Atlanta Falcons: Meet your 2015 offensive starters
Matt Ryan, QB
Tevin Coleman / Devonta Freeman, RB
Patrick Dimarco, FB
Julio Jones, WR
Roddy White, WR
Jacob Tamme, TE
Jake Matthews, LT
Andy Levitre, LG
Mike Person / Geno Gradkowski, C
Chris Chester, RG
Ryan Schraeder, RT
This is your first official look at the 2015 Atlanta Falcons starting offensive lineup. However, you shouldn’t read too much into it. Lets take a look at the starters that are not surprising. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Jacob Tamme and Patrick DiMarco are the Falcons’ skill players that were expected to be the starters from day one.
Now lets take a look at two positions that are by no means locked. Tevin Coleman at running back an Mike Person at center. Coleman has the job for now, but that spot could easily switch over to Devonta Freeman once he is healthy. Coleman has it by default.
Person is listed as the starting center after the team decided to part ways with Joe Hawley, but Geno Gradkowski could and likely will take over the starting job once he gets acclimated with the playbook. The other spots on the offensive line are all but locked for the year. Jake Matthews is the starting left tackle baring injury while Andy Levitre, Chris Chester and Ryan Schraeder are all starters as well.
Levitre was just brought in from the Tennessee Titans in a trade and may need some time to get used to the new style of zone blocking, something he hasn’t done in a couple of years and acclimated to the playbook as well. In that case, you could expect James Stone to get some reps at left guard as well.
As far as the right side of the offensive line goes, Chester and Schraeder are locks for now. The only other option the team could use is signing Jake Long to play right tackle, but it is Schraeders’ job to lose. Overall, this offensive line is sporting a lot of new faces and has gone through a complete overhaul in just a few short weeks.
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Whether or not this unit will produce good things in 2015 remains to be seen, but there is potential. This unit has not played with one other at all party due to the fact that the Falcons are still bringing in new faces and letting others go, so it will take some time for the starting unit to gel.
As far as the regular skill players, Ryan will have a deadly receiving core to throw the ball too in 2015. Jones and White will trade off with guys such as Leonard Hankerson, Justin Hardy and Devin Hester while Tamme will trade off with Levine Toilolo as well.
Many people are more worried about the offense in 2015 than the defense due to the offensive line. Whether or not the Falcons win games in 2015 will due in large part to how the offensive line produces. Can they keep Ryan upright? Can they create running lanes for Coleman and Freeman? Only time will tell but the season is here! Let’s get ready for kickoff in less than a week!