Falcons’ Lindstrom took ‘brotherhood’ to next level in offseason

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom discusses his play early in training camp 2020.

Football is a family affair for the Lindstroms of Dudley, Mass.

Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom is in daily contact with his younger brother, Alec Lindstrom, who’s a collegiate star at Boston College.

“I think they are doing a great job up there,” Chris Lindstrom said. “I think they’ve done like 700 COVID-19 tests or something like that and they’ve only had one positive. Especially, being a college kid, it’s pretty impressive, them being disciplined and staying on top of it. They are doing a great job.”

The ACC is one of the Power Five conferences trying to play in the fall.

Lindstrom’s father, Chris Sr., a hall of fame lineman at Boston University, spent three seasons in the NFL. His uncle, Eric, played at Boston College (1984-88).

Chris Lindstrom, one of six children, was a four-year starter at Boston College before being selected 13th overall by the Falcons in the 2019 NFL draft.

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to a virtual offseason, the brothers helped each other get ready for their respective seasons while under one roof with the rest of their four siblings.

“You can’t replicate practice, but I tried to do a lot of drill work on my own,” Chris Lindstrom said. “A lot of drill work with my brother. A lot of drill work down here. Try to keep developing physically.”

The Lindstrom brothers also had to create a weight room.

“Then also the weight room shut down was hard,” Lindstrom said. “Having to do that at home makeover … just piece things together.”

Chris Lindstrom is looking for a strong second season after his rookie campaign was interrupted with a broken foot. He was injured in the opener and missed 11 games. He played superbly over the final four games of season.

Alec Lindstrom, who is a redshirt junior, was third-team all-ACC at center last season. Alec Lindstrom is rated as the fifth best center in the nation by NFLDraftScout’s Rob Rang.

In addition to working out at home, Alec Lindstrom took baking lessons from his mother, Dawn. He can now bake cookies, brownies and cakes.

The Lindstroms worked out at least two hours a day. They either went to their old high school or trained in the front yard. They would work on drills and had them recorded to review and make corrections in future sessions.

“It was fun,” Alec Lindstrom told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette recently. “I had my own personal coach the whole time.”

Chris Lindstrom worked on using his hands better in run and pass blocking. He was able to share lessons from his rookie NFL season with his brother.

“Punch timing and punch accuracy,” Lindstrom said.

Chris Lindstrom believes his time at home was well spent.

“It’s definitely been different,” Lindstrom said. “Growing mentally in the offseason.”

Back in Flowery Branch, the Falcons are moving slowing through the training camp ramp up. Things will pick up Tuesday.

“It’s going great,” Lindstrom said. “This ramp up process has been awesome. It’s great being back with the guys. You miss spending time with them, however (many) months, it’s great to be back in the building and in a routine with everyone. I don’t think this could have been better. We are attacking this process.”

Falcons tackle Kaleb McGary (from left), guard Chris Lindstrom, center Alex Mack, and tackle Matt Gono take the line during training camp  Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, in Flowery Branch.

Credit: Curtis Compton

icon to expand image

Credit: Curtis Compton

Lindstrom appears fully recovered.

Falcons linebacker Deion Jones returned from a similar foot injury in 2018 season.

“The fact that he got to get back out there and tested his foot out (was great),” Jones said.

“He’s fast,” Jones said. “He’s physical. He always wants to be perfect. He’s always looking for inches (to improve) in his game.”

The Falcons missed Lindstrom. The unit gave up 50 sacks, 135 quarterback hits and struggled with run blocking. Things stabilized with his return and the future appears brighter as the Falcons try to decide on a left guard, where they have an open competition.

“We know we need to be better as a unit,” Lindstrom said. “We are being accountable for that and working toward it. (Offensive line) coach (Chris) Morgan is a great leader.”

Lindstrom will be linked with right tackle Kaleb McGary, whom the Falcons also selected in the first round (29th overall) of the 2019 draft.

“Being able to come back at the end of last year gave us a lot of reps to work with each other, have a feel for each other, that’s important,” Lindstrom said. “We worked on it this offseason mentally talking through everything. How we fit blocks. What we are thinking on different plays, which was good to do with him.

“Physically, for the past couple of weeks before camp started, we worked some drills, him and I and Alex (Mack). It was good just to get that feel for one another again … being able to come back together as a whole line and fit everything, that was great.”

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