Konz Expects Physical Play From Line

Posted Aug 19, 2013

Entering his second season, Peter Konz has emerged as the center of a younger offensive line and one of its leaders. With youth, he says, comes a higher level of physical play and that’s the goal this year.

It only takes a few minutes speaking to Peter Konz to see that’s he’s comfortable in his role as this year’s center. But talking about it and doing it are two different things, and Konz through two preseason games is showing that he’s comfortable on the field as well.

After starting 10 games last year at guard, the 2012 second-round pick is making the move back to his original position during this year’s training camp. Early reports of the transition were positive, with quarterback Matt Ryan saying Konz was already one of the leaders of the entire offensive line.

PHOTOS: See Images From The Final Day Of Camp

Konz has established this presence by coming to work ready each day and doing the requisite studying and preparation that comes with the position in order to make sure the line can play effectively together. On Sunday, the last day of camp, Konz said in addition to the physical play of the line, he’s pleased with how their communication has been.

“I’m extremely happy with how we’ve played communication wise,” Konz said. “But more importantly physically. Sometimes you just see base looks in the preseason and you just want to see how you are one-on-one and I thought we handled that very well.”

The left side of the offensive line is settled with starters Sam Baker and Justin Blalock, but from Konz through the right side, adjustments have been needed. The center said he had only a few reps last season with this year’s starter at right guard, Garrett Reynolds. They’ve worked to get their timing and communication together during camp.

On the field, Konz is showing he’s a player that can anchor the middle of the line and keep the pocket from collapsing. He’s faced two strong tests in the first two weeks of the preseason. Defensive tackles Geno Atkins of Haloti Ngata are two of the best in the league at their position and he may not face two better ones all season. Konz said the matchups were a good warm-up for the regular season and taught him a few lessons.

“I thought I did well,” Konz said of his play. “I think those guys, since they’re older, they’re smarter. Sometimes you’ve got to go a little slower on them instead of out-youthing them sometimes and get on them too fast. They’re looking for you to make a wrong move. I think preseason is good for slowing it down a little bit, seeing what you have to do and then getting physical.”

The physical nature of the offensive line is what this year’s group wants to be known for. The youth injection they’ve undergone this offseason, Konz thinks, will lead to an aggressive unit eager to get after each block.

“I think with youth comes that tenacity and fire,” Konz said. “We haven’t had a lot of guys with too much experience. … (With a) little more youth is a little more tenacity and I think that’s who we’re going to be this year.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of the individual authors. Unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Atlanta Falcons’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. The writers’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Falcons officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.