By Matthew Asher
Kroy Biermann, DE #71
Weight: 260 lbs
Hometown: Hardin, Montana
Experience: 5th year
This year Houston Texans rookie J.J. Watt has been one of the best examples of how to play the position. While Kroy Biermann may not have the name recognition that Watts does outside of Georgia, he fits the definition of “Defensive End” to a T.
While the Falcons offense has been a large part of their record this season, it’s near impossible to win enough games on offense alone (see Mountaineers, West Virginia). Along with the rest of the defense, Biermann is part of a team ranked in the top seven in total yards allowed and fifth in both points allowed and passing yards allowed.
Kroy attended Hardin High School in Hardin, MT. In his four years, he earned eight varsity letters: three both in football and wrestling and two in track. As a linebacker, Biermann was a First-team All-State pick as well as team captain during both his junior and senior seasons. As a running back, Biermann was a First-team All-Conference his junior and senior season as well.
Kroy attended the University of Montana as a linebacker. Due to injuries at his position, Beirmann was fairly active his freshman year, playing in 14 out of 15 games that season. Following his freshman season, Kroy was switched over to defensive end.
The move ended up being a good call. Despite not starting any games his sophomore year, Kroy was Montana’s fifth-leading tackler and had the third most sacks (7) and team high in fumble recoveries (2).
Biermann’s production continued to improve in both his junior and senior years. As a junior, Kroy led the team in sacks (11). As a senior, Biermann anchored a defense that won its 10th straight Big Sky Conference title. In his 62 career college games, Biermann racked up 220 tackles (45 for loss), 32 sacks (the second-most in school history), nine forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
During the 2008 NFL Combine, Biermann was the top performer in the Vertical jump and 3-cone drill. Realizing his athletic abilities, the Falcons selected Biermann with the 154th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. His rookie numbers aren’t record-setting, but he played in all 16 regular season games recording 21 tackles and two sacks.
Statistically, Kroy’s best season was his sophomore year. He started his first professional game that year when the Falcons took on the 49ers. He only started in two games, but Biermann again played in all 16 games. He finished with career-highs both in tackles (49) and sacks (5). He also recorded his first forced fumble and had two fumble recoveries, his first was returned for a touchdown.
Showing off his overall athleticism, Biermann had to fill in for both place kicker Matt Bryant and punter Michael Koenen during the season when the two kickers were injured. In 2010, Biermann had his first career interception which he returned 31 yards for a touchdown. In 2011, Biermann returned another pick-six 51 yards.
While Atlanta’s other defensive end, John Abraham may get more noticed on the field, Biermann’s contributions have been just as important for the team throughout this 2012 campaign.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta sports related. His work can be found on Examiner.com.