It’s no secret that the Atlanta Falcons had a disastrous offensive line last season. Pro Football Focus graded last year’s Falcons line as a bottom-10 run-blocking machine and the third-worst pass-protecting outfit in all of football.
Mike Tice, the lineman coach of the Falcons, told media that they will be a much improved unit this coming season.
“I’d lose a lot of sleep if we were getting our ass kicked in pass protection, but we’re not,” Tice said, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. “We’re not going to be a run-first team, so we’ll get the runs cleaned up. We’ve just got to keep protecting that quarterback. The one thing they won’t be, they won’t be punked over by anybody”
In the offseason, the Falcons got some help up front. They signed a higher level guard in Jon Asamoah, and drafted Jake Matthews in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. They have a leader in Joe Hawley at center, and a proven veteran at left guard, Justin Blalock.
Sam Baker was set to be the starting left tackle before he was struck with a season-ending injury, which moved Matthews to left tackle and a uncertainty feeling at the right tackle spot. But, Lamar Holmes held his own in preseason which earned him the starting gig.
The Falcons must find a way to protect their franchise quarterback, Matt Ryan, and it seems they will do just fine.