Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, signed a five-year contract after becoming an unrestricted free agent. Terms of his deal were undisclosed, but it averaging $4.5 million per year.

Asamoah was recently married and his wife is in medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

He’s expected to help the Falcons re-establish a firm passing pocket for quarterback Matt Ryan.

Here’s a Q&A with Asamoah from earlier today:

Q: Why did you select the Falcons in free agency?

A: I look at the team and the players that we have here, especially on offense, it’s incredible. Watching film you watch basically every team throughout the year and two years ago when we watched the Falcons game, I saw Matt Ryan back there calm and collected. I was like, I want to be with a quarterback like that, that’s on point. Between him and the receivers, you know and Steven Jackson and the running backs, it’s an opportunity that you can’t pass up. They have a need at right guard and they wanted to improve and wanted to bring toughness and physicality. That’s what I intend to bring.

Q: What happened this year with you losing the starting position?

A: We played in a game, it was Week 10 last year, and I got dinged up after the game. It was a close call the next week and they were trying to decide if I was going to be able to go or not. (Geoff) Schwartz played and he continued to play well. I had discussion with them and they decided to keep running with Schwartz. I accepted my role and became a great team mate. I kept working. I was ready at any moment to get back in there. I played a ton of football. My resume speaks for itself. I’ve started over 40 games and I’ve been dependable. I’m just excited for a fresh start here.

Q: What was it like starting your NFL career at age 21?

A: It was a whirlwind. Any rookie will tell you. It’s the NFL. I played in the Big 10 and thought I was big time. Then you move out. I was blessed my first year in K.C. I had Ryan Lilja, who is just a pretty (good) and under-sized veteran. He taught me what it means to be tough. What that really means. Then Casey Wiegmann, played 16 years in the league and Brian Waters, who played 12 years and went to a bunch of Pro Bowls, (both mentored me.) … I was young, but I was a sponge around those guys. I was really lucky my first year to be behind those guys. Then when Brian moved on to New England, I got my chance (to play) and I got rolling from there.

Q: Do you think you’re better at run blocking or pass blocking?

A: I love run blocking, but you’ve got to be able to do both. I came here and we’re going to throw the rock. We’ve got talented guys here. I’m going to be great at pass blocking and when we need to pound it, I’m going to make it happen.

Q: Did you and Tyson keep in touch during free agency?

A: Free agency was strange because you didn’t know how much you could talk to somebody else. It was like he weirdest and most secretive thing, even amongst your friends. I didn’t know anything about Tyson. I read that the Chiefs were talking to him, but I didn’t talk to him myself. I got on the plane to come here and the free agency frenzy had started. I was looking to see where all of my buddies would be and then I saw Tyson to the Falcons and I got so excited because one of my guys that I battled against and battled with was going to be making this transition with me.

Q: Could you give us some insight about what we should expect to see from Tyson?

A: Actually, Tyson to me, is actually one of the best run defenders in the league. He’s tough against the run. He’s been a pain in my butt for four years (in practice.) He’s really tough and he can get some pressure on the quarterback. He’s much better getting on edges and that’s what he gets credit for. Tyson is consistent. He’s tough. He’s down and dirty. …He’s going to be jamming up whatever side that he’s on.

Q: How important is it to having timing down win in the run game?

A: It’s definitely important for us to all be on the same page. … The thing we did in K.C. is that we had a mentality. We were going to try to physically impose ourselves on you. We’d give it to Jamaal (Charles) and he’s just a special guy. It was just a mentality for us. We’re going to take it to these guys and it’s going to open up everything else. That’s something that I hope, that part of my mentality can rub off anybody in the room that’s ready for it.

Q: How is your mobility in the screen game?

A: Screen game is good. It’s all about timing and getting to your landmarks. I learned so much more about screen working with (head coach) Andy (Reid) last year. With Andy, that was a huge part of our game. Our first few years, we didn’t focus that much on the particulars.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.