Jump to content

Competition Heating Up At Right Guard


FentayeJones
 Share

Recommended Posts

Quote

Competition Heating Up At Right Guard

Andrew Hirsh

atlantafalcons.com

The battle to become Atlanta’s starting right guard has come down to two players on opposite ends of the age spectrum: Chris Chester, a seasoned vet with wisps of gray in his beard, and Wes Schweitzer, a bright rookie who’s transitioned from the Mountain West Conference to the NFL.

As the Falcons worked their way through training camp and the first half of their exhibition slate, the well-documented battle at right guard only grew more intense.

According to head coach Dan Quinn, longtime pro Chris Chester and rookie Wes Schweitzer are both making strong cases for the job. And with only two games left before the regular season opener, this competition will be one to watch through the remainder of the preseason.

“Well, we know it’s alive, that’s for sure, in terms of Wes and Chris (competing),” Quinn said Tuesday. “Both guys have really risen up to the challenge, so to speak.”

Chester, 33, is entering his 11th NFL campaign. A member of Kyle Shanahan’s offense in Washington from 2011-13, the former Oklahoma Sooner was a natural fit in Atlanta last year. The key for him is to remain healthy: Chester injured his shoulder down the stretch in 2015 that required him to have offseason surgery and, during his recovery, had to sit out OTAs.

Schweitzer, 22, may be new to the professional ranks, but he has been mitigating his youth with his knowledge of the scheme. Keith Carter, Atlanta’s assistant offense line coach, was Schweitzer’s OL coach at San Jose State in 2014. There, the Spartans ran an offense that was similar in many ways to Shanahan’s, and the sixth-round pick learned how to execute in an outside-zone blocking scheme.

Couple that experience with a high IQ – Schweitzer majored in biochemistry and hopes to one day earn a Ph.D. – and it’s easy to see why he’s developing quickly.

“It definitely helped me adjust (to the speed of the game),” Schweitzer said about his relationship with Carter.

“I can be a guy that plays left guard, right guard, center, back up a lot of people, learn a lot of different schemes, come in and pick up the playbook. That’s what (the coaches) said my strengths were.”

Against Cleveland, Schweitzer led all Falcons with 68 snaps, per NFL Game Stats and Information, which put him on the field for 73 percent of all offensive plays. That was a significant jump from Week 1 of the preseason when he was on the field for 41 total snaps (33 on offense).

Chester only played 16 snaps in each of the first two preseason matchups, but like most veterans, he doesn’t require much tuning up to prepare for Week 1.

Those numbers may be skewed, but in practice, each has received his fair share of opportunities with the first-team offense. And although Chester and Schweitzer are far apart in age, Miami’s defensive line – which includes four-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh – can present a tough challenge to both guards on Thursday.

“We’ve almost split them equally in reps,” Quinn said. “Certainly in the first half (of preseason games include) the matchups we’re looking forward to, and that will be the case again this week. We’re pleased with both guys right now.”

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/blog/article-1/Competition-Heating-Up-at-Right-Guard-/5e4e2c13-a2df-4a29-86cc-b6d277325f5f

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

I say let him start. If it's that close between the two, let the youth play and maximize his talent sooner rather than later. 

He will (hopefully) make the team as a swing Guard (L+R) at a minimum, and here in this article he says center too.

I have noticed that he has only played RG in the two games tho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds promising -whether he starts immediately or keeps developing as a backup before starting.

Not as big a problem with linemen generally, but coming from a small conference you don't want to start him if he's not ready and damage his confidence. He must be convinced he belongs in the league.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Tim Mazetti said:

Man, this is GOOD NEWS. I really liked Schweitzer when the Birds drafted him. They needed a good guard in the draft desperately. Good, good, good.............................Yes!

If Schreader and Schweitzer both develop, and Mbu and Jarrett on the other side, falcon have solidified the lines in the late rounds-makes drafting next year so much easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, falconidae said:

If Schreader and Schweitzer both develop, and Mbu and Jarrett on the other side, falcon have solidified the lines in the late rounds-makes drafting next year so much easier.

Very good point. It may have happened to the LBs too, although not really "late round' bargains.It has been so many years that the Falcons have had holes on each side of the line. ..........They get solidified and the FO can look at other positions for a change.

Good post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

Why?

All things even, you want to get the veteran out there. He's a 6th round rookie from the MWC, and if all things are considered equal, I believe the veteran should be out there as long as he shows he can get it done, while giving the rookie more time to learn. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Jon Doe said:

All things even, you want to get the veteran out there. He's a 6th round rookie from the MWC, and if all things are considered equal, I believe the veteran should be out there as long as he shows he can get it done, while giving the rookie more time to learn. 

All things even I want the rook getting game experience. He can only learn so much from the sidelines. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, YoungHeezy said:

If all things are equal I'm going with the young legs. 

 

I'm taking the vet savvy. Sitting a rookie for a season doesn't hurt at all. He's going to play some anyway in blowouts but no need to rush the guy unless he's truly better than Chester, which I doubt. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...