Takk McKinley surely was disappointed when the Falcons decided not to pick up his fifth-year option back in April. Instead of resigning himself to a disappointing stay in Atlanta, the fourth-year DE dedicated himself in the offseason.
The Falcons' first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft had six sacks in his rookie season despite zero starts. In 2018 he follow that up with seven sacks, but last season his total dropped to just 3.5 sacks.
Takk has dealt with some injury issues throughout his young career, but he say's he is finally healthy and ready to be the player the Falcons drafted him to be.
Takk spoke over the weekend at Falcons camp and addressed the team not picking up his option. “Whatever I showed in the four years, or the three years, they decided to decline my option, which is cool," said McKinley. "I still have another year here to prove myself.”
Takk also discussed the Falcons' decision motivating him and how he used this offseason to rededicate himself. “It was a wake-up call, It was more motivation. It made me hungry. I’m not saying that I wasn’t hungry in the past, but I just have to go prove it.”
On Monday's Morning Show, John and Hugh reacted to Takk's comments and also took advantage of Hugh's expertise as a pass-rusher to look at Takk and if he's ready to have a big season.
"Takk needs to learn how to separate, that’s a lot of the issues he’s had," says Hugh Douglas. "He gets there, gets pressure on the QB, but he doesn’t separate and put himself in position to make the play.
"He has to believe in some of the stuff he’s doing. Sometimes it looks like he’s surprised that he’s back there."
Another major aspect of Takk's preparation for the season has been some significant weight loss. It's been reported that he dropped from 270 pounds to just under 240.
"Vic Beasley was able to have some success at that size," says Hugh. "With Takk you’re going to have to wait and see. His game involves a lot of power so how does that affect his bull rush?"