The man who will be charged with replacing Atkins is second-year DT Brandon Thompson. According to Pro Football Focus, Thompson is ranked as the team’s sixth-best defensive player (+3.5), third-best defensive lineman, and fifth-best run defender. All of this while playing just 144 snaps this year.
He’s not Geno, nor does he want to be. Instead, Brandon is focused on being the best player he can possibly become while helping this team compete for a championship:
“I don’t really see any pressure in it,” Thompson said. “I understand Geno’s a great player. I’m not going to try to come in and be Geno. I am who I am. I’m just going to work hard and do what I have to do.”