Much of the Falcons' fortunes for the 2009 season will depend on how their defense performs.
Many feel the Falcons are poised to win their division and make a Super Bowl run, but that won't happen if Atlanta doesn't get better play from a unit that yielded 348 yards per game last year.
If I had a chance to sit down and talk with one of their players, that player would be second-year MLB Curtis Lofton.
Question: After a successful rookie campaign, what are your individual goals for 2009, and for this defense as a whole?
Question: Brian VanGorder and Head Coach Mike Smith would like to have more of an attacking-style defense. How do you see yourself fitting in to the new packages that might be employed?
Question: How important was the addition of veteran LB Mike Peterson from Jacksonville to the team?
Question: Given that Peterson has played under Mike Smith and VanGorder at Jacksonville, and has been successful in this league, how much of a mentor and resource do you see him being for you?
Question: What would you share with the rookies coming into camp this year that would help them with the adjustment process? What was the biggest hurdle for you coming into the league?
Question: Currently, with so much uncertainty in the secondary, with Lawyer Milloy gone and the amount of young players being brought in on defense, how long do you think it will take for the defense to come together as a unit?
Question: Which professional linebacker was your favorite growing up, and when you were playing in college?
The Falcons don't get many breaks in their schedule this year, so it is important that they gel on defense quickly.
Lofton's ability to take his game to the next level will go a long way toward them being better against the run, and for Atlanta being better on that side of the ball as a whole.