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Falcons Offseason: SB Nation Ranks Atlanta Linebackers In Bottom Third Of League

Despite recent praise for Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber ranks Atlanta's linebacking unit 23rd out of the 32 team league. Van Bibber acknowledges Weatherspoon's talent in his breakdown but says that the loss of Curtis Lofton to the rival Saints will be felt by the Falcons.

Weakside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is another example of a good player who goes unnoticed because he plays in a 4-3 system. The Falcons will regret letting Curtis Lofton get away. Lofa Tatupu is not an equivalent replacement, setting up a golden opportunity for Akeem Dent.

The pressure will be on this unit and especially Weatherspoon and Akeem Dent to make up for the loss of Curtis Lofton. New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's hybrid defensive scheme should help provide Weatherspoon the space and the opportunity to make much more of an impact.

For more on the Atlanta Falcons and Sean Witherspoon check out The Falcoholic. For more news and notes from around the NFL head over to SB Nation's NFL page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.