When Pro Bowl center Todd McClure retired, the Atlanta Falcons had high hopes for Peter Konz, whom they selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft to replace one of the best centers in the league. Since then, Konz has not only underperformed, but has lost his starting job twice this past season.
The Falcons’ offensive line overall was a complete mess, as they put together one of the worst statistics an offensive line could have. They allowed Matt Ryan to be sacked a career-high 44 times along with being one of the most hit quarterbacks during the regular season. On top of that, the offensive line didn’t fare any better in the rushing game, as they were ranked dead last in rushing yards per contest.
Konz started out the year as the starting center for the Falcons, but lost his starting job to Joe Hawley. With the offensive line continuing to be disastrous, coach Mike Smith then inserted Konz at the right guard position. Konz once again struggled mightily in his new position, as he was ultimately benched in favor of Garrett Reynolds. Later, Konz would regain his starting position due to the fact that Reynolds played even worse than him.
When the season came to a close, Konz should have known that he has much to improve on, especially if he wants to continue his career in Atlanta.
With Mike Tice becoming the new offensive line coach, Konz will have another shot to fight for a starting position in 2014. Although Konz has been inconsistent and showed limited strength at the point of contact, he will nonetheless have a second chance to redeem himself.
Konz expects more out of himself, as he seeks out to not only be a starter on the line, but to be the “Rock” in their foundation.
“I could be the future Todd McClure who was here for 13 years or if things don’t work out, I could be gone,” Konz said, according to ESPN. “And I want to be in a leadership role. I want to be the rock on the offensive line. That’s what I’m working on. My personal goals, where I see myself in the best light, is being a staple on this O-line. That’s what I want to be. But it’s one of those things that’s in the air. What I do from here will determine where I am on the O-line and on this team.”
It will be up to Konz whether or not he stays or goes. In the meantime, much work is left to be done for a player who has underachieved so far in his professional career.