Second-year linebacker Akeem Dent's role will be much bigger this season.
With the announcement earlier this week that Lofa Tatupu is out for the season, Dent may be the starting middle linebacker for the Falcons this season. Dent was a third-round pick in 2011 who learned a lot from Tatupu as a rookie last year. Veteran Mike Peterson re-signed, and may fill that mentor role. From the Falcons official website:
"I still have a whole lot of work to do," (Dent) said Thursday. "When Lofa was here, he was helping me out and leading me. Bringing in Mike Peterson, it's the same deal."
Last season, Dent played primarily on special teams for the first half of the year. The former Georgia linebacker finished with 20 tackles and one forced fumble.