Q&A: Peter Konz knows how to do the Dirty Bird

Falcons selected Peter Konz in the second round of the NFL draft on Thursday. (Associated Press)

Falcons selected Peter Konz in the second round of the NFL draft on Thursday. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons top draft pick Peter Konz took part in a conference call with local media on Friday shortly after being selected by the Falcons.

Here’s what he had to say:

On being drafted by the Falcons: Just getting the opportunity is amazing. It doesn’t matter where I fell to because I love the team that picked me. I have nothing but great respect for the organization. Now I get to help be part of a winning tradition.

On whether he had seen the mock drafts predicting the Green Bay Packers selecting him: Well, little do people know this, but I was never a Packers fan growing up. I was around people that told me not to, so when the Falcons were in the Super Bowl, I was doing the ‘Dirty Bird’ with the rest of them.

On if he’ll play guard or center: No conversations yet, but I’ll do anything. At Wisconsin, they made sure I knew tackle, guard and center. Anywhere I can help the team, that’s my responsibility.

On whether he played anywhere other than center at Wisconsin: Never played, just practiced.

On whether he feels as if he can improve on his 18-rep bench press performance at the combine: Actually, I did more during my pro day. I got 23 during my pro day. I worked hard at it. I was training with our strength coaches at Wisconsin, (Wisconsin assistant strength coach) Brian Bott. It was something that I just put my mind to and I know I can always do better. That’s why I think I’m a good pick, especially for the Falcons, because I’m just going to keep getting better. I haven’t reached my ceiling at all. I’ve got a lot more growth and I can be a lot better of a player.

On the blocking scheme at Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s all about running the football. I was with coach Bob Bostad for four years. He’s down in Tampa Bay now, but we ran inside zone, we ran a lot of perimeter tosses and we ran a lot of gap scheme so a lot of just running up the gut and play action.

On if he knew the Falcons were interested: Actually, my agent just told me that’s a team that has a need, but they’re one of those teams that won’t talk to you through the whole process and they’ll pick you. That’s kind of what happened. It was a surprise, but it was a great surprise.

On playing alongside veteran C Todd McClure: Well, I’m always ready to compete for a position. I mean, any veteran deserves respect and I don’t intend to just walk in and just think that I own the place. I intend to come in and work hard and get to know everybody and try to fit in well with the team because that’s how we’re going to win.

On who he models his play after: Nick Mangold. He went to Ohio State and now the center for the Jets. He’s a great player, real tough, physical guy and the kind of guy who always does the right things on and off the field. That’s just one of the guys who I model. Joe Thomas. Great Wisconsin o-lineman. I think all the o-linemen at Wisconsin should be like Joe in one aspect or another. But just solid people and great football players.

On playing basketball and track and field in  high school: I was always active. I love to do stuff. I’m not one to just sit down and do nothing. I loved playing and traveling around with basketball. I traveled to a ton of tournaments playing AAU and in high school. I was always the guy that set the solid screen and really knock somebody down. I think I only got one technical foul for that though.

On his injury history at Wisconsin: This year, it was a left ankle dislocation but I was only out for three games and I came back for the Rose Bowl. I’m one of those players, even if I’m not fully 100 percent, I’m not going to baby. I’m going to play and I’m going to work through something just to help the team. I mean, I’m 100 percent right now and I’m ready to roll.

On injuries earlier in his collegiate career: I had a right high ankle sprain. I did it against Ohio State, but once again, it was another one of those things where I just fought through. We were playing number-one Ohio State and it happened in the first quarter and I just played through it. I was trying to play through it for the whole season and then it just got rolled up again. But once again, I was able to come back for the Rose Bowl and play in a big game.

On his field of study in college: I studied communication arts – radio, television and film. I am a big media buff. My grade point average when I finished would be about a 3.3. 

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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33 comments Add your comment

G-man

April 28th, 2012
12:29 am

Well- we needed O-line help.

bsg3003

April 28th, 2012
12:31 am

So what is his forte? It’s definitely not strength, is he athletic? Is he smart? Good footwork? What are we looking at here?

G-man

April 28th, 2012
12:32 am

Just read he was considered the best center in the draft.

UGA75

April 28th, 2012
12:51 am

Very good athlete, but he is also a great character person. Reputation as a hard worker and outstanding leadership (as are most centers). This is as good as it could get at 55.

tyger

April 28th, 2012
1:02 am

Whats the deal with Bobbie Massie?

@DanWeiner

April 28th, 2012
1:17 am

Like this pick a lot, very skeptical on the Lamar Holmes pick. Hopefully Holmes proves the draft experts wrong, but Dimitroff’s track record with offensive linemen has been poor since coming to Atlanta.

I also thought this was funny:

“Now I get to help be part of a winning tradition.”

Peter Konz started watching football in 2008.

Locke

April 28th, 2012
1:42 am

@ bsg3003 – his forte is definitely athleticism. Really good feet & mobile for a center. He pulled a ton for the Badgers. Definitely more of a finesse/ technique guy than a mauler (like Zeitler). I actually thought there was a good chance we was going to be the next LT for the Badgers but his importance at center & the development of a unheralded guy (Wagner) at LT made the move unnecessary.

Joey Villa Rica

April 28th, 2012
2:09 am

Michael White

April 28th, 2012
3:25 am

Do not know anything about him but I hope nothing but the best for him. If he knows the Dirty Bird well enough said. Welcome to Atlanta.

FalconfanFran

April 28th, 2012
6:14 am

DL why do you and other fans call the Atlanta Falcons the Dirty Birds ? That team was 14 to 15 yrs ago and the players that were on that team are long gone. Find a new name or call them the Falcons. Green Bay doesn’t have another name attached to them. They are the Packers!

