June 6, 2012; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent (52) during organized team activities at the Falcons training facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
After you all learned that Michael Calvin had been cut, I'm sure there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let me brighten your mornings with a little good news.
Akeem Dent is back to practicing, which means that concussion doesn't appear to be lingering. Getting Dent back is critically important, even if you're likely to see him play limited snaps over the next couple of pre-season games, because he is the team's starting middle linebacker. The Falcons certainly need him.
The good news is that his absence gave the Falcons a chance to see what they have in players like Pat Schiller and Jerrell Harris, and yet Dent should be back and plenty healthy for the start of the season. We need to see more from him before we can declare what kind of middle linebacker he'll be, but he's certainly the best option by a wide margin thanks solely to his athleticism and familiarity with the defense.
One final note: I really hope we don't see Dent on the field for special teams. I know he's a valuable player there and I could see situations during the season where you might want him out there, but pre-season simply isn't one of him. Keep the guy in good health.
Your thoughts on Dent in 2012?