“Think about being in the 1500s and humans came to see this. They would think this was like an alien arena, like where they do tests on humans. … Like a space station.”
And that right there was all the evidence you needed for why the Atlanta Falcons clipped a microphone to John Cominsky last week.
The former University of Charleston star pass rusher and current Atlanta Falcons rookie got the “Mic’d Up” treatment during the Falcons’ preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Find it on Twitter. It’s worth the time.
First came the fact he “kinda forgot” he was being recorded, which didn’t bother him, but had some of the other Falcons players keeping their distance. Then there were the spots of him hooting out his best … owl impersonation? Tribute to Curly from the Three Stooges? Eh, give the rookie a break.
But here’s the thing. The Falcons don’t strap on that mic if Cominsky is some fringe guy hoping to make it past the first cut. In a short time, the former Golden Eagle has done plenty to announce his intentions of making the team without saying a word.
Take that Dolphins game. Using the Pro Football Focus formula, Cominsky left that contest with the fourth best grade among Falcons defenders. And that came after his stellar debut in the Hall of Fame Game against the Denver Broncos.
In Canton, Ohio, that day — about a half-hour from Cominsky’s hometown of Barberton, by the way — he started out with a fumble recovery running down with the punt team.
Read that again: Cominsky, all 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds of him, was running down the field with the punt team. That becomes an option for the Falcons coaches when a guy built like a grizzly bear runs a 4.68-second 40-yard dash.
And don’t think Falcons coach Dan Quinn isn’t aware of that, as he mentioned to reporters following practice earlier this month.
“I think it’s pretty rare for a guy who’s in the 280s to run like he does,” he said. “Like there’s a 285-pounder on punt and on kickoff, that’s not normal. So the fact that he can, we’re going to give him the opportunity to do that.”
There’s a lot that Cominsky is doing these days that’s not normal. Guys don’t often grow from 215-pound option quarterbacks to 285-pound defensive ends in their college careers. Guys don’t often vault into the middle rounds of the NFL draft after playing Division II football. That’s what Cominsky has done so far.
The words “raw” and “project” have been used with Cominsky, perhaps to somewhat temper expectations. A Division II pick in the fourth round could be considered a gamble, and the Falcons don’t want to be seen as a team that gambled wrong. Yet, so far, Cominsky is coming up aces.
Will he be the next J.J. Watt? That may be speaking a little too soon. But he does look like he’ll at least be a solid NFL contributor. And that’s more than he ever dreamed when he first came to Charleston on a partial scholarship.
So as long as Cominsky keeps putting in good performances, he’ll continue gathering attention. And he’ll continue to be someone Falcons fans want to hear from.