Air Force has gone with three down linemen on most plays in recent years, but that could change this year, at least on passing downs.
The Falcons have been toying with the idea of using a fourth down lineman on passing downs. The Falcons would probably have an outside linebacker (Alex Means is seemingly the best candidate) put his hand down on passing downs to play a defensive end spot, especially when the team uses five defensive backs in its nickel package. Another down lineman might give them a little more speed off the edge.
“We’re looking to get our four best pass rushers out there, start with their hand on the dirt, and being able to generate some edge pressure,” coach Troy Calhoun said. “That’s something we’ve worked on extremely hard over the last three-and-a-half weeks.”
Air Force had just 14 sacks last season. The coaches weren’t necessarily displeased with the pass rush, however, but a little creativity could help the Falcons improve that number.