Weatherspoon brings work ethic, enthusiasm


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The newest member of the Atlanta Falcons, 2010 first-round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon, announced his arrival in Atlanta on Friday the same way he's disseminated a good portion of information over the last week -- via Twitter.

The message was short and straight to the point and, even though his followers on Twitter couldn't see him, it was easy to know Weatherspoon was smiling.


BY THE NUMBERS:More on the Falcons newest outside linebacker * TRANSCRIPT:Dimitroff, Smith and Weatherspoon talk to the media

That smile and enthusiasm were boiling over as Weatherspoon was introduced to the Falcons community at a press conference on Friday afternoon. Flanked by General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Head Coach Mike Smith, his first words spoken in front of the cameras and lights at Flowery Branch were in response to Dimitroff's opening of, "looking good."

Weatherspoon smiled and said, "feeling good."

Then the smile grew.

Sitting in front of gathered media and Falcons personnel, it was hard for Weatherspoon to believe that 24 hours hadn't passed since he learned he was being drafted by the Falcons. He was sitting with family and friends in Jasper, Texas when the call came from Les Snead, director of player personnel.

"It was just surreal," said Weatherspoon, who later said he wasn't truly nervous until Snead put him on hold. Snead wanted to hang up and have Dimitroff call the newest member of the Falcons family a little later. But Weatherspoon begged Snead not to hang up.

So he waited.

Weatherspoon laughed, "It was the only time I had butterflies".

And now that the butterflies are gone, Weatherspoon says his life hasn't changed too much. "I have been getting a lot of text messages and phone calls, but that's about it. I don't think I've wrapped my mind around this concept yet."

What he does know is that he's going to have to come in to camp and work hard. Even though coach Smith said Weatherspoon will have an opportunity to win a starting job, he knows he's starting from scratch. Instead of saying he was ready to produce at the NFL level, Weatherspoon preached work ethic.

"I feel like I can come in and work hard," Weatherspoon said. "I feel I can come in with a positive attitude and ready to learn. I know there are going to be some bumps and bruises and it won't be easy. You can't just walk in, you have to come in and work."

Weatherspoon also knows he's going to need some help.

He's already spoken with Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton, whom he competed against in Big 12 competition when Lofton was at Oklahoma. He's also been in constant contact with former teammate and 2009 second round draft pick William Moore.

"It's going to be great, us together again," Weatherspoon said of Moore. "We feed off each other."

Weatherspoon already has a good body of work from Missouri, a base to start building upon. He led Missouri in tackles for three straight seasons and finished his career with 413 tackles, placing him third on the all-time tackles list at Missouri.

If Lofton feeds off Moore and continues to hone his tackling skills from Lofton, he'll have a bright future with the Falcons. But until the pads are on, Weatherspoon just plans to try and relax and take things one day at a time. He went fishing the morning of the draft and says that he takes his MacBook everywhere. If he's not online or using a fishing line he's reading or listening to music.

"I am pretty versatile," Weatherspoon said speaking about the artists on his iPod. He said he has everything from 50 Cent to Carrie Underwood, and even some Miley Cyrus.

"I have a pretty good voice," he responded, when asked if he could sing. "But I don't want the veterans to know."

Sorry Sean. The cat's out of the bag.


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