NFL offensive lineman Justin Blalock spends his time on the field protecting runs and passes. Off the field, he's a strong advocate for music education.
Blalock, the starting left guard for the Atlanta Falcons, grew up in Texas playing the tuba and continues to play the drums and guitar. Music helps young people develop confidence and experience a sense of accomplishment, skills that can help them move into leadership roles later in life, he said.
''It actually shares a lot of qualities that you need for football as well,'' he said, giving discipline and teamwork as examples.
The 29-year-old, who's been with the Falcons for seven years, started playing the tuba in middle school and continued through high school.
''I remember our football team, actually, we won our very first game in middle school, and we didn't win another one until we got to high school,'' he said. ''Our band competitions were my main sense of accomplishment in those years. I got a lot more out of that than I e...