Sport

Alex Mack taking on coaching role with young offensive linemen

Not that long ago, player-coaches were common in the NFL. These days, player-coaches are more assumed roles as opposed to job titles.

Falcons center Alex Mack has become that on the team’s offensive line.

The Falcons could have a new starter at left guard and second-year players are on the right side. They started five different offensive line combinations last season.

“I think it’s just harder for the linemen to group up — whenever that’s safe to do so — and work on the things that they need to work on,” Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “That’s an easier thing to do at the appropriate time for quarterbacks and receivers than it is for O-linemen. But Alex as a leader in the meetings, like when I sit in on O-line meetings right now, to see Alex, that’s what he’s done in the NFL and the enthusiasm for which he approaches virtual meetings in May is impressive.

“Alex was talking about how he’ll do everything he can to help [rookie] Matt Hennessy out. That just shows what kind of a pro Alex Mack is.”

Mack said the video conference calls have allowed him to share his knowledge with the younger linemen.

He worked one-on-one with starting right tackle Kaleb McGary the first week, right guard Chris Lindstrom the second week and backup Matt Gono the third week. Mack also has worked with Hennessy, who will work at left guard before potentially replacing Mack at center.

“Alex is a amazing resource to have during times of adversity,” Lindstrom said. “He has been through it all and understands what we need to do to be successful and he’s a great person to emulate.”