Tatupu versus Dent is the camp battle I'm most excited about. I'm eager to see what Taputu has left in the tank. I'm also curious what Dent can offer. Worst case scenario, neither can capably replace Lofton. Homerism aside, that seems like a very remote possibility.
According to this article, they've developed a symbiotic, mutually-beneficial dynamic.
"We’ve had some growing pains going through it and learning together," Tatupu said. "Me and Dent, I know it’s been a publicized competition, which it is, but we’ve been learning together and really helpful in each other’s growth process."
"We’re learning together, watching film, making corrections," Dent said. "He’s helping me out a lot in terms of trying to understand everything. A guy like Lofa, that has been to the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro player, it’s been great for me.
"I’m a competitor. I know he’s a competitor also, but at the end of the day it’s good for the Falcons to have two guys that will be ready to play at any point."
It's difficult to predict how this will play out. Tatupu and Dent are fundamentally similar. Neither is an athletic freak or particularly rangy. Tatupu is probably better in coverage, but Dent has the youth and relative health. Tatupu's experience is invaluable, though Dent is undeniably the future. It's a doozie.
In any case, I'm glad they're working together. I'm glad Tatupu is chomping at the bit. And I'm glad Dave didn't get arrested while I was gone.