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Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon may not be the player he once was, but the man can still lead

Fact: Sean Weatherspoon occasionally uses a spork

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons linebacker corps has been ... problematic. The last time a Falcons linebacker competently covered a tight end, my Tamagotchi was still alive. (Rest in peace, little buddy.)

Fixing this problem isn't an overnight process. That said, we're trending in the right direction, so the future looks bright. The front office showed its commitment to improving the unit by drafting Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell. They also re-signed Phillip Wheeler and brought in free agent thumper Courtney Upshaw. And there's fan favorite Sean Weatherspoon.

Please excuse this gratuitous block quote, but it's a very intriguing excerpt. Credit to the always fantastic Vaughn McClure for the quote. (Go read his article, if you haven't already.)

"I encourage my teammates that are going through drills. That's always been me. Smile on my face, that's always been me. That's not going to change. And we've started to get out on the field a little bit more. I think the thing with that -- if you want to be a loquacious leader -- you've got to go out there and make sure you're doing your job on the field. So right now, where I am in my playbook as I continue to progress with that, that will allow me to be myself. But I'm always going to have fun out there. I'm always going to get guys going, get guys revved up because enthusiasm is free. And even fake enthusiasm can cause some good things."

It's easy to see why the team brought Spoon back. Even if he's not the same player he once was, and even if his health is tenuous, the leadership Spoon displays is truly invaluable. To be frank, Spoon still has the potential to contribute at a high level - it all depends on his health. (Sadly, if his history is any indication, he may have a hard time staying on the field.)

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