Twelve weeks ago, I wrote that the Falcons needed middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to step up this year. And according to a write-up by the National Football Post’s Dan Pompei, it seems like the coaching staff thinks the same way. Because according to Pompei the Falcons coaching staff have given Lofton more leeway to be a leader in the middle of that defense.
Pompei writes that Lofton will be given the responsibility of calling different fronts and more blitzes on the defense. Lofton is now becoming more of a leader and essentially the quarterback of the defense. Throw in the fact that he was one of the key organizers of the Falcons off-season workouts, Lofton may be poised for a big year in 2011.
Lofton’s play dropped off last year as far as his ability to defend the run. And perhaps this leadership role will reinvigorate him with confidence to get back to a run-defending level he was in 2009. And with continued progression in coverage coupled with his leadership, Lofton can become a more complete playmaker and anchor this defense.