A.J. Terrell Is Embracing The Leadership Role For The Falcons’ Secondary

Flowery Branch, GA – Last year for the Atlanta Falcons, the secondary was viewed as a young group, considering that safety Jessie Bates III was the most tenured defensive back by far in his sixth season in the NFL. Cornerback A.J. Terrell is entering his fifth season this year and is now ready to partake in the leadership role of the secondary.

Terrell was criticize by most for his play last year. He had 11 pass defensed with no interceptions and 45 combined tackles, which was his lowest total for his career.

This year, he’s coming in focused with the mindset of not only working on all phases of the cornerrback position but leading by example.

“In order for me to be a leader, you got to hold yourself accountable,” stated Terrell. “That’s what I stood on since day 1 when I got here. It’s a natural transition and as the years and time go on, it magically happens and just falls in your lap.”

He’s excited to also play with fellow defensive backs Clark Phillips, Dee Alford and Mike Hughes. Terrell says he “looks up to them” and knows that they all can take from each others’s strengths while helping each other’s weaknesses.

What he feels that is most important is chemistry amongst the “DBs”, even outside of OTAs.

“We all got together for a session, just guys taking time out their day to get some extra work outside the work we put in here [OTAs]. We got together a few times,” said Terrell.

Although they are learning a new scheme, the chemistry he has with the other defensive backs, including fellow veteran Bates III, will help them adjust faster.

“I think that’s where we’re at right now. We’re laying the foundation,” said Terrell. “You know we have a new defensive scheme. We can use our eyes and play with instinct and make plays on the ball.”


Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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