MOBILE, Ala. — Some football players prefer to let their play do the talking, and choose the silent approach. Don’t count Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon among that group.
The standout linebacker is more comfortable with the style of legendary trash talker Joey Porter of the Dolphins. When he’s on the field, Weatherspoon runs his mouth just about as much as his feet.
If you are standing anywhere near the field here at Senior Bowl practices, odds are you are going to hear Weatherspoon shouting something.
It first caught my attention when I was standing on the sidelines tracking a blocking drill. Cones were set up, and it was the running backs’ responsibility to either stand up the oncoming linebacker, or push him outside the cones, which represented the linebackers’ blitzing area.
When Weatherspoon took his turn in the drill, he was matched up against Wayne State’s Joique Bell. Weatherspoon proceeded to run right through Bell, and send him crashing to the turf in a violent collision. As if Bell wasn’t disappointed enough in his futile rep, Weatherspoon made sure to proclaim his dominance. He let out a vicious scream, before tormenting Bell about his failed blocking attempt.
Bell, who has impressed scouts here with his running ability, took the talk in stride, and actually got the better of Weatherspoon in a couple of later blocking drills.
Of being blown up by Weatherspoon, Bell said “you’ll never see that again.”
As for his part, Weatherspoon said he has been a talker his entire life, and doesn’t plan on changing.
“All my life, I’ve always been the type of person to just always be talking, no matter where I am. I’m always that guy,” said Weatherspoon.
“Back when I was little I used to get ‘talks excessively’ on my report card.”
If there is one position in which being a loudmouth comes in handy, however, it would be middle linebacker, where he has practiced some this week after playing outside in college.
The middle linebacker is responsible for setting the defense and calling out the defensive play-call to his teammates.
Weatherspoon notes that his proficiency in talking gives him an advantage in this area.
“You’re going to have to step in front of your teammates and command everyone’s attention in that huddle,” Weatherspoon pointed out.
“I feel like I’m definitely the guy that needs to do that, and be in that position.”
– Jason Feller