Friday, May 17, 2013
Atlanta Falcons still sorting out O-line
By Pat Yasinskas
With the release of right tackle Tyson Clabo and the retirement of center Todd McClure, the Atlanta Falcons have a lot of uncertainty on their offensive line.
Coach Mike Smith didn’t set forth any concrete plan Thursday night at the team’s State of the Franchise event.
“There’s going to be an open, big competition with our offensive line,’’ Smith said. “We’ve got some young guys that we’ve drafted and they’re ready to step in and do it. I can’t say to you right now who’s going to line up (where), but it’s going to be very, very competitive.’’
Smith did reveal that the departures of Clabo and McClure mean there likely will be three new starters on the offensive line. Smith said Peter Konz, who spent most of his rookie season at right guard, will move inside and compete with Joe Hawley for the starting spot at center.
I think it’s fair to say that Konz is the favorite to win that job. But the right guard and right tackle positions appear to be wide open.
Smith said Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson will compete for the starting job at right guard and Johnson will compete with Lamar Holmes for the starting spot at right tackle. Holmes and Johnson are recent draft choices who haven’t received a lot of playing time. But that appears likely to change.
“The one thing I think everyone needs to understand about our movement is that we have drafted young guys to learn and be schooled and learn along the way,’’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “This is the time where they need to step up. This is their time. We needed to do this. It’s time for our young guys to develop and we have faith in them.’’