Falcons' Jonathan Babineaux still defensive force

The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionAugust 23, 2013 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux's strength is his ability to find his way into the backfield and alter plays, both running and passing.

Smith said Babineaux has shown in two exhibition games that he's ready to keep doing it as he enters his ninth season.

"I thought Jonathan played very well against Baltimore," Smith said. "He was really disruptive, getting in the backfield. His first few years in the league he was one of the leading (tackles for loss) guys in the league. He can be disruptive. I don't think he was as disruptive last year, but I think these first two games showed that he's feeling good."

He played 20 defensive snaps against Baltimore on Aug. 15 and spent most of his time in the Ravens' backfield. He had three tackles and two tackles for losses.

Babineaux started last season out at tackle, but as the season progressed and Ray Edwards wasn't working out, he played some defensive end when the Falcons operated out of the 3-4 alignment. He'll play more of that role this season.

In 2012, he finished with 42 tackles (33 solos), 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles for losses, five pass breakups and he recovered a fumble that he returned for a touchdown against Arizona last season.

Babineaux, who surprisingly has never been voted to the Pro Bowl, has been one of the most productive linemen in the NFL.

Since he was drafted by the Falcons in 2005, Babineaux's 49.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage are the most by any defensive tackle.

Babineaux has 22.5 career sacks. He achieved his career-high of six sacks in 2009.

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