The time is now for Falcons C Peter Konz, who will get his first start of the season on Sunday against the New York Giants, replacing the injured Joe Hawley (knee), who was placed on IR Tuesday. Entering the season, Konz was very clear and confident about wanting to be the starting center for this team in 2014; that confidence stems from an offseason of diligence.
"It wasn't even January and I was in the weight room," Konz said. "I was in the film room and doing everything possible; I saw a nutritionist, who helped me transform body fat into muscle; I'm a more physical player now, leaner and stronger. I'm excited to go out there and play."
In his first two seasons with the team, Konz played in 32 games with 25 starts, seeing action at center and right guard, helping block for a Falcons offense that averaged 356.1 yards per game, ranking 10th in the NFL. "It's time for Pete Konz to step back into the starting lineup," Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "He's got plenty of starting experience. The bottom line is, if you're a pro football player and your number is called, then you're expected to perform and we have very high expectations for Pete and for anyone else that's going to step up, that they will do that."
Despite seeing his teammate and friend (Hawley) placed on IR, the third-year lineman is ready to seize the opportunity on Sunday.
"I think it's important to be vocal, to not question yourself, to get on the same page and to be on the same page with (Falcons QB) Matt (Ryan)," Konz said. "Stepping in, I have to make it mine."