Falcons would love a healthy Webster Premium Story
By Staff Reports
Date: Sep 30, 2005
FLOWERY BRANCH - Coach Jim Mora would love for Atlanta fans to see the Jason Webster who worked efficiently at cornerback from 2000-02 in San Francisco.
Jason Webster has played his entire career for Mora, the former 49ers defensive coordinator who took charge of the Falcons in January 2004. Unfortunately, a variety of injuries caused Webster to make only two starts in 2003, a season in which he played just five games.
In his first season with Atlanta last year, Webster made just nine starts after the Falcons gave him a $7 million signing bonus two months after Mora arrived. Still, the former Texas A&M standout, whom San Francisco drafted in the second round of 2000, finished with a team-high 10 passes defended.
"He worked hard this off-season to not get injured, and you can't control some things that happen," Mora said. "He'll have a good year for us. He's a good player, a tough kid. I just feel bad that people haven't gotten to see it yet like I got to see it for three or four years."
Though he always looks his audience squarely in the eye and speaks with sincerity, Webster rarely offers more than stock quotes, so it's hard to understand what's really affecting him underneath the surface. What hurts as much as anything, according to Mora, is playing as well as Webster did at Seattle, where he drilled Shaun Alexander and batted a pass away from Bobby Engram on consecutive third-quarter plays, only to return home with a sore knee.
Webster missed his seventh regular-season game in last week's win at Buffalo. With Kevin Mathis out for the season and Allen Rossum nursing a tweaked hamstring, Christian Morton started at Webster's spot on the right side.
"There's no question that Jason's a tough kid," Mora said. "Up until last year he only had minor injuries, he didn't have anything that kept him out a long time. As a matter of fact, in his whole college career and through his first three years in the league, he never missed a game.
"He had some unfortunate things happen to him and you just try and encourage him along. It's hard on him. He's a competitor and he doesn't like to feel like he's letting his team or his teammates down. He does feel that way, I know he does. He's of strong faith and I'm sure that's how he's getting through it. That's Jason. He's a pretty spiritual guy.[/b]