Saturday, August 6, 2011
Matt Ryan thrilled with O-linemen
By Pat Yasinskas
As happy as he is with the drafting of receiver Julio Jones, Matt Ryan is equally pleased about the return of most of his offensive line.
The Falcons faced the possibility of losing three starters from the line because right tackle Tyson Clabo, left guard Justin Blalock and Harvey Dahl were all unrestricted free agents. The Falcons were able to re-sign Clabo and Blalock.
“It all starts right there, up front Ryan said. “We kept four of our five intact. You hate to lose Harvey, but you’re happy for him and his family because he’s in a great situation. But for us to bring two of those three guys back is huge.’’
We’ll have more on the battle to replace Dahl in Sunday’s Camp Confidential segment on the Falcons. But third-year pro Garrett Reynolds appears to be the early leader. Second-year pro Mike Johnson also is in the mix.
There’s one other surprise candidate. That’s seventh-round draft pick Andrew Jackson. Coaches are saying he's been one of the most pleasant surprises in camp so far. Even if Jackson doesn’t end up starting, he appears well on his way to a roster spot. He can be a key backup because he has the ability to play guard and tackle.