Welcome to the first edition of the Falcoholic's mailbag with Falcons linebacker Nate Stupar. Each Tuesday, Nate will answer your questions about the Falcons and life in the NFL.
Other than the assignments, what is the biggest difference in playing defense vs. special teams?
The biggest difference, I think, between playing defense vs. special teams is the running. On defense you run, but its only for a short amount. Special teams is all about long distance and endurance. You run, run and run! Defense, you have to run and hit someone quickly. Sometimes the play extends, but I don't think they last longer than most special team plays.
Who are the biggest leaders/motivators in the locker room?
Matt Ryan is a big leader on and off the field. He's very vocal and a guy people get behind. He is a true competitor and leader. Paul Worrilow is also a guy that leads by example. He's the first one in and the first one out. He's the hardest worker I know in that building and it definitely shows on the gridiron.
Why are you the best? (Editor's Note: Asked multiple times)
I don't consider myself the best. I consider myself a very hard worker, which my dad, Steve, bestowed upon me at a very young age. He taught me discipline and a great work ethic. I always do things to the best to my ability and never give up. To be honest, I think I just don't give up. I always tell myself I have a chance of making the play or block. I never say never.
What's Dan Quinn's gameday process? What's he running around doing?
I really don't know what Dan Quinn's game day process is like. I am so focused on me that I don't really pay attention to that. I'm thinking about plays that could happen and getting my mind right to take that field to win a ball game. I'm sure he takes care of the things that need to be done that come with being a head coach. For me as a player, I'm thinking about the game.
What's the most important trait to have on special teams?
The most important trait to have on special teams is to believe that it matters. It can change a game and it can make you win or lose one. When you start relaxing and think you got it, thats when they hit you with a big play. Every play out there is a big play waiting to happen and waiting for someone to relax. You have to always have your motor on and expect to make the play.
Can we expect to see you on regular defensive rotation, not just special teams?
I don't know what the season holds for me. All I know is that I'm trying to get better each and every day. Learning and never settling for being just okay. I would love to contribute on defense. I'm working hard to just make the team and make the team better with me being on it. This is a very special team we got and I want to be around for when it takes off!
Does Matt Bosher get his due respect in the locker room for being a badass?
Matt Bosher gets his respect. He is a excellent punter and does great at kickoffs. He puts us in great position with being able to run down and make plays. He's another reason why we did so well last year at punt coverage. He was able to hang that ball far and high.
You're an important cog on the NFL's best special teams unit, what is the IT that makes this unit excel?
Coach Armstrong emphasizes running. He says, 'For you to be good at special teams, you got to run!' I think what makes us special is that we run and we run well. We are coached to the very detail of things. When you get into the details thats when you become great. We don't take any snap off and we run with a fire in our eyes. I think we have a very special group, especially with Devin Hester back there. I love blocking for that guy!