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Some O-Line talk


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Falcons coach Paul Boudreau has crafted together a hostile and mobile offensive line over his first three seasons with the team.

When he took over the unit, it was it tatters.

While high draft picks were spent on left tackle Sam Baker(notes) and left guard Justin Blalock(notes), Boudreau has relied mostly on crafty center Todd McClure(notes) and former undrafted free agents right guard Harvey Dahl(notes) and right tackle Tyson Clabo(notes).

The team appears set to let Clabo test the free-agency waters, when football returns.

There is a possibility that Clabo will attract a super deal and fly the coop. While Dahl and Blalock are also potential free agents, Clabo, who went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, will be difficult to replace.

“The best thing I can say about these guys is that they have a great chemistry and they play great together,” Boudreau said. “There is almost like a nonverbal communication. When they are in the meeting room, they can’t shut up. But when they are on the field, everybody kind of knows what everybody else is doing.”

Boudreau has been appreciative of their study habits.

“We’ve been together for three years and we’ve seen some things together,” Boudreau said. “We’ve adjusted to them and kind of know ahead of time what’s happening because of how they approach their jobs.”

The rock-solid stability along the line over the last three seasons has allowed quarterback Matt Ryan(notes) to develop quickly. Other than Baker getting nicked up as a rookie, the unit has played together.

“They did a very good job of protecting the quarterback (last season),” Falcons coach Mike Smith(notes) said. “We were one of the top teams in sacks allowed (third, 23 sacks allowed). We did a very good job.”

The Falcons have planned for this possible purge along the line by drafting tackle Garrett Reynolds(notes), the nephew of Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds, in the 2009 draft. They also drafted guard Mike Johnson(notes) in the third round and center/guard Joe Hawley(notes) in the fourth round last year.

The Falcons also have Will Svitek(notes), who started two games at left tackle in 2009.

“The core of what we want to do is going to be controlled by how our offensive line plays,” Smith said.

If Reynolds is not ready to take over and they consider Svitek a reserve, the Falcons could be in the right-tackle market.

Late in the first round, the Falcons could be tempted to take Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi or Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod.

Both are big, young and agile tackles. They’d have to check their egos at the door.

“Very few guys can come in and start,” Boudreau said. “I had Willie Roaf. I had one other guy who came in as a starter, but very few guys can come in and start. They have learning pains and growing pains.”

Boudreau believes that the players drafted to fill in the potential holes on the offensive line are ready.

“These guys have gone through it,” Boudreau said. “There are certain days where they are going to struggle. The focus has to be there. The attention to detail has to be there.”

I dont think we are in panic mode on the inside... The Clabo RT position is the only position that im wondering about... I think we will resign Dahl or or Blalock... One will walk... but im not sure about Clabo... The draft will tell us a lot.

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I wouldn't rule out OT if we don't go DE or CB 1st rd.

Carimi or Sherrod would go nice on the right side.

Why forget Reynolds, yes I like both of those players, but

Clabo was an UDFA in 04 and did not get a starting role until late 07

Dahl was an UDFA in 05 and did not get a starting role until 08

Reynolds was just drafted 5th round in 09, and yes we do not know how he will turn out but no one know about Clabo and Dahl

Of course Carimi or Sherrod will both go before the 5th but Reynolds may be good enough.

I just think there may be greater needs than an OT, and I'm not satisfied with the current O-line -- if all return

Edited by delaigle
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"Falcons coach Paul Boudreau has crafted together a hostile and mobile offensive line over his first three seasons with the team.

When he took over the unit, it was it tatters."

Let's see,

Blalcok was in place

McClure was in place

Dahl was LG back-up

Clabo was in place

All Boudreau did was put Baker in place and move Dahl from LG backup to RG starter

Edited by delaigle
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"Falcons coach Paul Boudreau has crafted together a hostile and mobile offensive line over his first three seasons with the team.

When he took over the unit, it was it tatters."

Let's see,

Blalcok was in place

McClure was in place

Dahl was LG back-up

Clabo was in place

All Boudreau did was put Baker in place and move Dahl from LG backup to RG starter

You going to claim the 07 line was as good as the one today? Some of the pieces may have been there, he's the one that made it a cohesive unit.

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You going to claim the 07 line was as good as the one today? Some of the pieces may have been there, he's the one that made it a cohesive unit.

No it's the "tatters" comment that got me, it's mostly the same line, yet he makes it sound like a complete rebuild.

ADDED

The real problem in 07 was findings a starting O-line each Sunday, so many short term hurts and so many (what 5) o-line players on IR at the end of the year.

