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It seems that while the Lofton departure has taken the majority of the topics around here Stephen Nicholas has yet to be mentioned as a reason our Front office was comfortable letting him walk. In my opinion at least as much as anybody like Dent or Tatupu, Nicholas is the primary reason we where comfortable letting 5-0 walk. I do realize it is possible Dent is the incumbent, but i see it as Nicholas' job to lose at this point. I think heading into the future of the game the three starting linebacker base unit will become a thing of the past. Im sure many around here realize that already our nickle package was on the field more than our base 4-3 the last couple years. I also think Nicholas is more well rounded as a linebacker. There is more to line-backing than getting your guy on the ground and Nicholas excels at many of those parts of the game.

And another thing... I don't see many people mentioning how we don't need to have three highly paid starting linebackers when we don't even use all three at the same time for even half the season's snaps. Personally id rather that money go to a third corner if that corner either steps up (already on the roster) or when that player becomes available in either free agency or draft or trade. Ultimately the Lofton departure will NOT handcuff us like some believe. If Nolan didn't even see him as a three down linebacker AND we use our Nickle as our base package (for all intents and purposes) i don't see this as a death blow by any stretch of the imagination. Lofton was good and productive in the run game which happens to be the one department on defense that we are most able to have some losses and still be good. In fact when Tony G is shredding the middle of the Saints D with Lofton as the main culprit I'm going to be quite satisfied.

Thoughts????

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Nicholas is an important piece. When we are in 3-4 alignment, as I am sure we will be, on

occasion, we will get to see our top four on the field at the same time. I am excited about

what that will look like. Nicholas, Spoon and Tatupu cover well and Dent is a question mark

at this point. I am shocked we let Lofton go because he was a mighty good player for us but

this lineup will be fun to watch.

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If you notice the common denominator between spoon and nicholas is their fiery passion on the field matched with their play making a bility. That's the type of linebacker the falcons feel they can win with. Lofton was very quiet on the field he almost would disappear hed always reappear on a gut or dive for a minimal gain or a loss of yards. He certainly excelled at that. Then hed disappear again

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