The Falcons’ major offseason signing has been right guard Brandon Fusco, who signed a three-year, $12.75 million contract.
Fusco has made 80 starts in the NFL and his new contract with pay him like a starter, but the Falcons insist that he will compete with Wes Schweitzer.
“With Fusco coming in, we’re excited about him joining our offensive line,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “It’s going to be a really competitive situation at the right guard this year between Wes and (Brandon). I think having Fusco in here, he’s got a lot of starts in this league and that adds to our offensive line.”
Fusco, in a phone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed his decision to signed with the Falcons.
Here’s what Fusco had to say:
Q: How do you feel about coming to the Falcons?
A: Pretty good, man. I’m very excited. It’s a fresh new start and I’m looking forward to it.
Q: Did the scheme fit help you in making your decision?
A: Yeah, I enjoyed the offense that Kyle (Shanahan) ran last year (in San Francisco). Atlanta runs very similar same stuff. So, it will be an easy transition for me. I’ll fit right in.
Q: Did you meet with offensive line coach Chris Morgan?
A: I’ve talked to him, but I haven’t gotten the chance to sit down in person with him and talk. We talked on the phone. I’ve heard nothing but great things. I’m excited to work with him.
Q: Do you know any of the other linemen?
A: No, I don’t really know anyone on the team. I chatted with a couple of guys through text. They all seem like great guys and I’m excited to get to work with them.
Q: Do you plan on being on hand for OTAs and all of the offseason stuff?
A: Yeah, I’ll be on hand for everything.
Q: Coming out of Slippery Rock, do you ever look back on your NFL journey and how you’ve been able to establish a solid career?
A: Yeah, I’ve been fortunate. It’s a tougher path for smaller school guys to make it. I know the odds are against smaller school guys and it’s tougher than any other (FBS or FCS) player, but yeah, I’ve beaten the odds. But I really don’t try to think back on that. I’m an eight-year vet now and I just try to be up to level and up to par with everyone else and just play my game.
Q: How would you describe your game and your attributes?
A: I feel like I’m pretty well balanced (in pass protection and run blocking). I play with an attitude. That’s the way I been playing my whole life, and I plan to continue to do that with Atlanta.
Q: Have you been a right guard the whole time or have you flopped to left?
A: I played right the whole time. I played left one year, but I was a center in college so I can play all three inside positions.
THE BRANDON FUSCO FILE
Age: Turns 30 on July 26
Official height: 6-foot-4
40-yard dash: 5.18 seconds
Wonderlic score: 30
Broad jump: 9-0 (Was the best of the centers coming out. Was graded with the centers.)
225-pound bench press: 26 repetitions
Hands: 10 inches
College: Slipper Rock
Draft: Vikings, sixth round 2011 (172nd overall)
NFL experience: 83 games, 80 starts, including all 16 games last season for the 49ers.
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