Spoon Carrying on Lessons Taught by Peterson

Spoon Carrying on Lessons Taught by Peterson

Jay Adams

Published August 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM

The linebacker vibe feels different this year, and it’s not difficult to see why. For four years, veteran linebacker Mike Peterson was the undisputed leader, mentor and “uncle” of the group of younger linebackers he did his best to raise.

Now in 2013, with those young pups, as “Uncle Pete” used to call them, all grown up, the leadership has changed, but the lesson has remained the same.

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is at the forefront of the new regime, and there’s a little bit of Peterson in everything he tries to do in his new role as leader.

“He taught us a lot and we really miss him around here,” Weatherspoon said during the weekend as he returned to practice from an injured finger. “We try to take whatever it is that Pete taught us and come out here and just have an upbeat attitude.”

Peterson has moved on in his football career, working with his alma mater, Florida, as an undergraduate assistant to get his coaching career started. According to the Associated Press, Peterson is two classes away from graduating with a degree in sociology.

His presence, however, is still very much felt in Flowery Branch. Every day during his tenure with the Falcons, Peterson would remind the younger players on the defense of his mantra:

“Grass green, sky blue; got a lot of work to do.”

These days, the entire team repeats it during their stretching period of every practice.

“We come out here and just work, man, and Mike did a good job of instilling that in us,” Weatherspoon said. “We’re just out here having fun.”

And that’s perhaps one of the biggest lessons Peterson left with this young group of linebackers looking to make a mark.

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