FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Peria Jerry won't go so far as to say he's the missing link to an improved interior pass rush in Atlanta this year.
Yet as a former No. 24 overall draft pick, Jerry believes he hasn't come to close to maximizing his NFL potential.
If Jerry does so this season, the Falcons' defense might solve its primary concern - improve its interior pass rush or suffer another disappointing finish.
Coupled by his rehab and lack of experience, Jerry's self-acknowledged difficulty in understanding opponent tendencies has held him back and kept him from unseating starter Jonathan Babineaux, who has started 48 of his 49 games with 13.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, six passes defensed, one interception and a touchdown in three years under head coach Mike Smith.