October 23, 2011; London, ENGLAND; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Jeremy Trueblood (65) blocks against Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije (71) during the third quarter in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. The Bears defeated the Buccaneers 24-18. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons signed free agent Jeremy Trueblood. A former 2nd round pick was once one of the best linemen in the ACC. His professional career, however, has been a different story. He was cut by the Buccaneers this preseason to make room for a better project.
Trueblood has always been a good run blocker. He’s just fine. However, his pass blocking has always been horrible. Considering that Atlanta is a passing team, I would assume that pass blocking is the most important aspect of a right tackle at this point. Unfortunately there are no good pass blocking right tackles left in free agency.
Lamar Holmes has been a question of liability for the entirety of the preseason ever since Mike Johnson injured his leg. His problems mirror Trueblood’s. He seems just fine as a run blocker but seemed to struggle even against second string defensive ends.
I don’t think that Trueblood was picked up to replace Holmes, but to give decent competition and to improve depth. Let’s be honest, as bad as Holmes looked in the preseason, there is no one there back him up if he got hurt. Now there is at least some depth. Who knows, maybe he’ll light a fire underneath Holmes and fans will see better performance in the near future.
There is a reason players sometimes perform their best in a contract year. They want to get paid the big bucks the following year instead of being let go to try again on another team. When an athlete plays very poorly and there is someone right behind them ready to take their place, they usually do everything they can to keep that job. Hopefully Holmes is as inspired to do what it takes as we hope he is.
What would you like to see from Trueblood?