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Lofton: Abraham showing old form

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons and Jaguars just completed an afternoon practice that was limited to special teams. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting out there, but I stumbled onto something good after the practice.

I sat down with middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to gather some stuff for our Camp Confidential segment on the Falcons that is to run next week, as well as some items for the season preview. But Lofton brought up something that I thought Atlanta fans would want to hear right away.

For those who don’t know – and I think you will soon enough – Lofton has become the unquestioned leader of the Atlanta defense. The third-year linebacker didn’t have to take part in the special teams practice, but he stood and watched the whole thing.

Then, we sat and talked about some other things, mainly Atlanta’s defense. We got to the pass rush, which is a concern for a lot of Atlanta fans. I asked Lofton why he’s confident in the pass rush, and that’s where he got very excited and emphatic.

“Over the past couple of days, Abe has looked great,’’ Lofton said.

“Abe’’ is veteran defensive end John Abraham. A lot of people thought Abraham might be on the downside of his career after he produced only 5.5 sacks last season. He had 16.5 in 2008. The Falcons certainly could have addressed the position in the offseason, but they elected not to do anything dramatic.

Coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have said several times they believe young players Kroy Beirmann and Lawrence Sidbury are ready to emerge. They also said a big part of the reason they didn’t make any major moves at defensive end is because they believe Abraham can bounce back. They said that a film review of last season showed Abraham still was putting good pressure on quarterbacks.

That seems to be showing through on the practice field.

“I would still say that Abe is one of the best in the NFL right now,’’ Lofton said. “He just has to stay healthy and he’s going to do his thing.’’

Abraham spent part of the offseason in Florida working on his conditioning, and Lofton said the results are obvious.

“I have no idea what he did, but he’s been doing a great job in practice,’’ Lofton said. “He looks better than ever out there.’’


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What do you expect Lofton to say??? Is he going to bash Abe in the media??????


Seriously, this is good to hear that Lofton gave unsolicited praise to Abe. I hope he has another awesome year like he had in 2008 in him. It will help him to have a better secondary and more help from the LBs and other DL this year.

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the defense is upgraded at every position, abe said beirman was a "beast" this year and has really bulked up, abe also said beirman was double digit sack guy with roddy also saying " i'm predicting beirman have over 10 saks this year". if we have an upgrade with that potetial opposite of abe why draft a DE? if this pans out the way the team see's and i know of no rookie at DE predicting 10+ sacks. with the other upgrades we may have a starting defense for many years.

we really only have to worry about the injury bug this year and it is a real threat with the track record of some of our guys. our trainers and rotation got abe right so im hoping the staff can aproach this by heavy rotation for our previosly wounded. atleast for this year. worked great with abe with out costing us to much.

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I am impressed with the statement, "Lofton is the unquestioned leader of the defense". That's a powerful statement, the changing of the guard, sort of speak.

If Curtis Lofton has the clout to validate a veteran like Abe, then surely, the team has accepted his leadership.

The question is will his leadership make the Falcons a top 10 defense?

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