When the Atlanta Falcons return to work Wednesday, one of the first players in the film room and likely the last to leave, will be Falcons LB Paul Worrilow. The team's middle linebacker has 35 tackles in three games this season, good enough for a three-way tie as the league's top tackler. While it's still early in the season, the progress Worrilow has made from the time he was signed as a college free agent last year to his current 2014 campaign has been remarkable.
The former Delaware star played in 16 games with 12 starts for the Falcons in 2013 and became the first undrafted rookie to lead the team in tackles (137), just the third rookie overall to lead the team in tackles, joining Tommy Nobis (1966), Buddy Curry (1980), Rick Bryan (1984).
In the NFL, however, the question continues to be "What have you done for me lately?"; Worrilow hasn't disappointed. His tackle numbers continue to accumulate as he always seems to find a way to be around the ball, focused on making a play and not actually worrying about his personal stats.
"At middle linebacker, that's your job," Worrilow said. "Flowing to the ball, being active in the run game and in the pass game; there are things I can do better, obviously, but that's the scenario in every game. I just want to keep improving and staying as active as I can. Good things happen when you run to the ball, whether it's a tackle, or you knock the ball out, or maybe a fumble recovery. The tackle stat, it doesn't really matter to me."
The game has truly slowed down for the second-year LB, with his film study paying off. Days away from facing Minnesota Vikings rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater, Worrilow offered a brief scouting report.
"He can make the throws," Worrilow said. "They're going to base their offense off of what he can do well, which is obviously run and move around, so that's going to be something we're going to have to prepare for, our boot mechanics, keeping him in the pocket, pass rush and just being disciplined."