Falcons head coach Mike Smith has gotten asked several times who the Week 1 starter at right guard would be, and he has been completely silent on the subject. Apparently, Coach Smith doesn’t want to ‘give any competitive advantage’ to the team they will face in Kansas City on Sunday.
I’m all for not tipping your hand as far as schemes and strategy, but this piece of gamesmanship is taking it a bit too far. We all get what Smith is trying to do, but does it really change people’s perception of how to attack the Falcons offense whether Garrett Reynolds or Peter Konz gets the start? I’m not convinced.
If anything, not announcing the starters makes the Falcons look extremely weak at that position. The mindset of an opponent would probably go along the lines of this: ‘Oh, the rookie center from Wisconsin hasn’t won the job, and last year’s guard who was used and abused is a serious competitor for the starting job? Sounds like nobody is winning that competition, least of all the Falcons.’
It doesn’t sound like Konz has really stepped up and won the job outright. By the same token, Reynolds hasn’t either. Add to that the fact that Reynolds was absolutely miserable last season, and one can’t help but feel somewhat uncomfortable about the situation.
Personally, I just wish Smith would just announce the starter. If he knows for sure who will start, just say it.
The real problem is that Smith might not have that answer, or may know they may have to switch players from week to week or even series to series. His non-committal attitude is not brilliant or Belichick-ian in this case; it’s downright concerning.