Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews is responsible for keeping Matt Ryan off the ground. That's why the Falcons drafted him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He will do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal; it's his purpose in life. And with new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan installing a zone blocking scheme, Matthews and the rest of the Falcons' offensive linemen have had to adjust and learn at a quick pace this off-season.
The talented Vaughn McClure had an interesting read last week about Matthews' transition to zone blocking. By all accounts, he's feeling confident.
"It's about athleticism and speed," Matthews said. "We're trying to beat the defense off the ball, outwork them and outrun them, and beat them with angles, all that stuff ... cutting them off. I think it something that's well-suited for me. I feel like I have that lateral quickness and I can be a big help in this offense. So I'm excited for it."
It's good to hear Matthews talk confidently about the new scheme. It means the installation is well underway and the players are feeling comfortable in the system. If Matthews and company can successfully implement Shanahan's vision this season, we may be in for a big rebound year. Your thoughts on Matthews' encouraging comments?