FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn, a 29-year coaching veteran, is back for his fifth season with the team.
After this morning’s walkthrough, Dunn spoke on several topics concerning the offensive line.
Q: How’s the offensive line group looking?
A: We’re excited. We think that there’s going to be a lot of competition out here over the next three days. We are also excited to take a look at some of these young guys and see how they can react here at a pretty good pace. Everything has kind of been in slow motion until right now. It will speed up here in the afternoon practices and we’re anxious to see how they are going to react.
Q: How has the rookie Peter Konz looked so far?
A: Peter has got a lot of promise. We are encouraged by the way that he’s picked up the system quickly. Coming from Wisconsin, that’s a pretty good tradition-laden offensive line school. They come out of there and they are pretty well coached. Peter is no different. Peter has picked up the system pretty decently here. We’ve been rotating him at the center spot and right guard. That’s not easy for a young rook to come in and play two positions, but he’s picked it up well so far.
Q: Will Konz be in that competition for one of the starting spots?
A: Yeah, there is no doubt. We are just trying to find the five best and help us win some games here.
Q: How’s Sam Baker been looking this offseason?
A: Sam Baker has been a proven veteran for us over the last four years. We expect him to be very competitive in this minicamp. We don’t expect any fall off whatsoever. If anything, he’s going to hit the ceiling instead of hitting the floor. We are expecting that from Sam and he’s giving us that over the last four years. Nothing more than what we’ve expected of him over the last four years. I think it will just intensify a little bit.
Q: Are you anxious to see the (Lamar) Holmes kid get on the field later in training camp?
A: Oh, yeah. It’s a shame. I know that Smitty has talked to you about that.
Q: How’s the young group looking?
A: Without question, over the five years, this is the best rookie group that we’ve had all together. The three free agents, Phillip Manley, Bryce Harris and Tyler Horn, all come from very, very good programs. They were very well coached. They are without question the best rookie group as a whole that we’ve picked up so far in free agency.
Q: How’s Mike Johnson coming along?
A: No, different from Sam. We expect Mike to get in there and compete. It’s going to be an open competition. This isn’t Mike’s first rodeo. He’s been through a lot as a player at Alabama at the highest level. He’s just had some bad, hard knocks luck here in his first two seasons with injuries. It will be good to see him out here injury free and competing. We expect his best.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog