Falcons LB Lofton says lockout puts Newton at disadvantage

BUFORD, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said Tuesday the NFL lockout offers no benefits for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton, who led Auburn to the 2010 BCS National Championship, was the league's No. 1 draft pick last month. The Panthers and Falcons play twice a year as NFC South rivals.

Lofton said the Panthers are "going to have to cut the playbook down" for Newton. Lofton said as a defensive player the lockout "gives us the advantage, but he's going to bring a lot of athleticism to Carolina's offense."

Atlanta went 13-3 last season and claimed the NFC's No. 1 seed before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. Carolina finished 2-14 and has a new head coach in Ron Rivera, a new offensive coordinator in Rob Chudzinski and a new quarterbacks coach in Mike Shula.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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