Throwback helmets provide flashback for Peterson

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Just got off the phone with Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson. I’ll be writing an extensive piece on him and the Falcons’ defense for Friday, but wanted to share one item with you now.

The Falcons will be wearing their throwback uniforms in Sunday’s game with the Carolina Panthers and that’s creating a throwback situation for Peterson.

“I love the red helmets,’’ Peterson said. “They’re like what I wore with my Pop Warner team back in Florida.’’

For the record, Peterson played for the Alachua Raiders and that might be a good omen for Sunday. When Peterson was an eighth-grader, the Raiders won a national championship.

“It was my first time on a plane,’’ Peterson said. “We flew to California and won.’’

Peterson was the quarterback of that team and also played quarterback in high school, which was then part of Atlanta coach Mike Smith’s recruiting territory as a college assistant.

“Smitty saw me as a quarterback,’’ Peterson said. “I was always a quarterback. I’m not sure how I got into this linebacker thing.’’

Part of Friday’s story will be how Peterson now is the quarterback of Atlanta’s defense, but that can wait a day. Thursday night, Peterson’s planning on doing a little research on the 1966 Atlanta team that first wore the uniforms the Falcons will play in Sunday.

“I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know much about the 1966 team and I’m a guy that pays attention to history,’’ Peterson said. “I’m going to get on-line tonight and find out what that team was all about.’’