Damontae Kazee has emerged as a factor in the Falcons secondary over the past two seasons due to injuries.
Keanu Neal is now back in the fold after two straight season-ending injuries, which along with Ricardo Allen gives the defense three capable safeties it can deploy.
With that much depth, head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will have to get creative with how they use the talented trio.
“Basically there are no starters at the safety position,” Kazee said to reporters virtually this week. “The way we rotate it out is how we’re going to do it. From base, to nickel, to other formations we have together with all three of us on the field."
“For my game, I just have to know my role and play it well,” Kazee said. "That’s all I can do; do my job so my brother can do his.”
Kazee has 10 career interceptions, and he tied for the league lead in 2018 with seven. The Falcons are putting even more emphasis on creating turnovers this year, and they are practicing related drills during camp.
“A lot of us used to wait on the ball to come,” Kazee said. “But now we know to run through the ball, trying to go get it more and it has been showing up in camp.”
The defense has made some major additions to the front four in the form of free-agent acquisition Dante Fowler Jr. and rookie second-round pick Marlon Davidson, both of whom hope to improve a Falcons pass rush that ranked near the bottom of the league last season. With an improved pass rush, the Falcons should be able to create more turnover opportunities on defense in 2020.
“The ball is coming out faster,” Kazee said. “ Everyone is getting their chances to get the ball. We’ve had a lot of drops, but we’ve actually got a lot of interceptions so far.”
Motivation For Playing
One of Kazee's personal goals is to buy his parents a house. They have sacrificed a lot to help his career, and he wants to give back sooner than later.
“It’s time for them to just sit down and relax,” Kazee said. “ They’ve been working their butt off since I was younger paying for my brothers and me and it’s kind of hard.”
Kazee is in a contract year, but said he is not worried about the money right now. He just wants to go out and play football.