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Dan Quinn still waiting on word from veteran guard Chris Chester

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Dan Quinn still waiting on word from veteran guard Chris Chester

 

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Staff Writer

 

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he has yet to hear from veteran guard Chris Chester about Chester's future, but Quinn is by no means in panic mode about the right guard spot heading into next season.

 

Chester, 34, told ESPN.com in early February he would take some time to make a decision about continuing his career. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said on March 1, during the NFL combine, Chester would take a few weeks to decide. Chester started all 32 regular season games and all three postseason contests for the Falcons the last two seasons.

 

"We haven't heard yet," Quinn said Wednesday, "And we like Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer, and they'll battle it out for sure."

 

Garland, an undrafted player who received an exclusive rights tender, showed versatility last season in serving as the backup center and also playing defensive tackle. Schweitzer, last year's sixth-round draft pick out of San Jose State, was inactive for every game during his rookie season.

 

Quinn's confidence in Garland and Schweitzer doesn't mean he's content at the guard spot. But again, he's not panicking.

 

"On both sides of the ball, because there's five of them and four on the D-line, you're always in the front of your thinking at that spot," Quinn said. "I love looking at that [offensive line] position, too, to evaluate. So whether it's free agency, draft, undrafted players, if they have a role, we'll find a way to feature them. But they have to show the strain, the battle, the technique.

 

"For sure, the O-line has been a big topic, especially right now. It's who has them and who is developing them and where they're at in the draft."

 

Speaking of the draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has the Falcons selecting Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson with the 31st overall pick in his latest mock draft. It sounds appealing considering Robinson is highly-rated player and spent some time around current Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who held the same title briefly with the Crimson Tide. But Robinson, a three-year starter at left tackle, has resisted talk of playing guard in the NFL. And the Falcons already are set at tackle with left tackle Jake Matthews and right tackle Ryan Schraeder.

 

Prior to the combine, McShay mentioned Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp and Pittsburgh's Dorian Johnson as offensive guard prospects the Falcons should keep an eye on. Lamp's stock continues to rise, and McShay's mock draft has Lamp going to Indianapolis with the 15th overall pick.

 

The Falcons did inquire about at least one guard during the early stages of free agency in former Green Bay Packer T.J. Lang, but the Falcons never were a contender as Lang signed a three-year, $28.5 million contract with the Detroit Lions that included $19 million guaranteed.

 

The outside-zone blocking scheme implemented by former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, a scheme the Falcons hope to continue, relies on athletic offensive linemen who can work in unison and run in space. The Falcons were the only team to start the same five offensive linemen all last season.

 

 

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There are still better Guards this offseason to be had. Cuts. Draft. C converts. Young G's in free agency. Chester was not good in pass protection and should be upgraded.

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If Quinn says Garland and Schweitzer can be those upgrades, so be it. I certainly won't underestimate Garlands ability to be a positive factor.

papachaz likes this

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17 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

Better than drafting one high this year. Not much left in FA either.

Not saying I wouldn't bring him back but... I would rather draft a young guy that I can possibly have an upside with than "solely" depend on a guy that I know is on the decline.

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Just now, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

Not saying I wouldn't bring him back but... I would rather draft a young guy that I can possibly have an upside with than "solely" depend on a guy that I know is on the decline.

Then you want to wait until next year or draft late and start Wes.

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Just now, Knight of God said:

Then you want to wait until next year or draft late and start Wes.

I want to sign a decent FA(could be bringing back Grey beard) and draft a player that fits the zone blocking profile and see what he offers.

 I will admit, I do not know much about the skills of this years Guards, will leave that up to the coaches.

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5 minutes ago, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

I want to sign a decent FA(could be bringing back Grey beard) and draft a player that fits the zone blocking profile and see what he offers.

 I will admit, I do not know much about the skills of this years Guards, will leave that up to the coaches.

That's what I wanted to do. 

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Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

That's what I wanted to do. 

I just know UNLESS you are getting an elite Linemen they take at least a year or so to be ready to step in a start and thats on both sides of the line.

Edited by Ezekiel 25:17
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He was one of the worst guards in the NFL last year. It's not like he is going to get better at age 34.  Why would we be waiting on him to make a decision?

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59 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

Better than drafting one high this year. Not much left in FA either.

Why?

You probably have a better chance of a guard coming in and making an immediate positive impact than on the dline.

I'd rather see the team pick up a DT in FA and take a pass rusher with the 1st pick but we all know how important blocking is.

I also recall hearing Dan Quinn say the infamous sack on 2nd down was a missed assignment.  I want to say it was Chester but I have no proof to back that up... not that it matters.

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Just now, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Why?

You probably have a better chance of a guard coming in and making an immediate positive impact than on the dline.

I'd rather see the team pick up a DT in FA and take a pass rusher with the 1st pick but we all know how important blocking is.

I also recall hearing Dan Quinn say the infamous sack on 2nd down was a missed assignment.  I want to say it was Chester but I have no proof to back that up... not that it matters.

Mainly because they are about average this year. The level of talent at other positions though. 

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

How is waiting on a 34 year old guard clearly on the downside of his career a good thing?

I mean, seriously?

We can't draft the position?

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It's often been said by players, if you are thinking about retiring, go ahead and retire because you already have...

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5 minutes ago, Statick said:

I mean, seriously?

We can't draft the position?

The position is on the weak side this draft. Average at best. I wouldn't. Just sign an old vet, start Wes.

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