Atlanta Falcons 2014 Training Camp Profile: Jake Matthews
A picture of Jake Matthews should be next the football dictionary under “prototypical left tackle”. Matthew is a part of football lineage that will place pressure on him to produce immediately. HE will be depended on early and often as the Atlanta Falcons took a step back as a team last season. Matt Ryan was sacked quite a bit last season, and it will be up to Matthews to protect the $120 million investment.
As a member of the Texas A&M Aggies, Matthews protected Johnny Manziel, and was named to the All-SEC and All-American Team. Matthews isn’t a stranger to protecting a high-profile quarterback, and Matthews knows that it comes along with the territory.
Entering training camp, Matthews will be depended on from day one. Thrusting him into the lineup is exactly what the Falcons need as they try to regain supremacy in the NFC South. Many people fail to realize the impact that the offensive line plays, and with drafting Matthews Falcons, fans will see that right away.
When Ryan is throwing the ball to his arsenal of weapons, the Falcons are hard to beat. But when he is under immense pressure, things are not the same for them. It is entrenched in Matthews’ genes to be a great offensive lineman, being the son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce Matthews. Though his father was a guard, Matthews will look to duplicate his father’s success at the tackle position.
Reports noted that Matthews has shined during the team’s OTAs, and he will look to translate that success in training camp into the regular season. Training camp is the most grueling part for a rookie. Dealing with the mental aspects of change and learning new concepts on the field makes things tough, but when you are built for that type of environment, it will be just another set of practices.
Matthews was born to play the offensive tackle position, and the Falcons will see that pretty soon.