Atlanta Falcons: Training camp battles on offense

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Offensive Tackle

Jun 17, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews (70) performs a drill during minicamp at Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a poor position for the Falcons for several years now. Arguably the most important part of the offensive line has been the weakest. If you aren’t aware of what a tackle does, here is the dummy run-down. A tackle lines up on either end of the offensive line and in charge of blocking the defensive ends and linebackers that want to kill your quarterback. Tackles are required to be much more agile and quicker in order to slow down a much quicker defensive end.

The Falcons have five current tackles on the roster and only three of them have played a down in the NFL. The obvious starter at left tackle will be Jake Matthews. He is in charge of covering Matt Ryan’s blind side and will usually have to go up against the best defensive end on the opposing team.

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Opposite of Matthews could be either Ryan Schraeder or Tyler Polumbus. Schraeder almost 100 percent has the job already unless Polumbus plays out of his mind in training camp. Schraeder has been with the Falcons for a few years now and has shown flashes that he can actually play pretty good. Polumbus on the other hand is terrible. He is on the Falcons purely as a last-ditch guy. Let’s hope we don’t have to see him out on the field very often.

Other tackles on the roster include rookie Jake Rodgers and Matt Huffer. Lamar Holmes is also on the team, but is currently out due to an injury. The Falcons recently reported that free agent tackle Jake Long was working out with the team. Do not be surprised if the team elects to use their 16 million dollars in remaining cap space on Long to provide some competition and depth at the position. This position is still very much a work in progress and will take some time to figure out who is right for the job.