Cole World

Falcons Plan D Program Player Spotlight: Matt Gono

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Two players from the Falcons Plan D program needs some recognition Jermaine Grace and Matt Gono. 

Matt Gono has ‘come a long way’ and given the Falcons another option at tackle

ATLANTA – Two years ago, Matt Gono was on his way towards earning First-Team All-American honors at Wesley College, an NCAA Division III school that is a member of the Atlantic East Conference. On Thursday night, Gono made his first career start for the Atlanta Falcons.

It’s been a busy couple of years for the 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive tackle who turned 23 this offseason, but Gono’s development has been notable. There were some hiccups for Gono during the Falcons’ fourth preseason game, a 19-7 loss to the Washington Redskins, but coach Dan Quinn was overall pleased with his performance at right tackle.

“It felt exactly like I’d hoped it would,” Quinn said. “When you’re watching a game and watching the guys and it feels real normal as you’re going through, and especially at that position, that’s what you hope to see.”

One week after Matt Ryan was sacked three times and under constant pressure against the New York Jets, the Falcons did not allow any sacks on their starting quarterback and gave up very few hits. Gono did allow one such hit, however, while lined up against Montez Sweat, a first-round draft pick and former All-SEC player.

That was the lone glaring play of the game for Gono, which is a good thing when talking about an offensive lineman. Atlanta kept Gono on its active roster throughout the 2018 season, preventing another team from signing him off its practice squad, and the Falcons invested a lot of time in developing him as a player.

Given the jump in talent Gono faced on Thursday night while lining up against players like Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan and Daron Payne, that work last season appears to have paid dividends.

“There’s a big difference from the school I came from,” Gono said. “I’ve been building confidence, especially leading up to this second year.”

Gono was given the opportunity to make his first start after Ty Sambrailo was ruled out due to a shoulder injury. Sambrailo entered training camp as the starting right tackle, but he was expected to face plenty of competition from first-round draft pick Kaleb McGary.

After undergoing a cardiac ablation procedure prior to the start of the preseason, though, McGary has been sidelined from all contact-related activities. That procedure created a few questions at right tackle behind Sambrailo, and it also presented an opportunity for Gono.

An opportunity he has tried to make the most of.

“He has really put the work in,” Quinn said. “We talk about [Jermaine] Grace, he’s another one behind the scenes that has put in the un-seen grind that you guys don’t see but his teammates do. We were all looking forward to seeing him play tonight.”

No indication has been given that Sambrailo won’t keep his starting job when he is once again healthy, and McGary also figures to compete for playing time when he gets the all-clear, but Gono’s emergence as a reliable lineman who can play both right and left tackle is a big positive for a team that sought to bolster its depth on the offensive line this offseason.

“I’m feeling a lot more confident in my ability to do different things,” Gono said. “I’ve come a long way.”

 
 

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Posted (edited)

The thing I’m most impressed with from Gono is his transition from Division 3, where he started playing football, to the NFL.

If he’s able to hone in on one position rather that be a guard or tackle he will be a decent starter.

 

And from the original post 

 

Edited by Cole World
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8 minutes ago, Osiruz said:

I wanna see Gono finish his blocks. that's the big thing with him right now.

Yeah he needs to hold his block for 1-2 seconds longer.  Doesn't seem to get beat straight from the snap but loses a step when guys are finishing their arc.

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Gono looked comfortable versus the Jets and I'm glad to see it carry over. His anchor is stout and his athleticism helps him on the edge. The guy has clear talent and if he can keep improving, it's a boon to this team. At 6'4 305lbs, he's essentially the same size as Mack and Lindstrom. If the LG spot never gets settled, throw Gono in the mix there. 

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3 minutes ago, vel said:

Gono looked comfortable versus the Jets and I'm glad to see it carry over. His anchor is stout and his athleticism helps him on the edge. The guy has clear talent and if he can keep improving, it's a boon to this team. At 6'4 305lbs, he's essentially the same size as Mack and Lindstrom. If the LG spot never gets settled, throw Gono in the mix there. 

This is what I've been thinking about or if Mack retires and they move Lindstrom to C then Gono could go to RG.

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Just now, Yo_Lover said:

This is what I've been thinking about or if Mack retires and they move Lindstrom to C then Gono could go to RG.

Exactly. He's clearly got the talent. His misses aren't glaring. He's comfortable in his sets, which is impressive considering he's come from a very small school and playing OT ain't easy. He obviously has some more technique work to do, but his growth has been crazy to see.

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2 minutes ago, vel said:

Exactly. He's clearly got the talent. His misses aren't glaring. He's comfortable in his sets, which is impressive considering he's come from a very small school and playing OT ain't easy. He obviously has some more technique work to do, but his growth has been crazy to see.

Exactly. It would be awesome if he was able to do that next year but if Mack stays and gives Gono another year to develop that would be even better.

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34 minutes ago, Yo_Lover said:

This is what I've been thinking about or if Mack retires and they move Lindstrom to C then Gono could go to RG.

I was thinking this too but I’d put Gono on the left and put Brown back where he is most comfortable at RG...

But if things settle down that’s a 1-2 year plan anyway.

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9 hours ago, Cole World said:

Two players from the Falcons Plan D program needs some recognition Jermaine Grace and Matt Gono. 

Matt Gono has ‘come a long way’ and given the Falcons another option at tackle

 

“It felt exactly like I’d hoped it would,” Quinn said. “When you’re watching a game and watching the guys and it feels real normal as you’re going through, and especially at that position, that’s what you hope to see.”

One week after Matt Ryan was sacked three times and under constant pressure against the New York Jets, the Falcons did not allow any sacks on their starting quarterback and gave up very few hits. Gono did allow one such hit, however, while lined up against Montez Sweat, a first-round draft pick and former All-SEC player.

That was the lone glaring play of the game for Gono, which is a good thing when talking about an offensive lineman. Atlanta kept Gono on its active roster throughout the 2018 season, preventing another team from signing him off its practice squad, and the Falcons invested a lot of time in developing him as a player.

Given the jump in talent Gono faced on Thursday night while lining up against players like Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan and Daron Payne, that work last season appears to have paid dividends.

Proof that the plan D program works.

 

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https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/23/20829152/falcons-rt-matt-gono-start-him-over-ty-sambrailo-until-kaleb-mcgary-is-ready-protect-matt-ryan

Falcons RT Matt Gono should be the starter for the regular season

He’s not perfect, but he’s a better option than an injured Sambrailo

By David J Walker@FalcoholicDW  Aug 23, 2019, 2:00pm EDT

The Falcons offensive line needed some serious rework this season. While Alex Mack and Jake Matthews are quality starters, the spots at guard and right tackle have been a big question mark. It looks like Chris Lindstrom has locked down the right guard spot, while James Carpenter and Jamon Brown continue to fight it out at left guard.

At right tackle, though, there are a lot of questions. Ty Sambrailo was getting all of the first team reps, but a disastrous outing against the Jets brought his role as starter into question. First round pick Kaleb McGary is still recovering from his recent heart procedure and will probably not be ready to go for the regular season.

Insert Matt Gono.

The undrafted free agent from last season didn’t play a single snap in 2018. The team clearly thought he was worth a roster spot, even if he wasn’t quite ready to play last year. With both Sambrailo and McGary unable to play on Thursday, Gono was given his chance to start.

While he wasn’t perfect, Gono showed more than enough to be a competent starter at right tackle. In fact, he had several good plays, mixed in with a few expected poor ones. Is he considerably better than Sambrailo? Probably not, but the big difference is Gono has considerable upside. We know who Sambrailo is. Gono may only get better from here.

In my mind, this decision is a relatively easy one: Matt Gono should start at right tackle for the Falcons. Sambrailo was already an uninspiring starter and his preseason has only exacerbated concerns over his performance. While Matt Gono may not be an immediate top-tier starter, he showed enough on Thursday night to get the nod over the under-performing veteran.

Once McGary is back to full health, we should see a competition for this spot once again. For now, though, Matt Gono deserves to be the starter.

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7 hours ago, Osiruz said:

I wanna see Gono finish his blocks. that's the big thing with him right now.

He got beat twice last night on speed rushes to the outside. If that is his weakness the NFL will show no mercy. Otherwise great work. 

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1 hour ago, Cheap Talk said:

He got beat twice last night on speed rushes to the outside. If that is his weakness the NFL will show no mercy. Otherwise great work. 

Once

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Posted (edited)

Gono is actually 6.4 7/8 317lbs.  He also moves much better moving left than right.  Elite explosiveness moving left.  He broad jumped 9.10” at 317.  That could be an nfl broad jump record for anyone over 315.  His pro day was in 38 degrees, snow and 22mph crosswind.  He is highly athletic.  He kicks out farther on the left side.  Major upside across the line.  If the guy starting LG is actually a natural RG, Gono would be on the left side (most natural) and would be a good LG too.  

Edited by Gonobeast
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2 hours ago, atlbaby said:

Once

looking at the play I wouldn't say he got 'beat', it looked like he rode his man out but didn't stay on top of him. like someone mentioned, he doesn't get beat right off the snap but he has to sustain those blocks until the whistle blows

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59 minutes ago, Gonobeast said:

Gono is actually 6.4 3/8 317lbs.  He also moves much better moving left than right.  Elite explosiveness moving left.  He broad jumped 9.10” at 317.  That could be an nfl broad jump record for anyone over 315.  His pro day was in 38 degrees, snow and 22mph crosswind.  He is highly athletic.  He kicks out farther on the left side.  Major upside across the line.  If the guy starting LG is actually a natural RG, Gono would be on the left side (most natural) and would be a good LG too.  

Yeah I was bouta say no way this man is 305. He’s built like a slightly thicker Terron Armstead

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On 8/23/2019 at 11:09 AM, vel said:

Gono looked comfortable versus the Jets and I'm glad to see it carry over. His anchor is stout and his athleticism helps him on the edge. The guy has clear talent and if he can keep improving, it's a boon to this team. At 6'4 305lbs, he's essentially the same size as Mack and Lindstrom. If the LG spot never gets settled, throw Gono in the mix there. 

No he looked awful at LG against the Jets starting D in the first drive. Keep him at T

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1 hour ago, MoundBred said:

No he looked awful at LG against the Jets starting D in the first drive. Keep him at T

Please stop speaking if you don’t know what you are talking about.

he did not play LG at all that game and didn’t come in the game until the fifth series when Schaub entered. (And that was at RT)

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4 hours ago, MoundBred said:

No he looked awful at LG against the Jets starting D in the first drive. Keep him at T

The announcer made a mistake and confused Gono for the actual LG in this game.  Gono was not in the game on that play.  

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Posted (edited)

Gono was timing in the mid 4.8 40yd dash in the better/warmer weather workouts leading into his Pro Day.  At 317 lbs.  He did his pro day in one of the worst weather conditions you can have for a pro day.  The NFL allowed him to do another pro day if he wanted bc the conditions were that bad.  That’s rare.  He elected not too. Bc he still Sparq scored 9.8/10 despite the conditions.   Super high motor man for that weight.   He was 21 years old when Atlanta worked him out 1 on 1.  It was unbelievable.  He put the o/line coach on the turf twice by accident.  But it was 75 degrees on the private workout day.  Gonobeast was rumbling that day. 

Edited by Gonobeast
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