Weatherspoon bring energy, experience in second stint

When the Falcons signed linebacker Sean Weatherspoon last March, they knew that his contagious energy would follow.

Now in his second stint with the team, he is proving to be a valuable additional by providing experience to a young linebacker core.

“He is a leader vocally and by example,” Falcons linebacker Brooks Reed said. “He is a great leader and people follow him. He is doing great and I am hoping we can get everyone up to his level.”

On the field, Weatherspoon’s exuberant personality can’t be missed. After nearly intercepting a pass on Sunday, he ran around the field screaming about how he almost made the highlights for the post-practice film review.

He has also been seen encouraging rookies Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell throughout practice.

“They’re dope and you look at them and they are excited,” Weatherspoon said. “You got one that is extremely fast, one that is extremely long and covers ground. It is going to be a great experience for us all. For veterans, you got to bring them along. It is about the team at the end of the day.”

It is that team mindset that originally brought him to Atlanta.

The Falcons drafted Weatherspoon in the first-round of the 2010 draft and in four seasons, he compiled 290 tackles and eight sacks while bolstering the outside linebacker position. An Achilles injury cost him much of the 2014 season and he elected to sign with Arizona in free agency for the 2015 season.

During his time recovering, he said that he spoke with his best friend Corey Peters and Kroy Biermann, both former teammates who had gone through the same Achilles tear, for advice on how to rehab from the injury.

Last season, Weatherspoon suffered a severe hamstring injury and ended up with just 11 tackles in 14 games for the Cardinals.

He’ll be in a battle to retain a roster spot, but feels he’s healthy.

“I feel way better than last year as I wasn’t even practicing this time,” Weatherspoon said. “I am just thankful to work out and be running.”

He has been working out with the second-team defense at outside linebacker and made a couple nice plays in containing the run and stopping the pass on Friday.

“It was a good day and we practiced better as a unit,” Weatherspoon said. “We came out with better intensity, so we started faster and we finished the practice. It was a pressure situation at the end and guys were up for the challenge. You just want to come out each day and get better.”

The latest workouts have been more up-tempo, the style that Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is trying to infuse into the team. Weatherspoon believes he still has something in the tank.

“Come on man, I’m Spoon,” he said jokingly. “You know I’m (not) going to sit there and just chill. I am going to try to help everybody and I hope they help me when they see something that is not right. I don’t care who starts. You know this league. If someone falls down, you’ve got to be ready.”