Not sure if you’ve heard, but the Atlanta Falcons have an important football game to play on Sunday. One week from now, they will either be Super Bowl Champions or just another Conference Champion everyone quickly forgets. It’s a pressure-filled scenario, but there’s one man that will be cool as a cucumber come Sunday. That man is Dwight Freeney.
Freeney has been here and done this before. He won a Super Bowl with the Colts, but that was a decade ago. Now in his 15th year, Freeney might give retirement a hard look in the off-season. Sending their mentor off with another Super Bowl victory is exactly what the young Falcons defense has in mind. (Credit to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper for the quote. Go read his full article now, if you haven’t already.)
Freeney’s teammates weren’t short on emotion about the veteran. Linebacker Paul Worrilow said that he learned “how to be a teammate and help other teammates” from Freeney over the course of the year and rookie linebacker Deion Jones said Freeney’s taught him to “leave no stone unturned” in the effort to be a better player.
Freeney is extremely popular in the locker room. The legendary pass rusher’s teammates are effusive in their praise. And don’t get it twisted, it’s not all about mentorship; Freeney can still bring it. That said, his leadership is second to none.