Jonathan Massaquoi's Deeper Understanding of the Falcons' Playbook Likely to Pay Dividends

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Fact: the police often question Jonathan Massaquoi just because they find him interesting.

Jonathan Massaquoi tried to navigate a steep learning curve in 2012. While he rode the pine like a Molson-chugging lumberjack, it'd be inaccurate to say he didn't make an impression. As he enters his sophomore campaign, Massaquoi hopes his improved understanding of the Falcons' playbook will allow him to just get out there and play.

“I don’t just know one part of the bicycle, now I know the chain, the handle bars, the seat, I know how to properly ride the bike,” he said. “That’s my goal this year coming onto the field, being properly able to ride that bike and just go out there and play ball.”

Admittedly he needs to work on his metaphors. But the Falcons' coaches did develop trust in Massaquoi as 2012 progressed. As he proved himself in practice and on special teams, his playing time increased.

Massaquoi is right in the thick of a decidedly open camp battle. I don't think anyone is sure who will start opposite Osi Umenyiora, even Mike Smith and Mike Nolan. Sure, Kroy Biermann is the odds-on favorite, but Massaquoi has top-end speed and a dynamic skill set, so you can't count him out.

Had he not played his college ball at Troy, Massaquoi would have gone much earlier than the 5th round. I'm not saying he's a first round talent, but his draft position doesn't reflect his true ability. In terms of size, Malliciah Goodman has him beat, but Goodman doesn't display a consistent motor, nor is he technically sound. Cliff Matthews is still waiting for things to click, and Stansley Maponga will need to play catch up after missing OTAs due to injury.

The bottom line is this: even if he doesn't start, you should expect to see a lot more of Massaquoi this Fall. Your thoughts?

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