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Weems puts together solid game against Bears


Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith talked during the week about how the Bears had the league's top special teams and the Falcons wanted to see how they measured up.

"Our return units, I thought, played outstanding, flipped the field position on them," Smith said after the game.

And in Devin Hester, the Bears possess one of the NFL's all-time great returners, with 11 combined punts and kickoffs for touchdowns in his four seasons.

"He's a great guy, Hester, we watch him on film," Weems said. "We were going in knowing he could make or break a game. We know he's a great return guy. He's a great specialist. We were going in all week, thinking we have to shut this guy down or he could really hurt us. If he gets loose into the open field, he has great speed."

The Bears should have been as worried about Weems.

Linebacker Coy Wire, one of the Falcons' top special teams players, sees another NFL standout in the diminutive Weems, who stands only 5-foot-9 but packs a solid 194 pounds into that frame.

"He's real exciting," Wire said. "He reminds me a lot of Steve Smith. He's a small, quicker guy, but he's very strong, a lot like Steve Smith, and so I love blocking for the guy. We all do and we believe in him… We're going to see big things from him this year."

In the Falcons' kickoff return huddle following the Bears' score that evened the game at 14-14 with 6:14 remaining in regulation, the group spoke of the importance of setting up the offense.

Weems pushed the ball outside to set up the return, then used his speed to cut behind them and burst up the middle behind the wedge for a first down at the Bears' 41 yard-line. Smith said after the game Weems did a great job "making good decisions then getting north and south."

Seven plays later, Michael Turner ran 5 yards for the winning touchdown with 3:06 to play.

"We knew if we did our part, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our offense and give them a short field to work with and everyone sustained their blocks well," Wire said. "They're the No. 1 special teams unit in the NFL and we battled with them all day.

"On that play we're fortunate to get the best of them. They're a good unit and we just capitalized on the play."

After Sunday's performance, it could be said the Falcons have a good special teams group, too, and in no small part because of Weems.

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