Falcons’ All-Pro Center Reuniting With 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan: Report

Falcons center Alex Mack

Getty Alex Mack #51 of the Atlanta Falcons points out Shaq Thompson #54 of the Carolina Panthers.

In the wee hours on Wednesday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Atlanta Falcons‘ durable center, Alex Mack, is headed back to his college roots to play for the San Fransisco 49ers.

The 35-year-old middleman entered the league as a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2009. He will replace Weston Richburg, 29, who is set to retire and has been the Niners’ starter since 2018 but has been sidelined since midway through 2019 due to a knee injury.

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 Mack Is Reuniting With Kyle Shanahan

There has been speculation that Mack would find himself finishing his career in the Bay Area, following an interview he did with NBC Sports Matt Maiocco.

Mack suiting up for the 49ers means he will reunite with his former offensive coach, Kyle Shanahan, whom he is a big fan of.

“Kyle is an incredible coach”, Mack said. He’s an incredible coach, great person, strong motivator, and runs an offense that is something that I’d know really well and that I performed very well in.”

The 49ers, especially with Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, are in need of an athletic veteran center and they’re hitting the jackpot with this free agency move.

“What Kyle has done very well in the past is he’s always been able to link different plays and different schemes so they all look pretty much the same”, Mack continued to praise Shanahan.  “But it takes advantage of the different things a defense will do. It’s a very smart offense, which is fun.”

Mack is a very dependable center. He missed just two games this past season due to a concussion but has started all 16 games in every season since 2016. Shanahan and Mack go back to when Mack was drafted by the Browns and played under Shanahan and then in Atlanta when Shanahan and Mack helped lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

The six-time Pro Bowl center played his college career at Cal and returning to the Bay Area to end his career where he started it must be intriguing to him.

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 Mack Had A Goal To Play 10 Years in The League

Mack had a goal to play for at least 10 years in the NFL.

So far, he’s played 12.

Last offseason, Mack told ESPN that his body felt good and he would continue to pay attention to what his body wants him to do, as far as retirement goes.

“I’ll play the year out, see how I feel — how my body works and how much I’m enjoying it — then make the decision at the end of year if I want to keep going or what. The future is unknown, and that’s the way I’m looking at it. Every year is one year at a time: keep going, prepare, and play, and do everything as best as I can. Then I’ll see where I’m at.”

The Niners just got better on the line, but Alex Mack turns 36 this season so we’ll see how much longer the veteran sticks around.

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