Sean Weatherspoon tore his Achilles tendon in practice last week and will be out the for the 2014 season, which brings the question who will be his replacement? It’s reported that ex-Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has worked out with the Falcons, but they have not signed him… yet. The bigger question that comes to mind, is should they sign him? The Falcons are said to looking to employ a 3-4 defense this year, which Vilma has the experience in and going off of that, I can give you 3-4 reasons why he could be a good fit. an
1. Matching the likes of Ray Lewis, Vilma was the “quarterback” of the defense during his time with the Saints. His leadership would be valuable to a Falcon’s defense that lacks that type of stability.
2. Piggybacking off of leadership Vilma has the experience. He can teach the younger defensive men his knowledge of the game; and as huge advantage to the Dirty Birds, he could also teach them how the Saint’s offense is run given the Saints are the Falcons number one competitor!
3. Vilma is a smart player. The 10-year veteran knows the game and pays attention to what’s going on around him. Case in point- Super Bowl 2010, when he matched audibles with Peyton Manning and the Saints came out victorious.
4. He may not be one of the bigger linebackers, but his athleticism and playmaking instincts make up for lack of size. Vilma is tenacious. He doesn’t quit. Vilma’s ability to cover a lot of ground in open space would help the Falcon’s defense out in situations when trying to blitz the opposing QB.
Vilma missed all but one game last year with the Saints due to a knee injury that has plagued him for several seasons. Vilma became a free agent after the Saints decided not to resign him. He will have to be healthy and ready for the Falcons to want to sign him to a deal, but if the Falcons did sign Vilma, I would give them a B+ as the knee injury seems risky, but the positives outweigh the negatives here.