There were basically 3 (Sep, Oct, Dec) different starting line up with changes in those each week.

HMM maybe that's what he meant by "tatters"

Edited by delaigle
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The offensive line is the single biggest ? mark on this team right now ......I would love to snatch Carimi if he is there at 27 ....he's a big time player and I think he will be a dam good LT, not just RT as many think ...

I agree that the O-line is the biggest ? mark on the OFFENSE

But I think there are bigger DEFENSIVE needs ie LDE, OLB, vet safety (backup)

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I agree that the O-line is the biggest ? mark on the OFFENSE

But I think there are bigger DEFENSIVE needs ie LDE, OLB, vet safety (backup)

What I don't understand is how everyone thinks we draft DE #1, that automatically fixes our pass rush ...if BVG would quit dropping our DE's into coverage, maybe we actually get some pass rush ...this rush 3 sheet, drop 8 is not fkng working ...a rookie DE can not fix THAT ...at #27, are we really gonna find the next Mario Williams ?

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I do wish free agency was happening so that we could get these unresolved questions answered before the draft, but I'm not too concerned. We've drafted Reynolds, Johnson and Hawley in preparation for some of our startes leaving, and we could always add a piece like Matt Light, Jared Gaither or Jermon Bushrod in free agency AFTER the draft.

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All the answers are in the article:

The Falcons have planned for this possible purge along the line by drafting tackle Garrett Reynolds(notes), the nephew of Jack Hacksaw Reynolds, in the 2009 draft. They also drafted guard Mike Johnson(notes) in the third round and center/guard Joe Hawley(notes) in the fourth round last year.

Boudreau believes that the players drafted to fill in the potential holes on the offensive line are ready.

What part of "are ready" do people not comprehend?

This makes the drafting of a right tackle a pure, 100% luxury pick--something that would be "nice" to do, but not something we "need" to do. We have too many needs to be taking a luxury pick.

Are we looking at these guys as potential left tackles? This is a very, very weak class for left tackes. If any of these guys was considered a legit NFL left tackle prospect, they would be long gone prior to pick #27.

At best, they are marginal NFL left tackle prospects. We have one of those on the roster now: Sam Baker. Replacing a marginal NFL left tackle with another marginal NFL left tackle is also a luxury pick we're not likely to make.

I'm not saying we won't 100% take a o-lineman at #27. The draft may fall where there isn't anyone on the board we like and we can't trade down, so we take an o-lineman thinking we're at least getting some value with the pick.

But drafting an o-lineman at #27 isn't plan B, that's plan Z. It might possibly happen (just like a meteorite hitting my house might possibly happen), but the odds are stacked against it.

Edited by Red Rain
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Don't forget about Valdez who they like a lot. He was on practice squad last year and played well in preseason games. He'a a big boy too if I remember..

Ive been high on him for a while... I think he could play Tackle. At worst... a good backup swing tackle.

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All the answers are in the article:

What part of "are ready" do people not comprehend?

This makes the drafting of a right tackle a pure, 100% luxury pick--something that would be "nice" to do, but not something we "need" to do. We have too many needs to be taking a luxury pick.

Are we looking at these guys as potential left tackles? This is a very, very weak class for left tackes. If any of these guys was considered a legit NFL left tackle prospect, they would be long gone prior to pick #27.

At best, they are marginal NFL left tackle prospects. We have one of those on the roster now: Sam Baker. Replacing a marginal NFL left tackle with another marginal NFL left tackle is also a luxury pick we're not likely to make.

I'm not saying we won't 100% take a o-lineman at #27. The draft may fall where there isn't anyone on the board we like and we can't trade down, so we take an o-lineman thinking we're at least getting some value with the pick.

But drafting an o-lineman at #27 isn't plan B, that's plan Z. It might possibly happen (just like a meteorite hitting my house might possibly happen), but the odds are stacked against it.

I assure you there are several legit LT prospects. Are they of the Joe Thomas variety? No but if we were to pick Derek Sherrod or Gabe Carimi, either one would probably go the route of Bob Whitfield and start at RT then move to LT...

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Ive been high on him for a while... I think he could play Tackle. At worst... a good backup swing tackle.

The way I see it AT WORST

Baker Svitek

Valdez draftee 1

Hawley Bruggeman

Johnson draftee 1

Reynolds Svitek

ADDED

the thing is that both Valdez and Bruggeman must make the 53 man roster this year or they are gone. I'm fairly sure they can't go back on the PS.

Edited by delaigle
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