Larry

April 28th, 2012
7:35 am

Good pick, along with the mountain at #3.

steven a smith

April 28th, 2012
7:45 am

Great Pick! However, I would have gone Michael Egnew at pick 55. Konz at 23 Reps on the bench must be improved, At 48y/o 6″1″ 250…Glory be to God…i pumped out 32 reps at 225 back in Feb.
…Just sayin

MrHughes

April 28th, 2012
7:56 am

Packers have also had nicknames like the Pack, the Pack Attack, the green and gold, and the Big bay blues. Love these picks. We just picked up our starting center. We will end up with the best of the best on the active roster. This is how the Steelers draft. The rest will go practice squad for development or get cut.

DC Falcon

April 28th, 2012
8:30 am

Im starting to have doubts about TD. I think Konz was a good pick in round 2. BUT Holmes in round 3??? The guy is not projected until the 7th round. But we pick him in the 3rd round??? We could have picked him the 5th round. I would have thought there are better players in round 3.

D man

April 28th, 2012
8:31 am

Good pick TD, we needed him. Welcome to the team Konz.

TampaGator

April 28th, 2012
8:44 am

If you have talent, which he does, atttitude becomes everything….and he has a great attitude. He will be a fine player for the Falcons for many years. I have no doubts. The other guys seems to be a project at tackle. But, after seeing the results from the combine, I think I would have taken a risk with OT Harris with the #2 pick. Harris has the makings of an all-pro OT.

william cranman

April 28th, 2012
8:59 am

Silly question “D-man” but does the AJC plan to write ANYTHING on our 2nd pick in the draft. No capsule, no nothing. This is amazing to me. I know the ajc is the only newspaper in town and doesn’t have any newspaper competition so as to not have to work very hard but I am stunned by this. Do you have an explanation? Your customer would like to know.

Todd

April 28th, 2012
9:09 am

@ William cranman it’s not there fault. Very few knew who he was since we was projected as late round to free agency pick up. I noticed Shultz tweet machine died soon after the pick was made

Flo=Ri-Duh

April 28th, 2012
9:10 am

1st of all he is a high character guy – no rap sheet or mug shot – no history of drug abuse. He’s definitely big enough and center is where he will end up though he will play some guard right now. Their 3rd round pick at OT Holiman is a PROJECT – physically gifted but very raw technique. He will be a back up if he makes the team. Falcons still need a pass rushing DE – which probably would have been addressed if they had not given away their 1st round draft choice. The OL will still need a LT as Baker is injury prone. Maybe they should try Jeri on the OL. Then he and Baker can rotate in and out of the infirmary.

Billy Bob

April 28th, 2012
9:19 am

Knox will be a good one. But TD picking Holmes is pen for second guessing. I understand that the 12 higher rated OTs all had issues as well. Would have really liked to trade up to get Stephenson instead of trading back. We have had the perfect chance to pick up a good OT and blew it. We would have been better off taking Lamar Miller (I know, we don’t need RBs but he will be special).

Holmes will be another Garrett Reynolds, depth. Hope Gunter is there in the 5th and call it a draft. The price for Julio.

Falcon Fan

April 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Well now we have two 5th round picks. TD must be looking at somebody in the 5th round. We will see if he gets him.

Not that I care

April 28th, 2012
9:33 am

Fran the Falcons are still own around the league as The Dirty Birds. The dance is dead but not the name.

neil

April 28th, 2012
9:34 am

This will work, adding these players helps. Go Falcons!

Locke

April 28th, 2012
9:59 am

As far a the character issues with Konz – you’ll get no off-field issues. When he announced he had chosen to leave early, he sent a letter to Badger fans that I think pretty well exemplifies what kind of person he is. For the curious, here’s a link: http://host.madison.com/sports/blog/uw-football-konz-writes-farewell-letter-to-fans/article_f5f9fe56-3bab-11e1-ac14-001871e3ce6c.html

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Monday Morning QB

April 28th, 2012
11:13 am

God knows I haven’t studied these players and I think this was a good pick but I wanted a possible impact DE Vinny Curry at that spot. I was surprised he was still on the board at number 55.

badger backer

April 28th, 2012
8:20 pm

Don’t you worry about Peter Konz, he will be a great addition for the Falcons. I was really hoping that the Packers would have gotten him.

Falcon James

April 28th, 2012
8:41 pm

This guy sounds like another winner. I don’t think we will see too much of him early on, but when he is ready, he will be load to be recon with.

Coden

April 28th, 2012
11:46 pm

I dissagree falcon james I think he starts either right away or at least early in the season.

Coden

April 28th, 2012
11:51 pm

Vinny Curry would not be an impact player,rarely does a DE make an impact right away usually 2 or three years before that happens.

Kane337

April 30th, 2012
4:56 pm

Great pick. Fills a need. He will be our center for a number of years and seems like a great guy. If he can play like Mangold he will be a gem.

Go Bucky!

April 30th, 2012
5:04 pm

I went to high school with Pete Konz, he is one hell of an athlete with one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. Pete will make a great addition to any team he plays for, especially when it comes to picking up the teams morale. Constantly cracking jokes and making those around him feel welcome. Best of luck Petey, kick some ass!

truefalconfan

April 30th, 2012
8:08 pm

love how he stayed in the gym and improved his bench press by 5.. i think hell be a great pro and a nice replacement of the ole mud duck (mcclure for my so called falcons fans).. but center is one of the most over looked and under rated positions in the league..