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 Post subject: Jay Adams call Center battle
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Training camp is usually when we start thinking about position battles, but when a void is created by a longstanding veteran’s retirement, it seems appropriate to bring up even during offseason training activities.
The center position, long an afterthought because of the steadiness and reliability of Todd McClure for 12 seasons, is now up for grabs for the first time since the Falcons went to the Super Bowl in the late 1990s, and second-year lineman Peter Konz and fourth-year center Joe Hawley are going to be right in the thick of it.
So far, developments are scarce, but head coach Mike Smith said Wednesday that Konz, who spent a good portion of last season filling in at right guard for an injured Garrett Reynolds, will get most of his work at center.
“That was the plan when we drafted him, but we do have Joe Hawley, who has got more than 10 starts in the NFL, at that position,” Smith said, “so it does give us some flexibility.”
Hawley has started 12 games in his career, between both center and guard, and has the experience edge over Konz, but Konz is a bit of a wildcard at the center position since most of his work last year was at guard.
“When he was put in the guard position I thought he handled it really well,” offensive line coach Pat Hill said. “He’s back at center where he played four years in college. That’s a comfort level there. He feels really comfortable there. Playing guard last year only helped him.”
The battle, regardless of how it finishes, could be shaping up to be a close one that comes down to the tail end of the preseason.

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 Post subject: Re: Jay Adams call Center battle
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:49 pm 
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How about Line battle..... I mean we're hoping on Konz at center, then I guess we put
Hawley at Guard? Then we have a 3 year back-up starting at right tackle??

I'm usually very optimistic; but 3 hopes on your offensive line in the NFL is more than a risk. Well I never bash Thomas D. till we don't produce so I won't start early now.

This just doesn't sound like a great plan, but he's always come up with something?

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 Post subject: Re: Jay Adams call Center battle
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:23 am 
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either way our line will suck this year, hopefully these guys use this year as a learning experience and develop into long term blockers like Mclure.

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 Post subject: Re: Jay Adams call Center battle
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:44 am 
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We'll see. I think the run blocking should improve. We'll have to see about the pass protection. But given that Konz won't be play right guard, I don't see that position being the weakness. It really is going to come down to Konz making the right calls/protections, Baker not taking a step back, and Holmes not sucking.

The OL played well enough at the end of last year to buy them the benefit of the doubt. But if they have another lackluster season like they did a year ago, then this team is going to have to make a major splash up front to upgrade one of these positions. I don't know what that will be, most likely RG or one of the tackles.

Next year's OT class of free agents looks pretty solid, but the OG class is barren.

http://www.spotrac.com/free-agents/nfl/2014/ufa/tackle/
http://www.spotrac.com/free-agents/nfl/2014/ufa/guard/

Not sure about the draft class. But from the seniors at OG, based off what I've seen it doesn't look too promising.

I'm in wait and see mode with this O-line. I don't expect it to be good, but I'm optimistic it will show promise and potential.

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 Post subject: Re: Jay Adams call Center battle
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:54 pm 
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As bad as h was at G in the early going, Konz got the best experience possible: He played next to McClure and participated in the line calls as MudDuck made them. That should pay big dividends this year, provided the right side of the line is able to do something with those calls.

That said, I am very worried that there isn't a starting-caliber RG or RT on this roster: Reynolds and Hawley have been bad backups at best, and there's zero total starts at RT on the roster. At this point, it seems like it's really up to Hill and Koetter to play to the relative strengths of the line more than it is for those players to fit into a predestined scheme that they lack the strength for.


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