FLOWERY BRANCH – Caught up with Falcons linebacker coach Glenn Pires recently.
Most of the offseason attention has been on the secondary and defensive line, but the Falcons drafted a linebacker in the first round in Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon.
He’s been working out at both outside linebacker positions.
Traditionally, the strongside linebacker lined up over the tight end and the weakside linebacker played more in space.
But several times, Falcons coach Mike Smith has said that the positions are now interchangeable.
“The best way to describe it is that offensive formations are always changing,” Pires said. “They go from weak to strong, with motion and shifting. So our outside linebackers on one play might be strong and if they get motion they might be weak. All of the things, you have to play strong and weak because the offenses are always changing formations. We are interchangeable because the offenses are now interchangeable.”
Pires said that Weatherspoon is coming along well. He’s had two minicamps and organized team activities.
“He’s in the learning curve right now as all first round draft picks are, all of the rookies are right now,” Pires said. “He’s doing well in terms of learning. He’s doing well with the veterans and using all of his resources to do well. He’s off to a good start.”
Some of you all have asked if the Falcons plan to blitz the linebackers more often.
“I think that’s all a part of who we are playing against,” Pires said. “There are going to be some weeks where that’s going to be a big part (of the package). There are going to be some weeks when it’s not going to be a big part. That’s a true week-to-week thing. When we feel it’s going to be to our advantage we’ll do it. We’re just going to see how that goes.”
Here’s Pires on a few other linebacker related matters:
ON ROBERT JAMES: “He’s coming along well. It’s his third year in our system. We are excited about getting him into the preseason games.”
ON SPENCER ADKINS: “Being in the system and knowing, talking and communicating, then they play faster. Those are two guys (James and Adkins) who I think are starting to play fast.”
BOTH ARE HYBRID OLBs?: “(They) can play both positions and they are good guys who can run.”
ON COY WIRE: “He has a flexibility to do a lot of different things. He’s a leader. He’s smart and he brings all of those qualities.”