theProf Posted August 11, 2015 Share Posted August 11, 2015 Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman James Stone not caught up in starting roleVaughn McClureFLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- When the Atlanta Falcons broke into situational full-team drills Tuesday, the first-team offensive line continued to be left tackle Jake Matthews, left guard James Stone, center Joe Hawley, right guard Chris Chester, and right tackle Ryan Schraeder.The emergence of Stone is part of the reason former starting right guard Jon Asamoah finds himself working with the backups. However, Stone hasn't approached the situation as if he's won a starting job just yet."I'm just working in camp, man," Stone said when asked about being a starter. "I'm trying to get as good as I can at whatever position and at all the positions in the inside."The Falcons need to find continuity along the line if they hope to run Kyle Shanahan's outside zone blocking scheme effectively. It was quite a challenge at the beginning of training camp, with linemen tripping over each other while trying to get out and run laterally. Tuesday, the line appeared to be much more in sync with the same five working together rather than the mixing and matching of days past.Finding such chemistry in the offseason was impossible with Matthews (Lisfranc foot) and Hawley (ACL/MCL) coming off major surgeries."It's just good to have the injured guys back and myself, trying to work to get better," Hawley said. "I know Jake is out there. [We're] starting to jell. It's a different kind of system. It relies on a lot of teamwork as an offensive line; combination blocks. And we're starting to jell pretty good.''Hawley spoke specifically about developing a connection with a new right guard in Chester, who signed with the Falcons this offseason but played under Shanahan in Washington."I love Chester," Hawley said. "He's a great guy. And having him in our room has helped me out a lot because he's run this offense for a long time with Kyle Shanahan. So having him in the room and playing next to him, he's a very talented player. He has a lot of experience. And just trying to get better like him."We'll see how much Matthews, Stone, Hawley, Chester, and Schraeder play together during Friday's exhibition opener against Tennessee. Falcons coach Dan Quinn wouldn't commit to how long he would play the first units but said some starters will play longer than other starters based on experience.A few quick-hit items from the 10th practice of training camp:Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman remained sidelined by hamstring strains, while outside linebacker Brooks Reed and defensive lineman Cliff Matthews were still out with hip/groin and ankle injuries, respectively. All four players ran through variety of drills on a side field, and Coleman appeared to be quicker and more fluid with his motions than the other three. The strains suffered by Freeman and Coleman last week are expected to be two-week injuries, at minimum.Wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester returned to practice after sitting out two days with a toe/ankle issue. He did not participate much.Starting linebacker Justin Durant once again saw his practice reps limited, as has been the case at least two other times during camp. Quinn said Durant is "healthy" after previously suffering a groin injury. Joplo Bartu got first-team reps with Durant dressed but resting.Running back Antone Smith ran with the starting offense late in the practice, likely an indication of what to expect in Friday's exhibition. Jerome Smith was second up with undrafted rookie Terron Ward, who played with the starters the last few days, third in the rotation.Rookie pass-rusher Vic Beasley and Matthews had a fierce battle at the start of one-on-one pass-rush drills.The Falcons were down one safety after undrafted rookie Terell Floyd was waived.The music playlist at practice included Nelly ("#1"), Nore ("Nothin'"), and Wiz Khalifa ("Black & Yellow"). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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