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Mike Nolan sees high ceiling for Sean Weatherspoon

Sean Weatherspoon AP

The high expectations for Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon aren’t confined to the fans and the media.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan thinks that the third-year linebacker has plenty of room for improvement.

“He’s a good player now, but he could be a lot better than he is,” Nolan tells the team’s official website.  “And he will be.  No question, because he loves football and he’s exciting to watch and he’s a playmaker, for all those reasons.  But he’s done well, but he can still do a lot better. I ’m not just saying that because that’s the blanket statement for people, but as I’m watching him, he’s got a lot of upside, so as much good as you’ve seen, he’s got a lot of good in there going forward.”

Learning Nolan’s defense could delay that process a bit. “Primarily, what I see is a guy who just loves to play, but in the new system, he’s still trying to learn the language and things like that,” Nolan said.  “So there’s some way to go, but he’ll find it very friendly and I think he already does see, down the road, how exciting it can be in this system, because a lot of guys have benefited from it. He’s got what it takes to get there.”

The overriding goal is to learn to play it fast, and Nolan realizes that could take a little time, for all of the defense.  ‘There’s some things we play faster than other right now because they’ve done them maybe before, but there’s some new things we need to play fast that, in the process, that’s really our goal through all these OTAs and training camp and minicamp,” Nolan said.  “To be honest with you, some teams don’t gel until the middle of the season.  I’ve been a part of those several times and that’s just the way it is.  But as we all know, we’re trying to finish the race good as much as start it, but the finish is the important thing.  But I think you can get to that point a lot quicker — what I mean is get to that experience, play fast, play quick — if it’s easy to learn and we’re teaching it right, they’re studying it, learning it and we have good players.”

A first-round pick in 2010, Weatherspoon appeared in 11 games as a rookie, starting only five.  Last year, he started all 16 games, racking up 82 tackles, 33 assists and four sacks.

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14 Responses to “Mike Nolan sees high ceiling for Sean Weatherspoon”
  1. cowboyhater says: Jul 9, 2012 9:17 AM

    This guy is still a d coordinator? Wow!!

  2. paulitik74 says: Jul 9, 2012 9:23 AM

    Sean Weatherspoon will be a household name by the start of the 2013 season. We’re lucky to have him in black and red.

    I can’t wait to see Spoon in this new Nolan D. Brian Van Gorder was lost on 3rd downs.

  3. ebrownwareagle says: Jul 9, 2012 9:23 AM

    This Year He will be a pro bowler!

  4. SeenThisB4 says: Jul 9, 2012 9:24 AM

    “He could be a lot better than he is.” That’s true. However, he’s reached his ceiling.

  5. threedeep1998 says: Jul 9, 2012 9:45 AM

    Had to look up what team this was even for.

  6. 561bengal says: Jul 9, 2012 9:54 AM

    He has a ton of potential but he will never be a Terrell Suggs

  7. ravenmuscle says: Jul 9, 2012 9:57 AM

    I agree….he has a high ceiling.

  8. craigd1zzle says: Jul 9, 2012 10:07 AM

    So is Atlanta switching to Nolan’s 3-4?

  9. lightcleric says: Jul 9, 2012 10:13 AM

    It’s a shame he’s stuck on a mediocre team, he really is a beast.

  10. ebbycalvinlaloosh says: Jul 9, 2012 10:30 AM

    One major criticism of this dude coming out in the draft was that he never stops talking. Not in a “vocal leadership” kind of way, but rather in a “shut the hell up or one of your own teammates will punch you in the mouth” kind of way. Has that tendency shown up in the pros yet? I don’t see a lot of Falcons games.

  11. thehighhat says: Jul 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    Thats all well and good, but the more important question is: Was Nolan wearing a suit?

  12. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Jul 9, 2012 12:13 PM

    If there’s one thing Nolan knows its talent not translating into on field success which is why he will never get another HC job in the NFL

  13. shotpeen says: Jul 9, 2012 12:16 PM

    threedeep1998 says “Had to look up what team this was even for.”

    Try reading the first sentence: “The high expectations for Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon “

  14. cali49er707 says: Jul 9, 2012 1:50 PM

    ebrownwareagle says:
    Jul 9, 2012 9:23 AM
    This Year He will be a pro bowler!
    —————————— ——————–
    not saying the guy is not going to be good but, pro bowler??? you do know he is going against guys like lance briggs, urlacher, p willis,navarro bowman, sean lee, j beason, clay mathews, must i continue??

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