In the NFL’s land of one-year contracts and multi-year deals gone wrong, sometimes the players in the most centered positions fly under the radar. Newsworthy, but not in today’s need-for-drama sense. Yet those players are a central part of the team, on the field every week, getting the job done. They’re newsworthy—for not being newsworthy.
Does that sound like nonsense? Only to a point.
These guys don’t make headlines every day because they don’t have to. On any given Sunday, they’re on the field, doing what they were signed to do, and carrying it out to the best of their abilities. Under the radar, but over the top. One of the main times notoriety is achieved is when their playing goes awry, for whatever reason. Of course, another reason (though not as common) for being thrust in the spotlight is when they leave the team—maybe even when they retire.
Welcome to the world of the Atlanta Falcons’ center.
Todd McClure spent his entire career as a Falcon. Quite an achievement in today’s NFL, indeed. The now-retired center was, in head coach Mike Smith’s words, “a head coach’s dream to have around…if we don’t have mentors and guys like (Todd) McClure on our team, we don’t have the success we’ve had over the last five years.”
That’s some mighty big shoes to fill.
In a nutshell, an effective center is an integral part and parcel of a winning team. The Falcons are looking for this same endurance and longevity in their next center. They need look no further than the one who waited in the center’s wings as last season’s right guard, Peter Konz. Though Konz demonstrated his position flexibility when he played last season as right guard, center is what he knows; center is what he does best.
Given the chance, can Konz step up and bring it to the forefront?
The same Konz who was named to numerous All-American teams during his college tenure as a center and capped off that tenure as a Rimington Trophy finalist in 2011?
In a word, yes.