The other day in a profile of William Middleton, I actually professed that I liked the young cornerback's intangibles. He seems to be a natural leader, I said. What is wrong with me?
You see, I'm a believer in on-the-field talent above almost anything else. If you're a great football player, you don't get to run around and off people, but what you've done by 4 p.m. ET most weeks is a pretty good determination of the football player you are. That doesn't mean there's no room for anything else, just that it's the trump card by which all trump cards should be judged.
That said, this is a team that has let go of a lot of veterans, so leadership is a commodity you'd like to see. We have a lot of talented young guys who can probably lead on offense, but on defense it's nice to have veterans like Mike Peterson, who seems to be embracing his new role.
The question for today, then, is whether leadership means anything, and who is likely to provide it on these 2009 Atlanta Falcons? Ruminate for a bit and fire away!