Before we drafted Weatherspoon, CBSSports included this gem in their analysis of Spoon:
With a struggling defense needing an infusion, the coaches inserted Weatherspoon into the starting lineup at weak-side outside linebacker in 2007 and the Tigers went from being the 58th-ranked rush defense the previous year to 25th.
Some have expressed concern about how the Falcons replace Curtin Lofton's run stopping prowess. While Akeem Dent and Lofa Tatupu will undoubtedly play a role, I'm afraid we've lost sight of how well Spoon does against the run.
Read this if you have a minute.
I won't lie or sugar coat: Lofton is a hell of a run blocker. His run blocking tackles, run blocking tackle percentage, run blocking stops, and run blocking stop percentage were all above-average in 2011.
But I think we're OK. Spoon will only improve. Dent/Tatupu may not approximate Lofton's production, but if we're talking about the line backing corps as a whole, I'm confident our defense will continue its improvement.
It's interesting to note that Lofton and Spoon participated in a nearly identical amount of run plays. Lofton had 343 snaps against the run, while Spoon had 341. Lofton had 43 stops against the run, while Spoon had 36. Lofton's run stop percentage was 12.54 percent, while Spoon's was 10.56 percent.
Even if he doesn't always play in the middle, Spoon is our new Mike LB. And because Spoon got his fat bonus last season, his cap hit this fall is less than one million dollars. Good stuff all around.