Entering his 11th season in the NFL and his fourth with the Falcons, four-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is comfortable with the process of preparing for the season.
Mack understands his role as one of the few constants on an offensive line full of moving pieces. He also feels like he knows what the Falcons need do to be a successful offense in 2019.
As the third and final of day of Falcons minicamp ended Thursday, Mack said he’s also ready for what he calls a “short break” before starting the homestretch of the offseason schedule before training camp. He’ll have a few days before heading to Los Angeles to continue his offseason workout regime.
“Usually this is where you should be hitting it pretty hard because you have to get your body ready for the brutality that is football season,” Mack said.
Mack is considered one of the veterans on the offensive line at the center spot, a position of utmost importance to the offense. While coach Dan Quinn said Wednesday he expects to have an idea of the depth chart going into training camp, Mack and tackle Jake Matthews are considered the only returning players who will retain their respective positions.
Ty Sambrailo, who signed a three-year contract extension in February worth $14.25 million, also could compete for the starting job, and he is an option at right tackle opposite Matthews.
The rest potentially could be filled by linemen who either signed in free agency (guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown) or were selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft (guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary).
“We’ve got a lot of new guys on the offensive line,” Mack said. “They’re showing up to work, which is what you want.”
The uncertainty of starting spots is not necessarily a bad thing. The volume of players added in mixed with the returning players allows for a level of healthy competition. In turn, it should make for a successful offense in 2019, one Mack believes will be more balanced.
“(The) better we are at running the ball, the better we are at passing the ball. The better we are at passing the ball, the better we are at running the ball,” Mack said. “All of it should go hand in hand.”
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