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Falcons’ rookie starter Lofton embraces vets’ advice


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Falcons’ rookie starter Lofton embraces vets’ advice


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Keith Brooking has been passing along as much knowledge as he can to rookie Curtis Lofton, who will open the season as the starting middle linebacker.

“As a young player in this league, you have to have the ability to move on,” Brooking said. “You can break that down a lot of different ways, from play to play or throughout the course of the game.

“You have put that play behind you and move on to the next play. There are a lot more plays ahead. That can work with success or failure.”

Like a heavy-duty sponge, Lofton has been soaking up the information.

“The older guys always take me aside. If I have any questions, they’ll answer them, and if I mess up, they are definitely there ready to correct me,” Lofton said. “They’ll tell me to do it like this or give me tips here and there.

“You definitely have to have a short memory. If you mess up, you just have to keep playing and keep moving on and take it play by play.”

The Falcons think Lofton was a steal at the top of the second round (37th overall) in the draft. He was a one-man wrecking crew at Oklahoma with 157 tackles last season.

He started out slowly in offseason mini-camps and organized training activities before coming on strong in the exhibition season.

“You’ve seen [Lofton’s] progression from day one,” Brooking said. “He’s gotten better every day. That’s very encouraging. It’s also encouraging to see his work ethic and love for the game. He comes in here every day and works diligently.”

It’s not unheard of to have a rookie middle linebacker come in and have an instant impact.

Just last season, San Francisco’s Patrick Willis came out of Ole Miss and was named the league’s defensive rookie of the year with 174 tackles. He was selected with the 11th overall pick.

Lofton had his eyes on winning the starting spot after getting drafted.

“I think that was my expectations of myself, to at least have a chance to start,” Lofton said. “That was just my everyday approach, to just get better and better every day.”

While Brooking has been in one of Lofton’s ears, safety Lawyer Milloy has been in the other.

The message from the hard-thumping safety was simple: Go hit somebody, hopefully the ball carrier.

“With Lawyer, he said to stop thinking,” Lofton said. “He just wants me to be more physical. Just go hit, and he said he’ll come in and clean everything up.”

With Lofton in the middle, the Falcons are hoping for a two-for-one deal. His emergence allowed them to move Brooking back to his preferred weakside linebacker position, where he was a perennial Pro Bowler.

Brooking plans to keep a watchful eye on Lofton.

“Just deal with the failures and adversity, but also with the success and staying level-headed and grounded,” Brooking said. “You have to stay motivated to always be at your best no matter what comes your way.”

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Good Read Led,

Lofton, Listen to Milloy Advice the Most

Hit Everyone, especially TE coming Across the Middle,

nothing Pisses me off more than a TE running around the Middle like he Owns the place.

Hit the Running Backs too,

Gruden 90% of the time, he is going call a F-in Screen pass!

These little Dinks and Dunks should come with a Headache!

Keep up the Hard Work



if the AFFO didnt mess up the Draft and they Picked Willis at MLB and Lofton a WLB!

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