As Atlanta's offseason program chugs along, free agent signing Alex Mack, who agreed to a long-term contract in March, feels he's been adapting well to his new surroundings. And though Atlanta's system is being installed gradually—they're currently in Phase 2—players are already impressed with their new center.
"The dude is, like, a genius," fullback Patrick DiMarco said of Mack. "He's super smart; he's a big center, too. He's a big dude. You see him and think, 'Wow, this guy has a presence.' Not only size wise, but he has a presence in his voice with that offensive line group.
Mat Ryan has liked what he's seen from Mack, as well. The two have gotten some extra face time thanks to their adjacent lockers; they've been working on snaps, too, and have started developing chemistry on and off the field.
"He's a great guy, obviously a great player," Ryan said. "The addition of him has made us a better offense and (given us) a better offensive line."
As Ryan and former Falcon Todd McClure noted, adding Mack should greatly impact the rest of Atlanta's offensive front.
The Falcons' O-line ranked fourth in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus, up from 26th in 2014—the biggest improvement in the league. With two consistent tackles, a lot of experience at guard and a three-time Pro Bowler in Mack, it wouldn't be surprising if that unit ranks even higher next season.
"I know they're clicking well. That was a big jump from two years ago to last year," said DiMarco. "Our offensive line got tight, and it showed when we played—they played well, they played hard together. And Alex stepped in, filled a void and they haven't lost a beat.
"So they're continuing to grow. I'm excited to watch those guys. They're on a mission to continue to prove people wrong."