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”"
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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.