After last season’s struggles at RG, Mike Smith and company promised more competition at the position. Guys like Peter Konz, Mike Johnson, Garrett Reynolds, and Andrew Jackson will all get a shot to seize the job. If you’ve visited the official site, you may have read that Konz (a center) and Johnson (a guard) are being cross trained at positions where they have limited experience. In the case of Konz, he is being cross-trained at guard and is expected to push for a starting job despite having no in-game experience at the position. More concerning is this tidbit from Konz when asked about his progress at RG:
"I feel like right now I still have a lot of work to do, I don’t feel like I’m ready right now. I’ve got a lot more learning to do. I’ve got to get a lot better at my technique; I’ve only been doing this for a week. You have to get used to it."
Mike Johnson, who many felt was the RG of the future, is taking snaps at tackle. Its still early in training camp, but 2011 showed us that Matt Ryan desperately needs protection in the middle of the OL if ATL is going to open up the passing game. Konz graded out as the draft’s top center while Mike Johnson was a 3rd round pick in 2010 at guard. The fact that they both are playing out of position at such a critical time makes me a bit uneasy. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see they both need a lot of work at the new positions. This is why I’d like to see them practicing at their natural positions. I think our best OL scenario is Konz and Johnson on the field at the same time. It just seems like cross training guys is counter productive at this stage of the game. What do you think?