The Falcons finally inked Stephen Nicholas to a four year deal on Friday, which allows the guy who might be the starting weakside linebacker for the first part of the season to, you know, practice. I'm not enamored with Nicholas, but if he's effectively under our control for four years there's a lot of time for him to develop into a pretty good player. In the interim, he'll provide good depth and some of that fancy special teams blocking that we all know this team needs.
And make no mistake, I still believe the key to this defense is in the linebacking corps. Boley is an emerging player, Brooking is as good as he's ever been, and D-Williams has lightning speed. If the linebackers can put pressure up front and be even semi-effective when they drop into coverage, they'll ease the load off an offensive line and cornerbacking corps that are in a state of flux right now. If Nicholas can be another piece of that, then I'll be more than happy we spent a fourth-rounder on him.