A couple days ago, the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter got Falcons fans updated on recent things to keep an eye on in OTAs. The most interesting thing to me about what he reported was which players were lining up with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd string rotations.
The first team alignment was composed of Sam Baker, Justin Blalock, Joe Hawley, Garrett Reynolds, and Tyson Clabo. Two things struck me as interesting here. First, I was fairly shocked that Reynolds was taking 1st team snaps at Right Guard, despite the debacle that was his performance at RG during the 2011 season. I suppose the Falcons are only looking for Vince Manuwai and Peter Konz to beat him out for the starting job, and I sincerely hope that happens. Perhaps we will see something different soon from the Falcons depth chart, but that was shocking. The second interesting thing was that Joe Hawley was slotted as the 1st team starting Center. After the Falcons re-signed Todd McClure this offseason, I was sure that he would start at C for the 2012 season. Apparently, the Falcons are looking for Hawley to step up and start this season. I can’t blame them one bit for that. One thing that was again very surprising was that McClure saw no on-field practice with the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd string O-line teams. I suppose the Falcons are looking for him to be a teacher/instructor for the o-line. Nobody has more or better experience than McClure, and we all know he can start if the Falcons need him to.
The final thing that was of note, but not altogether surprising, was Peter Konz’ alignment with then 2nd and 3rd team offenses. Konz played Center with the 2nd team, and Right Guard with the 3rd team. I suppose the Falcons want him to beat out any veterans on the team before taking a starting job, and rightfully so. I do, however, feel that he is a little buried on the depth chart at the RG position. Perhaps he isn’t the savior at the position that we expect him to be. Perhaps I’m reading into the OTAs depth chart too much. I would go with the latter of the two. Regardless, I would expect Konz to move up at RG significantly.