Even inactive, Naples' Adkins still pretty active for Falcons

ATLANTA — All last week, as the Atlanta Falcons made their final cuts, Spencer Adkins was thrilled about NOT hearing his name called.

"Basically, if you didn’t get a call, that was good news," said the former Naples High School standout and Miami Hurricane, who was selected by the Falcons in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft (No. 176 overall). "So I didn't get a call and toward the end of [last Saturday] night I started getting happier and happier. I was really excited to be a part of this team."

Adkins didn't have that same good fortune on Sunday afternoon. The curtain fell on his NFL debut about an hour before it was scheduled to open, when he was one of seven players deactivated by the team for its season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Obviously, he was disappointed at not being able to compete, especially with his father, Lester and mother, Mable, having made the trip to the Georgia Dome. But it had little to do with the game being against the Miami Dolphins, who he said were not his favorite team growing up (he laughed and declined to say which team was).

Still, nothing was going to put a damper on the enthusiasm of his first weekend as a pro. There was still plenty to learn by observing the proceedings on the field.

"I watch all our linebackers. I get better just by watching them," he said. "Basically, all week we studied the [Dolphins’] offense and what they do, but when it comes game time, that's not necessarily exactly what they're going to do. So I want to pick up on the keys of what they're doing for this game plan."

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