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Falcons rookie impressive

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POSTED: May 14, 2012 10:32 a.m.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.  — Coach Mike Smith likes what he’s seen from one of the Atlanta Falcons’ two high-profile rookie offensive linemen.
Peter Konz, a second-round draft pick from Wisconsin, looked the part of a potential NFL starter as the Falcons opened a three-day rookie minicamp Friday.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, tackle Lamar Holmes, a third-round pick from Southern Mississippi, wore a protective boot on his left foot and was not cleared to participate on the field this weekend.
Holmes’ injury, which Smith described as minor but declined to address specifically, was discovered during a post-draft physical.
The Falcons drafted the 6-foot-6, 333-pound Holmes to push Sam Baker and Will Svitek for the starting job at left tackle.
“It’s more precautionary right now,” Smith said. “We’ll try to get him back out here. I think it will be closer to when we start our (team-wide offseason training activities) at the end of the month.”
Of 46 players participating in the minicamp, only five or six will make the final 53-man roster before the Falcons open the season Sept. 9 at Kansas City. Jobs will be few for a team that went 10-6 last year and likely will be picked in preseason to win the NFC South.
Friday’s 1-hour, 20-minute workout was a small sample size, but Konz’s performance led Smith to believe the 6-6, 317-pound lineman will challenge Joe Hawley and Garrett Reynolds for the starting job at right guard.
Konz is expected to push Hawley to the No. 2 spot behind starting center Todd McClure, too.
“He’s being cross-trained at two positions,” Smith said. “He spent most of his day at the guard positions, but he also took some snaps. It’s obvious he’s a big, strong guy.”
Konz could not deny that his head was swimming with new vocabulary and new responsibilities, but added that he felt comfortable.
“They threw us the playbook and said, ‘Go memorize it at home, get in there and learn as much as you can as fast as you can,’ because they’re just installing for three days,” Konz said. “This is all stuff you might have had at whatever school you were at, but it’s all different names.”

 

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