At the same time, a familiar face could be the one who determines his future with the team.
New offensive line coach Mike Tice knows all about Konz from Konz's playing days at Wisconsin. Tice's son, Nate, was a reserve quarterback for the Badgers and was on the team three seasons alongside Konz.
Whether the familiarity with Tice helps Konz moving forward is unknown. No matter the case, the former second-round draft pick knows he has to perform better than he has.
Criticism has mounted against him, and he's well aware of it.
"Doesn't it bother everybody?" Konz said of criticism. "But if I was a Hall of Famer, I wouldn't be worried about it, right? So that's my goal: to be consistent and to be someone that you can't talk about because that's how I play the game. I want to correct those mistakes that are fair criticism. And I want to make it so you can't bring anything up other than 'he plays hard and his does his job.' I just want to be that person."
Here's Konz's self-evaluation of the 2013 season:
Contract status: Signed through 2015 ($978,709 cap number in 2014)
2013 games played/starts: 16/15
Overview: Konz started the season at center but got pushed around too many times, leading to him being overtaken by Joe Hawley at the position. The Falcons decided to put Konz at right guard, where he struggled as well and was replaced by benched starter Garrett Reynolds. Then Reynolds struggled again, leading to Konz starting at right guard the rest of the season. Konz did share reps with Harland Gunn near the end as the Falcons wanted to get a longer look at some of their unproven players. A neck stinger also might have contributed to Konz's reduced reps.
Konz's self-evaluation: "There was a lot of perseverance during the season. You can talk a lot about things you've learned, but I'm going to keep that personal. I mean, you can read a lot of those criticisms online. It's one of those things where you've just got to move forward and past some of the stuff that you've done wrong. You realize those are things you have to get fixed or otherwise, you're not going to be here. That's really my mindset right now: to get better at the things I didn't do well, go back and look at the film and correct those things outside of here. I'll just go back to the season as a whole and look at the consistently wrong things and correct them as best as you can off the field before you even get back here in April or whatever it is.
"My role? It's so out there right now. I could be the future Todd McClure who was here for 13 years or if things don't work out, I could be gone. And I want to be in a leadership role. I want to be the rock on the offensive line. That's what I'm working on. My personal goals, where I see myself in the best light, is being a staple on this O-line. That's what I want to be. But it's one of those things that's in the air. What I do from here will determine where I am on the O-line and on this team."
Saturday: Harland Gunn