FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith named Garrett Reynolds as the starting right guard on Monday.
With Harvey Dahl playing for the St. Louis Rams, Reynolds and Mike Johnson competed for the opening.
Reynolds worked with the first team when training camp opened and has not relinquished that role. Johnson’s bid was sidetracked when he suffered a concussion. He was in the league’s concussion protocol for more than a week.
“I think things are going good so far,” Reynolds said. “I just want to continue to grow every week. I learned at lot out there playing with those guys.”
Reynolds will get his first career start against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
“They have some really good players,” Reynolds said. “We started looking at them earlier today and got into some film.”
Reynolds, a 2009 fifth-round draft pick, is huge for a guard at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds. He was drafted as a tackle, but has been trained to play both spots over the last two seasons.
Johnson, who’s 6-6 and 304 pounds, was taken in the third round of last year’s draft.
Reynolds has a huge role to fill because Dahl was such an aggressive and nasty player. Reynolds believes he can provide that same level of nastiness.
“I learned a lot from Harvey and from watching him play,” Reynolds said. “I try to play the same way that Harvey always played.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog