Mike Smith addressed the media earlier today. He had lots to say, but what he said about Sean Weatherspoon is particularly noteworthy.
On LB Sean Weatherspoon adapting to calling the plays for the defense:
“It’s something that you earn, and Sean has definitely earned it. He has definitely become the leader of our defense. By far, has the most responsibility because he’s got to get the signals in, and he’s got to get people lined up and I think he’s adjusted to it well. We missed him early in the season and I think he’s really starting to get back in stride.”
While Spoon has only played in 10 games this year, it's just not possible to understate his importance.
What impresses me most about him is his distinct ability to contribute all over the place. He's done it all this year - forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, sacked the opposing quarterback on three occasions, intercepted the ball, et cetera. You name it and he's done it. He's not a sack machine, his stats aren't gaudy, and he's not recognized as elite in all circles. Even so, we'd be lost without him. So forget those circles, because triangles are cooler and stuff.
First, let's not ignore the obvious. Akeem Dent is not good enough. Dent has tried, and he filled in adequately during Spoon's absence, but he's no Spoon. He just isn't. He's like Dave trying to pass a fitness test. Not gonna happen. Plus you can't, under any circumstances, replace his moxy. He's got an incredible knack for leading the troops. He's always had that.
Spoon's reaction to the Carolina loss was downright impressive. Men in the locker room? Are you kidding me? He exudes competence, confidence, and other cool nouns that start with the third letter of the alphabet. As first round picks go, he's the bee's knees. He's like a McDonald's ice coffee - freakin' awesome! Especially with a sausage biscuit and some hash browns.
Alright, the bottom line is this: Spoon has progressed so much. He's the heart and soul of our defense. I'm quite sure all of the above is already apparent to most of you, just thought it was worth weighing in on.