No, this doesn't mean 'Spoon is leaving the Falcons to pursue a career in the PBA. I would like to say on record that I firmly believe 2012 will be the first season Sean Weatherspoon makes the Pro Bowl, an honor he easily could have received last year.
With all the talk of Curtis Lofton and the middle linebacker position in Atlanta, I wanted to remind everyone of the rising star we still have at OLB.
Dave had a post a little while back asking you all to project 'Spoon's production for the upcoming season, and a couple of you said this was going his first Pro Bowl season. I'm guessing a large portion of Falcons nation would be on board with that assessment.
Weatherspoon took home first-team All-Big 12 honors three times during his tenure at Mizzou, and after just two seasons in the NFL he's made huge strides towards being one of the best the league has to offer.
Listening to radio shows and reading columns from critics around the nation last year, it was obvious 'Spoon wasn't as well known as we figured he'd be to everyone outside of our area. It was often noted that he was becoming an increasing threat to opponents, but we in Atlanta knew far better how dangerous he really was.
He finished 2011 with 115 tackles, four sacks and eight passes defended. He's a monster out on field, and has a motor that appears to run forever. Of course not every fan notices the details we see because they don't watch Atlanta play every weekend, but 'Spoon is a force to be reckoned with that other teams are starting to take into consideration.
With Mike Nolan running the D this year, 'Spoon might be able to get into the backfield more often, depending on how they utilize him. Some 3-4 packages thrown in now and then could allow for more sacks. I think he could perform well on the outside with his speed, but that's just my opinion.
Demarcus Ware has made the Pro Bowl a million times (six to be exact) because he racks up the sacks every year in Dallas' 3-4 scheme. I know those are the stats that make a player stand out more to the voters, so let's see if Nolan can boost 'Spoon's numbers a bit.
He's one of my personal favorites, so maybe I'm a little biased. Still, I think 'Spoon will deserve a spot on the Pro Bowl roster this year. What do you guys think?