BIRDLAND – Wes Durham and Dave Archer, the Falcons’ fine radio announcers, like to refer to linebacker Curtis Lofton as “The Police.”
He has the nickname because of his uniform number, 50. One of the nicknames for the police is 5-0 as in the old television show, Hawaii 5-0. Durham and Archer have concluded that “teams can’t run from the Police.”
Lofton has racked up 345 tackles in his first three seasons in the league. Last season, Lofton appeared headed for the Pro Bowl last season before he slowed somewhat down the stretch while playing hurt.
After the season, he had surgery on both knees.
Lofton spent part of his rehab time working on his upper body strength and is now getting his legs back in shape. Before going through seven-on-seven drills, Lofton recently chatted with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Q: How has your offseason been?
A: The offseason has been pretty busy for me. I had a couple of surgeries done. I’ve been rehabbing and coming back from the those. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. Working out and getting ready for when the lockout is [over] with.
Q: How have your strength and conditioning workouts been going?
A: This is probably the strongest that I’ve ever been because all I had to do was focus on my upper body. Now, it’s time to get these legs back right.
Q: Is this the first time doing drills with the offense?
A: It’s the first time, so we’ll what happens. Everyone is just excited to get back to it and are ready to get it going.
Q: What’s your take on these type of workouts that several teams are doing now?
A: This is very important because the OTAs is when you get the team chemistry. That’s when guys get closer. We have to do this. No one is making us do it right now. We have something special with this team. We just have to keep working and hopefully get into the championship this season.
Q: What did you think of the Falcons draft?
A: They have been talking all off season about how they wanted to get more explosive. Julio (Jones) was one of the most explosive players in the draft. He’s going to help out the offense because you just can’t double team Roddy [White.] Or double team Tony [Gonzalez.] Then you have to handle Michael Turner, so it makes our offense more powerful. We got a backup linebacker in (Akeem) Dent and maybe an outside linebacker.
Q: What’s your take on Cam Newton coming into the division?
A: Cam Newton is a very athletic quarterback. It doesn’t bode very well for him, not being able to go through OTAs and these minicamps and stuff. It’s a lot and they are going to have to cut the playbook down. As a defensive guy, I kind of enjoy that. It kind of gives us the advantage. He’s going to bring a lot of athleticism to Carolina’s offense.
Q: How much can you do in these drills?
A: I’m just going to come out and do a little running. I’ll see how it goes. It’s still early and I’m not going to push myself too hard.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog