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birdz4i

NFL Analyst Says Falcons Rookie Could Be a ‘Great Protege’ to Alex Mack

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Alex Mack

GettyAlex Mack #51 of the Atlanta Falcons.

 

The Atlanta Falcons were planning for the future when they went for the best center in the draft 2020 class, former Temple Owl Matt Hennessy.

NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara is a big fan of the direction the Falcons took for their third-round pick.

“I thought that was a great pickup,” O’Hara told Sports Illustrated. “Watching him on film, he absolutely looks like he could be a great protege for Alex Mack, and I think bringing him into the mix, he can play guard if they need him to, but having him there to be able to kind of learn under Alex and kind of watch him work, watch him study and learn how he watches film, I think that’s a huge pickup for that O-line room and really for that center position whenever he’s ready to step in.”

34-year-old Alex Mack is entering his 12 NFL season and isn’t looking for retirement, yet. Mack has started all 69 games with the Falcons since 2016. He has played a total of 4,292 snaps.

 

 

Mack Know What His Duty Is

Hennessey was picked up by the Falcons after watching and looking up to Mack for years so to him, it’s an absolute dream come true.

And Mack is ready to take on the role of helping Hennessy transition to the professional level.

“It’s my duty to help him be as good as he can be. If he’s a teammate or a former teammate, if I can help the younger guys learn more, it only helps you. It makes me a valuable part of the team to be able to coach people, Mack said to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

 

Hennessy Excelled At Temple

Hennessy is coming to Atlanta with a remarkable college career.

As a Temple Owl, Hennessy only missed a total of four games in his three seasons. He started 12 games in his final collegiate season, 11 in 2018, and 12 in 2017. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed pressure on only 1.25% of his true pass sets in the last two seasons.

In his final season, Hennessy earned third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-American Athletic Conference and was a finalist for the Remington Trophy as the nation’s best pivot. Temple also awarded him a single-digit jersey, an honor for team leaders and tone setters at Temple.

 

Where Will Hennessy Start?

Head coach Dan Quinn says Hennessy will start at guard “for certain” and compete for the left guard position.

“Let’s see where it plays out,” Quinn said during a local media conference. “To have the traits to know that it’s an interior player, a center and a guard. Having that versatility actually allows you to have more strength to play [multiple positions]. We’ll start him at guard for certain. As far as where Alex goes, he’s still playing at a high level, as far as past 2020, there’s a lot of time before it gets to that.”

Mack isn’t getting his starting position taken away anytime soon, but you never know what could happen midway through the season as Hennessy takes notes from a six-time Pro Bowl center.

 

https://heavy.com/sports/2020/05/matt-hennessy-alex-macks-protege/

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It doesn’t surprise me we switched back to outside zone. We have outstanding, talented, young personnel to run it effectively. 

If it were a normal offseason, then camp and preseason, I’d predict Hennessy would be our starting LG game 1 of regular season. From a purely physical build he’s slightly bigger than Andy Levitre. However, Hennessy has a more muscular build, especially in the e trunk, and Hennessy is more athletic. There is a myth he’s not big enough to play LG for us, but he’s actually perfect considering we are switching back to outside zone. 

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Posted (edited)

He should be taking all reps at C.  Splitting time is a waste of development for a player's future position that can happen at anytime.  Plenty of guys on the roster capable of playing guard (Gono's guard play was really good in the Panthers game).  Rookie plays LG, goes down and then Mack goes down …… big trouble.  Keep him healthy and learning the center position.... too important of a position.  Versatility is important but a drafted center to replace an old center is not something to play around with.  Rep him at C all day and everyday.

Edited by Gonobeast

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10 hours ago, trubirdfan4life said:

Dimitroff never ceases to surprise.  Rising from ashes.....again.

  • Looks like we may have legitimately gotten 2-1st Rounders, and 1-2nd Rounder, from this draft...........Could be great draft.. 
  • Last year we got 2-1st Rounders, but had to pay for one o them. Middle rounds look very good, to date.........Could be great draft.
  • In 2018, it looked like we again landed 2-1st Rounders, but Oliver will have to prove it this year. Drop-off in middle rounds........Could be really good draft.

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39 minutes ago, Gonobeast said:

He should be taking all reps at C.  Splitting time is a waste of development for a player's future position that can happen at anytime.  Plenty of guys on the roster capable of playing guard (Gono's guard play was really good in the Panthers game).  Rookie plays LG, goes down and then Mack goes down …… big trouble.  Keep him healthy and learning the center position.... too important of a position.  Versatility is important but a drafted center to replace an old center is not something to play around with.  Rep him at C all day and everyday.

So you’re against cross training, but want Gono to play LG?!!

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, dmo_dlo said:

So you’re against cross training, but want Gono to play LG?!!

Cross training a future C is risky with an aging starting vet at C and Qb.  Think Ryan wants a rookie center playing C that's only 50% invested in the position?  Risky position because the ball is in the hands of the C all of the time.  Snaps and calls have to be right.   It's a position unlike the others on offense.  Keep the rookie healthy and mastering the C position.  Gono would be the best LG on the team but is the swing T.  Gono can play anywhere but center ….. he's that good.  Keeping Gono healthy for Swing T is a smart move even though he would be a dominating LG.  Keeping a rookie to master the C position behind a quality veteran starting C is the safe play for a Hall of Fame Qb.  Would you take the 2nd string QB and split reps between WR and QB?  I doubt Love plays WR in Green Bay.  Cross training is great but for some positions not so much.  Center would be one of them.

Edited by Gonobeast

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4 hours ago, Cheap Talk said:
  • Looks like we may have legitimately gotten 2-1st Rounders, and 1-2nd Rounder, from this draft...........Could be great draft.. 
  • Last year we got 2-1st Rounders, but had to pay for one o them. Middle rounds look very good, to date.........Could be great draft.
  • In 2018, it looked like we again landed 2-1st Rounders, but Oliver will have to prove it this year. Drop-off in middle rounds........Could be really good draft.

Yeah, not to mention charles harris, lauquan tredwell, deion bucannon, hayden Hurst, and dante Fowler.....all former 1st round picks brought in through trade or free agency.

He pizzes me off most of the time, but hey, can't blame him this year

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On 5/31/2020 at 12:50 PM, Gonobeast said:

Cross training a future C is risky with an aging starting vet at C and Qb.  Think Ryan wants a rookie center playing C that's only 50% invested in the position?  Risky position because the ball is in the hands of the C all of the time.  Snaps and calls have to be right.   It's a position unlike the others on offense.  Keep the rookie healthy and mastering the C position.  Gono would be the best LG on the team but is the swing T.  Gono can play anywhere but center ….. he's that good.  Keeping Gono healthy for Swing T is a smart move even though he would be a dominating LG.  Keeping a rookie to master the C position behind a quality veteran starting C is the safe play for a Hall of Fame Qb.  Would you take the 2nd string QB and split reps between WR and QB?  I doubt Love plays WR in Green Bay.  Cross training is great but for some positions not so much.  Center would be one of them.

This is a terrible comparison. There are plenty of interior O lineman that can play C and/or G. How many QBs also play WR? a better comparison is a guy like Davidson or Cominsky that can play D End or D Tackle.

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C and QB are the two most important positions on offense.  Don't risk injury to a drafted C for a LG position loaded with candidates.  Something happens to Mack o-line chemistry in jeopardy at (2) positions now instead of one because the future C is playing guard.  High risk and slowing of a player's development at the position he will be counted on to play the next (10) years.  Starting QB and C along with the 2nd stringers at these positions are the only two positions on offense that cross training can backfire bigtime.  With all of the o-lineman on the roster one of them has to be capable of playing LG as well as a rookie center.

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On 5/31/2020 at 11:39 AM, Gonobeast said:

He should be taking all reps at C.  Splitting time is a waste of development for a player's future position that can happen at anytime.  Plenty of guys on the roster capable of playing guard (Gono's guard play was really good in the Panthers game).  Rookie plays LG, goes down and then Mack goes down …… big trouble.  Keep him healthy and learning the center position.... too important of a position.  Versatility is important but a drafted center to replace an old center is not something to play around with.  Rep him at C all day and everyday.

Getting actual NFL playing time at OG this year would be the best training for being center next year.  He'll still learn the calls and mental aspects of the center position from Mack.  But if he can do that while being put in the fire at the OG position, he'll be that much better able to take over next year.

They know he's a smart guy, they need to see if he can hold up against NFL DT's.  That's what playing OG will show them.

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