It was a bit of a shock to see the Falcons release Hawley outright. But it's not completely out of left field. Hawley was competing for his job, and seemingly lost the gig in preseaosn Week 3 when Mike Person got the start over him vs. the Dolphins. People kept telling me that the Falcons were only starting Person as an insurnace policy in case Hawley's knee problems flared up in the season, but IMO it seemed fishy to me that Hawley was still getting reps.
If the Falcons were worried about his knee, then wouldn't it have made more sense to rest him during the preseason? It was fishy to me, but when Hawley was back in the starting spot after the Dolphins game, I guess I went back to thinking that he was gonna stay in Atlanta.
So it seems Person is going to be our starting center. He struggled with his snapping (which can't be taken lightly), but it shoudl also be pointed out that his blocking was superior to Hawley's this summer. Hawley wasn't bad by any means, but Person was probably better.
We got Gino Gradkowski to replace Hawley on the roster. Gino isn't very good. He's not an upgrade over Hawley. We'll have to wait and see if Person or James Stone is. I'm not going to hold my breath.
I'm going to definitely miss the shoving after the whistle and the magnificent flops that Hawley would make when an opponent retaliated. We'll miss you Joe!!!
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