FLOWERY BRANCH – Day 2 of Falcons rookie minicamp provided a little insight to one of the newest additions to the franchise. Jonathan Massaquoi has dropped 15 pounds since his 2011 season at Troy, and that’s the way Mike Smith planned it.
“Jonathan’s shown, especially what he did as a junior, that he can rush the passer. His weight is down from what he played at there at Troy,” Smith said.
This is no coincidence. When asked about his weight being down, Smith said, “That was by design. We felt that, looking at him as a junior and then looking at his senior tape, he looked to be heavier as a senior. He played a little bit lighter as a junior when he had more production. His weight is down and he looks a lot leaner than he did during the season.”
Massaquoi was asked about this as well.
“I was a little bit heavier last year during my junior season of college. It was just a personal thing. I put on a couple of pounds. But now I’m currently about 259 to 260 and I feel good at this weight,” Massaquoi said. “This is the weight I was at in 2010, so I feel great about where I’m at right now. Last year I was 275.”
He recorded 13.5 sacks in 2010, a number that surely had scouts drooling. His performance this past season was widely regarded as mediocre, so it’s clear the Falcons want to get him back to prime pass-rushing shape.
“I still have the speed and explosiveness. I went through a couple of challenges last year personally, but I’m back down to my rushing weight. Like I said, I’m just ready to go to work,” said Massaquoi.
Rushing weight is the key term. He’s ready to get back to the rampage he was on during his first starting season at Troy.
Massaquoi is taking in everything he can, as he appears extremely eager to learn. “I haven’t taken any NFL snaps. I want to take as much coaching as possible and be very observant of the players in front of me,” he said.
John Abraham will be a great mentor for the rookie, another note that has him thrilled about next week.
“John Abraham, he’s a great player, a great athlete and he’s done a lot for this organization. Hopefully I can carry on the tradition as well after he’s gone,” said Massaquoi. The two haven’t met yet, but is anxious for the opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to Tuesday.”