Aside from baking bread, Falcons All-Pro center Alex Mack told ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure how he has learned to navigate his way through a Nationwide lockdown to train like a pro and help the rookies along the way.
Mack is spending his offseason at his home in Hermosa Beach, California which was on strict lockdown where he wasn’t even allowed to run on the beach or sidewalks. He was using resistance bands and a Yeti Cooler to get a workout in until he realized he needed more.
A New Home Gym
The 6-foot-4, 311-pound Falcons star has given the UPS man a workout by purchasing a brand new home gym. Now he’s all set to get his 12th season of training in, but it’s a lot different this time.
“Now on your own, it’s much more difficult. The only person motivating you is yourself, Mack told ESPN. You’ve got to get yourself going. You have to have that drive. You have to do those extra reps because you know it’s the right thing to do.”
Mack also said it’s weird not being able to train in person and find that connection with his new teammate, but they’re learning to deal with it for now.
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Mack Helping Out the Rookies
The Falcons offensive line will look a little different this season with the addition of Matt Hennessy and the competition at left guard.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter also spoke to Vaughn McClure at ESPN and told him that Mack has become a leader during this abnormal offseason for rookies and other young players.
“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,” offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. “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.”
A Virtual Offseason
Mack broke down how the Falcons have been getting through these times of uncertainty and preparing for the upcoming season.
“They sent us out iPads and a lot of the install and that learning part will be done on our own and with video edits,” Mack said. “It’s an overlay clip of the offensive line coach [Chris] Morgan talking at you, so you can rewind it and hear it again. You’re encouraged to write down questions and then later, the following day or whenever you have your meeting, you can bring that stuff up.
“Like, there will be a video like we’re going to install a basic run to the right. You click on the video, and it’s Coach Morgan’s voice explaining how the play works. It’s like you screen share on the app so you can draw on it, talk about it. And then that disc gets sent to everyone on the line. For an older guy like me, it works great because I can watch the clip really quick and be like, ‘Oh, there’s the play.’ I don’t have to sit there and really go over stuff that I know.”
The Falcons facilities officially opened on Tuesday with limited staff and it’s still uncertain as to when players and coaches will be allowed to have in-person practices.