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Asamoah's Presence Keeping Line Steady

Those who have lined up next to him waste very little time in pointing to No. 75 as the reason they've been able to understand the intricacies of playing offensive line in the NFL.

Jon Asamoah is only in his fifth game as an Atlanta Falcon, a free agent signee from Kansas City during the offseason, and he's already played next to four different players at right tackle and what will now be two at center. Despite the changeover that seems constant at this point, all those players have found levels of success next to Asamoah, and they credit him for being a big reason why.

Take, for example, Sunday's loss to Minnesota when the unthinkable happened. So many offensive linemen went down that the only option left was to play tight end Levine Toilolo at the right tackle spot. Inside the huddle, Asamoah was integral in Toilolo knowing what he had to do each play. After all, Toilolo had never practiced the right tackle spot before. Everything was different for him and Asamoah helped immensely through communication.

"He was the key to it all," Toilolo said. "Literally, every time we broke the huddle, he was just telling me my assignment, like either, 'Hey, you're with me on a double team,' or 'Hey, you have this guy, you have that guy.' He was pretty much my mind out there. He was coaching me up every play, so that helped a lot."

Asamoah is no stranger to guiding new players on either hip. In Kansas City, Asamoah was charged with helping first-round tackle Eric Fisher understand the Chiefs' offense quickly. In his first year in Atlanta, he was asked to do the same with sixth-overall pick Jake Matthews before Matthews eventually took over the left tackle spot.

During that period, however, Matthews provided unsolicited raves about the help Asamoah was able to give him in understanding his responsibilities. Now, with Peter Konz to his left and Gabe Carimi at his right, Asamoah will be providing assistance should they ever need it in an effort to provide a bit more to the offensive line than just being a sturdy option at right guard.

The Falcons started October hard at work again in preparation for this Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

"Jon's been able to be a good influence," Konz said. "He's a veteran guy who talks a lot on the field, so if there's something I'm missing, he'll fill me in and if there's something he's missing, I'll fill him in. There's very good communication between us. Our lockers are right next to each other, so we talk a lot."

Asamoah, a 2010 third-round draft pick by the Chiefs, credits the players he was surrounded by in Kansas City during the early stages of his NFL career for the leadership he's been able to exude in Atlanta.

Asamoah learned under the careful watch of 16-year veteran center Casey Wiegmann, a 2008 Pro Bowler, and six-time Pro Bowl guard and two-time All-Pro selection Brian Waters in Kansas City. Asamoah said he tries to emulate them every day he's in the presence of his Falcons teammates.

A humble player by nature, Asamoah takes a just-doing-my-job attitude toward his teammates leaning on him for guidance, and he's confident in their abilities, as well as his own, to adjust to the season-ending injuries to Joe Hawley and Lamar Holmes to make sure there's no drop-off in the line's production.

"It's just communication and getting comfortable with each other," Asamoah said. "We rotate in practice at different points. You've been jumbled up in practice, so it's not a huge transition. Sometimes I don't even notice when there's different guys next to me, so it's just getting on the same page and getting comfortable with each other."

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