.J. Terrell has said he is looking forward to training with defensive coordinator Dean Pees. The Falcons' first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was one of the brightest players last season.

Terrell took on a new role as a cornerback with the Falcons after a stellar career at Clemson and competing in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. The 22-year-old is knowledgeable beyond his years and was pushed into the starting lineup as a left cornerback as soon as he arrived.

Terrell would have likely started every game in his debut season if he hadn't missed two games due to being placed on the reserve and Covid-19 watchlist. Terrell has appeared in 14 games, making 74 tackles, seven pass deflections, three forced fumbles, and one interception.

The former Clemson Tiger's next professional obstacle will be mastering a new defensive scheme. Arthur Smith, the Falcons' head coach, chose veteran defensive coordinator Dean Pees to manage his defense. Pees' strategy will allow positions like Terrell's to be active from all over the field in the hopes of keeping opponents guessing.

"Dean Pees is a well-experienced coach," said Terrell. "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. I really like where we are at so far… just can't wait to learn more."

Pees is best known for his pressure packages. He's also been successful in implementing his defensive strategy wherever he goes. The seasoned defensive coordinator has previously worked for the New England Patriots (2004-2009), the Baltimore Ravens (2010-2017), and the Tennessee Titans (2018-2019).

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