atlbaby Posted September 21, 2017 Share Posted September 21, 2017 Quote Practicing against Von Miller has Ty Sambrailo ready for anything Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Ty Sambrailo just might make his eighth career NFL start come Sunday in Detroit. And he might be asked to contend with a guy such as Ezekiel Ansah, who just came off a three-sack performance Monday night. Whatever the case, the Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle feels well prepared to fill the void, if starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder happens to be sidelined by a concussion. So why does Sambrailo, a former 2015 second-round pick of Denver who was traded from the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick, feel so confident after being discarded just 19 days ago? Well, it has a lot to do with the guy he faced on a regular basis in practice the previous two years. Von Miller. "Every day, pretty much," Sambrailo said of how much he contended with Miller. "He's just such a versatile player. The speed he plays with and just the knowledge he plays the game with is so impressive. It's nice to be able to learn from someone like that, who's done it all and has seen it all. He'd leave some stuff in the tank every once in a while, and you'd kind of see some stuff come out as camp went on. But over my time in Denver, I think I saw everything that he brought to the table." The encounters were much more than just one-sided battles in Miller's favor. The Super Bowl 50 MVP and elite pass-rusher actually took time to work with Sambrailo. "He and I kind of talked after plays, and he'd say what he was looking at, and I'd say what I was looking at," Sambrailo said. "I try to have a pretty good relationship with the defensive guys because at the end of the day, we can help each other grow as players. You can address weaknesses or strengths and just go from there. "It's crazy because Von's obviously elite. He's kind of a freak athlete. But at the end of the day, you just have to kind of execute your technique, and it should take care of itself. I've just been trying to focus on that as I've grown as a player." One aspect Sambrailo refuses to dwell on is what went wrong in Denver. Sure, he had some bad games, including getting abused by new teammate Vic Beasley Jr. when the Falcons beat the Broncos in Denver last season -- Beasley recorded 3.5 sacks. But Sambrailo said health issues definitely contributed to him not playing up to standard with the Broncos. "I had a few games in there were I struggled, battled through some injuries," Sambrailo said. "I tore my labrum, and I had surgery on that. And then during camp the following season, I broke my elbow. So I missed all of camp and preseason. "I was kind of thrown into a situation. And obviously, they picked me to play there, and they picked me to go in and contribute. I may have not been physically fully 100 percent ready to go, but I went out there and I did my best. A couple of days wasn't good enough. And I'm happy to be healthy now." Sambrailo played 49 of 58 offensive snaps after replacing a concussed Schraeder last Sunday night against the Packers. Naturally, there was some rust, but his performance on the fly gained the respect of those around him. "I think he did a great job for us in that game," quarterback Matt Ryan said of Sambrailo. "It's not an easy thing to do to come in, especially when you haven't been here all that long. But he did a really nice job for us. Obviously, he's a consummate professional, was prepared and ready to go. I think having a week to prepare will be good for him." If he starts Sunday, Sambrailo will be challenged not only to work in unison with new starting right guard Wes Schweitzer when it comes to running the outside zone blocking scheme, but he'll also need to hold up in pass protection against a variety of rushers off the left edge. "Ziggy flips side a little bit," Sambrailo said of Ansah. "They do roll a lot of fronts, a lot of guys in and out. Got to get ready for them all." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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