Starting Center: Joe Hawley
Joe Hawley is not the biggest or strongest man on the football field, but he is one of the most determined when he plays. Hawley tries to bring the attitude that former veteran Todd McClure brought during his ten-year stint as the starting center for Atlanta. McClure never got the respect he deserved, but he never really cared. As long as his quarterback was standing, he was happy. Joe Hawley brings that same kind of mindset to the field. Hawley is known as an emotional leader, and the man hates losing. He was the starter in 2014 up until Week 4, where he tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the season. It is obvious Matt Ryan is comfortable with Hawley under center, and expect that to be the case in 2015.
Backup: James Stone
In his rookie season, James Stone already exceeded my expectations. I had an eye on him, but did not think he would be seeing the field in his rookie season. As an undrafted free agent signing in 2014, Stone had to take on the starting role at Center last year in Week 7 at the Baltimore Ravens. Stone eventually started to look better in each and every game despite the low expectations. Most Falcons fans did not even know who this guy was before he played. Stone should be Hawley’s backup, and I think Atlanta and Peter Konz should part ways. Konz was drafted in 2012 in the second-round, and he has been one of the biggest disappointments for Atlanta. The man either is either on his backside looking at the clouds on the field, or is injured. Atlanta needs to shed some weight off their shoulders, and Konz should be sent home packing if Atlanta is trying to be a contender. Wasting a roster spot for this man would be a mistake. His only hope is that Atlanta needs him to serve as depth at the Guard spot, where they are very thin.