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Curtis Lofton: "I Have To Impact The Game"

Credit goes to the Official Site, where they've got some eye-opening quotes from everyone's favorite stud middle linebacker.

One of the things I've really come to enjoy about this football team is how self-aware they are. They're not delivering soliloquies in the locker room or anything, but they talk frankly about the talent level on the Falcons and what needs to be done in order to bring the team to an elite level. It's really quite refreshing, and as a young leader on the team, Curtis Lofton is no exception.

I mean, take a look at what he said about the reason he believes he wasn't selected to the Pro Bowl last season:

"They made more game-changing plays than I did," Lofton said Monday evening after his appearance at the Taco Mac Insider Reality Show. "I have to impact the game. Tackles are going to be there; that’s a given. I just have to work on making game-changing plays."

That's extremely encouraging, because it tells me Lofton sees what he was missing last season. He's still one of the premier young inside linebackers in the NFL today, but he wasn't filling the stat sheet with much except tackles in 2009. While that's not necessarily the biggest deal, are you willing to bet against Lofton amassing more forced fumbles and maybe even interceptions in 2010? I'm sure as hell not going to.

This goes along with Michael Turner saying all the right things about fewer carries and Tony Gonzalez telling everyone who will listen that the team is a few pieces and better play away from greatness. There's guys here who have bought into a philosophy, and a winning culture is growing out of that. I'm awfully proud to be a Falcons fan right now.

And, in case you're more interested in the travels of one Monster Mr. Lofton, he also said he believes the pass defense must improve and will improve (citing Dunta Robinson as a quality addition) and that Mike Peterson provided him with some Good Old-Fashioned Veteran Leadership in 2009, which helped him to get better at his position. So the upshot here is that Dunta Robinson will solve everything and Peterson's a sage teacher, in the mold of Mr. Miyagi. Hey, are you going to argue with Curtis Lofton?

I didn't think so.