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HOUSTON - It wasn't long ago that Jake Matthews was a spectator at a Texans practice.

"It's cool, it's really exciting," Matthews said on Thursday. "I've been here many times, but never on the opposite side. I was always here watching when my dad was coaching here."

Now he's getting his NFL career started and everyone his watching him instead.

"I've been out watching practices all my life, but to finally go out there an experience it myself," Matthews said. "It's been a challenge."

The former Elkins Knight and Texas A&M Aggie now dons Atlanta Falcons red taking reps with the first team offense to the right of Matt Ryan.

Needless to say, it's been a surreal experience.

"Any time you go into the National Football League it's going to be a transition for anyone," Matthews said. "I feel like I've handled it very well."

"I've been very impressed," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "He's got a great skill set physically but I believe his skill set mentally is just as impressive."

Matthews has learned a lot in the first couple of months in the NFL, but there isn't a day that goes by that the rookie doesn't have a conversation with his Hall of Fame father Bruce Matthews and those talks can get pretty interesting.

"There's kind of a language among offensive lineman," the elder Matthews said. "Fundamentals carry over from 30 years ago to nowadays with things going on."

As for his performance, all indications are that the NFL transition has been seamless. Even the guys he's been going up against this week have taken notice.

"To see him grow up into the player that he's become is pretty unbelievable," Texans center Chris Myers said. "It's not too bad of a breed of family that he comes from, it definitely doesn't hurt."

His father is certainly proud.

"I don't think it's too big for him," the Hall of Famer said.

Jake hopes to continue the Matthews legacy the best he can.

"I have to be my biggest critic for sure or else I'm not going to be able to push myself to where I want to be," Matthews said.

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