Falcons linebacker and special teamer Nate Stupar returns to answer fan questions about "fired up," training camp stress, defensive attitudes and more in the second edition of his weekly mailbag.
Q: In terms of a percentage of increase, how much more is the phrase "fired up" used this year, as opposed to last year?
Nate Stupar: I think the phrase "fired up" has been used a lot more. This team has been showing passion and a determination to get better to prove the doubters wrong. I don't know what percentage but I can tell you it has increased.
Q: Is the attitude on defense really different this year, or is the media overhyping it?
Nate Stupar: The attitude on defense has changed dramatically and it isn't fake. Its a raw change, a natural one. Its exciting to be around it. The media isn't overhyping it. What I see in our preseason games by our first team guys is exciting stuff. There's nothing but up for us.
Q: How stressful are the last couple of weeks before cuts? How tense are the guys who aren't a lock to make the roster?
Nate Stupar: Camp is always stressful, no matter what point your at. Whether its the beginning of camp or the end, its stressful. People don't understand that your "job" can be taken from you at anytime. Imagine waking up everyday not knowing if you have a job or not. The thing is, you can't think about that. As stressful as it is, you have to go out and enjoy every single day. Go out there and get better and it all falls into place. Once you start playing the mind games, its all over, you start to fall apart. Trust me, I've played those mind games and its not fun. Enjoy the game you play and take it as a blessing each and everyday.
Q: Who do you think has made the biggest improvement from 2014 to 2015?
Nate Stupar: I think Paul Worrilow has made the greatest improvement from the 2014 season. He has completely transformed his body and mind to be ready to lead this Falcons defense. He has definitely shown it too in these first two preseason games. I'm excited to see how the season turns out for him and the defense.
Q: Who is the heart and soul of the defense, or the spiritual leader, if you will?
Nate Stupar: Who is the heart and soul of the defense? I don't think its just one guy. I believe its everyone. It takes everyone to bring the energy, the swagger, the authentic enthusiasm that we play with. Coach Quinn has done an excellent job of bringing that here. To play with that energy, not a fake one, but an energy that makes the next player energetic. It's contagious.
Q: Is there anyone on the 2nd or 3rd team that you notice is really standing out?
Nate Stupar: Nick Williams is doing an excellent job. He's such a shifty player that he gets open and makes great catches. He has already made some big catches for us in the preseason games. I'm excited to see how his future pans out. He's a hard worker that gets things done.
Q: Which non-Falcon NFL player do you talk to the most?
Nate Stupar: I talk to one of my good friends Miles Burris, a former Raiders Linebacker, a good amount. He's not playing right now but we were both drafted to the Raiders the same year and became good friends. We talk about friends, family and life. He lives on the West Coast with his wife Jena. They are a great couple. He's not only a great player but a great friend. We both have been through a lot and some of those things were together.
Q: Seriously, Nate, what's your favorite kind of pizza?
Nate Stupar: What my favorite kind of pizza? I would have to say meat lover's. I love pepperoni, sausage, and ham on my pizza. An occasional plain or pepperoni pizza with ranch isn't bad either, but I would have to go with meat lovers.