LB Sean Weatherspoon Ready to Emerge in Atlanta

6 years 4 months 3 days ago Thursday, June 14 2012 Jun 14, 2012 Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:35:22 PM CDT June 14, 2012 in Football
By: Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA (AP) -- Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is already the vocal leader of Atlanta's defense. Now he wants to take his game to the field.

Preparing for his third NFL season, Weatherspoon is still trying to prove he was worth a 19th overall draft pick, but he believes a perfect opportunity is here.

The free-agent departure of Curtis Lofton and the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan have given Weatherspoon a chance to become a big-time playmaker.

Weatherspoon was injured as a rookie and was still too spotty on assignments last year to unseat Lofton, Atlanta's leading tackler since 2008, as the three-down linebacker.

But the smarts and skills Weatherspoon displayed as a star at Missouri are far better now. He's one of the NFL's fastest linebackers and is highly instinctual in ball pursuit.

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