The heads under Glenn Pires' tutelage have been spinning less and less during 2014 XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp. A year ago, it was a different story, but the growth that the Falcons linebackers coach has seen in Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu compared to 2013 is immense.
He said as much Thursday as he took his turn in front of the media.
"The most I've seen, which is what we expected, is that Paul and Jop have an offseason underneath their belt and they're showing the benefits of that," he said. "They've taken advantage of that, which is what has to happen from that rookie to the second year — all the offseason work, all the weight room work, all the offseason improving from last year, that's the first thing. They've taken advantage of that."
Bartu, in particular, has benefitted from an offseason where he's been taking the same reps he's taking in training camp. With Sean Weatherspoon trying to fight back from an offseason injury, Bartu was working at his spot during OTAs and minicamps.
When Weatherspoon injured his Achilles during his comeback bid, it was only natural for Bartu to take over that spot and now it seems to be his to lose.
"It's huge," Pires said. "Now, he's in it, he's doing all the communicating, he's seeing everything the offense does. Nothing takes the place of the reps. All the live reps he's getting, being in the first huddle and eveything else, that's been great for him."