Miffed Schofield ready to dominate



He was at home stewing at all 32 teams in the league because no one gave him an decent offer after a solid season with the Falcons in 2015.

“The chip on my shoulder is very big,” said Schofield on Thursday. “I’m tired of moving my family around. People are going to see a different O’Brien Schofield this year.”

The Falcons talked to Schofield over the offseason, but the two sides couldn’t agree on compensation. The Jets and the Patriots talked to Schofield, but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal.

With a rash of injuries, Schofield signed a one-year — make-good – deal with the Falcons.

With rookie De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) and Paul Worrilow (groin surgery) injured, the Falcons needed to add some depth at the outside line backer position. With the signing of Schofield, the Falcons moved veteran linebacker Philip Wheeler back inside.

On Schofield’s first day back with the team, he took half of the plays at strongside linebacker.

“He looked good,” Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith said. “We played him in there. He played half of the reps today at practice. Anytime that you’ve been out, you have to get in football shape. That’s going to be more of the key thing.”

Schofield played two seasons in Seattle with Falcons coach Dan Quinn as his coordinator before joining the team last season.

“He’s got three years in the system,” Quinn said. “He’s a real bright guy and he will pick up (the new adjustments) quickly.”

Schofield plans to be ready to play against the Saints on Monday night at the Superdome.

“Absolutely, I worked very hard this offseason,” Schofield said. “I don’t believe that anybody worked as hard as I did. Where my mindset is, I’m just ready to dominate.”

Schofield has several friends on the team and kept in touch with them.

“I’m very comfortable in the system,” Schofield said. “This is my fourth year in the system. I just have to do whatever new adjustments that they have, but I’m comfortable with the coaches and the players.”

Schofield, 29, made 11 starts and played in all 16 games in 2015. He played 500 of the team’s defensive snaps (47.6 percent) and finished with 28 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.

He spent part of the offseason working out with Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett at Hawaii Optimum Performance in Honolulu.

“It went great,” Schofield said. “We worked out at Hawaii Optimum. It was me and him for most of the offseason. (Seattle defensive end) Cliff Avril joined us along with (Houston linebacker) Jadeveon Clowney and some other guys from around the league that were able to come in and help to take things to another level.”

Worrilow is expected to miss three to four weeks and Campbell, who didn’t practice on Thursday, isn’t close to returning.

“Campbell is beginning that process of the rehab run where he can come back,” Quinn said. “He’s not there yet, but he’s making good progress so far. He’s a very resilient guy. He’s showed a lot of toughness in this rehab so far. He’s chomping (at the bit) to get going, but he’s not there yet.”

Schofield is going to have an opportunity to contribute to the unit.

“I’m just happy to take advantage of the opportunity given to me even to come back as late in the season as it is for a Monday night game against a division opponent is special,” Schofield said. “I’ve been at home training. I’m ready to get back in the fire.”


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