Since Harvey Dahl and maybe Tyson Clabo, and probably not even then, the Falcons offensive line had no stars. There was never a standout great player. Dahl was good enough to be fought for, and Clabo was very talented, but no one was great.
On the other hand, no one is bad. Sam Baker played well enough to get a good contract. Justin Blalock played consistent enough to comfortably keep his spot. Peter Konz is back where he belongs and feels better than ever. Garret Reynolds is a hulking guard and when healthy, has found his comfort zone in the league. Mike Johnson was a good run blocker and Lamar Holmes is very athletic. Neither Johnson nor Holmes had a chance to prove themselves yet, and especially not Holmes, who is under a lot of pressure now.
Of course it is very easy to judge the line on a much higher standard than they really deserve. Considering that almost every other position on the field ranks among the best in the league. A top 5 quarter back, a star running back, two of the best receivers in the league, and the best tight end in the history of the game makes it very difficult to look at an okay offensive line and be confident.
After watching only one preseason game, I hear a lot of fans throw around harsh words for the O-line. Words like atrocious, terrible, and awful. Keep in mind that one of the best defensive lines in the league had zero sacks while the starters were in and the one time Jackson didn’t run it up the gut, got a nice 4 yard game. To say the least, two offensive series is not enough to determine how good the offensive line is.
This line is not a magical top 5 line. Probably not top 10. But they aren’t’ bottom 5 or even bottom 10 either. They can get the job done, not in stunning fashion and not flawlessly, but they’ll get it. And how great does the line have to be? A great line will give an okay quarterback enough time to look good. A great quarterback will throw touchdowns no matter how little time they have. A good running back can get yards regardless as Steven Jackson proved last year with the Rams.
I wouldn’t worry much about this offensive line. I don’t think they will be excellent, but they aren’t bad. In Fact, I would rank them as pretty decent. Most likely in the top 50% of the league.
What do you think?