Two of the top four Atlanta Falcons linebackers are free agents this off-season, so uncertainty is certainly swirling around the group. Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas are far from locks to rejoin Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton in 2011.
Despite that, the sense of camaraderie and hard work that we'd like to think pervades these Falcons is cropping up among the linebacking corps. How, you ask, as if you expected me to answer on command? The four have made plans to work out together, well before organized team activities begin:
"We've talked about getting together, about doing some linebacker drills, just working on stuff together to keep the linebacker camaraderie going," Nicholas said. "I'm pretty sure quarterbacks and receivers will do the same thing."
Nicholas said the goal is to keep the linebackers together even though all may not re-sign with the team.
"I don't know if all the pieces are still going to be together, but as friendship goes, we're definitely going to be together," he said.
I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories, even if their final effect on the team's win-loss record is something less than tangible. I want a team that enjoys playing together and is willing to put in the extra work needed to get to greatness, so I can't help but view this as a sign of that dedication. Certainly would be nice if they'd get Spencer Adkins, Coy Wire and Robert James involved, too.
Any thoughts on the future of the current linebacking corps?