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Falcons o-line coach names players who will compete for open spots at left guard, center


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When Arthur Smith spoke for the first time in his introductory press conference after being hired as Atlanta's new head coach, he identified the three staples of his program: Toughness, accountability and competition.

Smith and his coaching staff will enforce competition at every position and the Falcons' offensive line will be a position group that will has several battles heading into the 2021 season. Left tackle, right guard and right tackle are the only three spots that have a player who started every game at the position returning. Center and left guard are two spots along the offensive line that have yet to solidify a starter.

Falcons offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford addressed the media on Wednesday and listed the players who will compete for both spots. At left guard, the competition will be between Jalen Mayfield, Matt Gono, Josh Andrews and Drew Dalman.

At center, Matt Hennessy and Dalman will battle it out. Hennessy, a third-round pick in 2019, started two games in 2020 at center. Dalman, the Falcons' fourth-round pick this year, started 22 games at center while at Stanford.

"A lot of guys will be rolling around in a lot of different positions," Ledford said. "We'll be trying a lot of different pieces at different times and throughout our evaluations this offseason going through camp, then it will be determined who those five will be."

Ledford comes to the Falcons from Louisville where he was the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2019-20. Before that, he spent three seasons at N.C. State as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Prior to getting into coaching, Ledford played seven years in the NFL.

https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/falcons-o-line-coach-names-players-who-will-compete-for-open-spots-at-left-guard

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FINALLY, a coaching  and front office team that puts a premium on the OL starting units and depth. Matt Ryan accidentally had a pretty good starting OL in 2016, but most of his time here its been subpar and that's me being nice.

We targeted some guys in the draft with high upside, so while the real benefits of the acquisitions may not completely reveal themselves this year, they should be next season. 

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12 minutes ago, Jesus said:

Dalman at LG and C. Andrews at G and C. Hennessy at G and C. Mayfield at G and T. Gono at G and T.

No matter who stays or who goes, there is depth to cover multiple positions in case of injury. 

Looks like a solid group. Hope Coach DLed can get them tuned up to the point where the whole line is basically plug-and-play with no drop-off in efficiency no matter who is in there.

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34 minutes ago, Herr Doktor said:

Kind of surprised Gono being looked at Guard.  He seems more comfortable as a tackle.

theres extra value for a backup to play multiple spots, even if he doesn't start its good to have them ready

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42 minutes ago, Herr Doktor said:

Kind of surprised Gono being looked at Guard.  He seems more comfortable as a tackle.

In his opening presser, AS said something like "the best five linemen will start" and I truly believe he looks at it that way so anything is possible for Gono. I think he wins the LG spot and we keep the bash brothers (Lindstrom/McGary) together on the right side.

I'm more interested in seeing who wins the battle for center. Dalman looks like the real deal but Hennesey gets a clean slate with the new coach.

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3 hours ago, gazoo said:

FINALLY, a coaching  and front office team that puts a premium on the OL starting units and depth. Matt Ryan accidentally had a pretty good starting OL in 2016, but most of his time here its been subpar and that's me being nice.

We targeted some guys in the draft with high upside, so while the real benefits of the acquisitions may not completely reveal themselves this year, they should be next season. 

That was the theme of 2019 off season. We are going to protect Ryan and take pride in doing it. I think AS play calling could be biggest difference but yeah it’s the coach speak we have heard before. 

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From a talent perspective does anyone truly believe we got better in the trenches as opposed to last season?

I think most are banking on this staff pulling something out of these guys that the other staff couldn't. But there was a lot of NFL experience on the old staff. Ledford will have is hands full trying to turn around this unit. 

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5 minutes ago, 1989Fan said:

Will be curious to see if there is an open competition at RT. IMO, only RG and LT are locked down 100%

I got flamed for calling McGary out early last season. So Ima let things play out.

Im going to go on a limb and Mayfield will be a surprise. I do not have a ton of faith in Hennessy, we shall see how this goes. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, LightningDawg58 said:

I got flamed for calling McGary out early last season. So Ima let things play out.

Im going to go on a limb and Mayfield will be a surprise. I do not have a ton of faith in Hennessy, we shall see how this goes. 

You werent wrong.  No pass this year though he is a 1st rounder. He has a real line coach now.

If tak and vic can catch heat mcgary can too. Linstrom played well.

They just liked mcgary cause he talked trash.

Edited by red falcon
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45 minutes ago, LightningDawg58 said:

From a talent perspective does anyone truly believe we got better in the trenches as opposed to last season?

I think most are banking on this staff pulling something out of these guys that the other staff couldn't. But there was a lot of NFL experience on the old staff. Ledford will have is hands full trying to turn around this unit. 

Addition by subtraction.

Koetter is gone.

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5 hours ago, gazoo said:

FINALLY, a coaching  and front office team that puts a premium on the OL starting units and depth. Matt Ryan accidentally had a pretty good starting OL in 2016, but most of his time here its been subpar and that's me being nice.

We targeted some guys in the draft with high upside, so while the real benefits of the acquisitions may not completely reveal themselves this year, they should be next season. 

 

5 hours ago, Herr Doktor said:

Kind of surprised Gono being looked at Guard.  He seems more comfortable as a tackle.

 

5 hours ago, Jesus said:

Dalman at LG and C. Andrews at G and C. Hennessy at G and C. Mayfield at G and T. Gono at G and T.

No matter who stays or who goes, there is depth to cover multiple positions in case of injury. 

 

4 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

Looks like a solid group. Hope Coach DLed can get them tuned up to the point where the whole line is basically plug-and-play with no drop-off in efficiency no matter who is in there.

Its all screwed up.  Matthews is and should be the LT so there's that.

The best OG on the team needs to play on the left side, so Lindstrom should move to LG.   Like Herr Doktor said, Gono is better at OT, so he slides in at RT.  Since McGrary plays more like an OG, move him to RG.  Let Dalman and Henny compete for OC.

LT Matthewa, LG Lindstrom, OC TBD, RG McCrary, RT Gono gives us the best O line we can have right now.  We would have two experienced players on the sides of our young OC, which is a must.   Whoever loses the OC battle plays backup OC and OG.... Mayfield can backup any OL position except OC, and he says he can even play OC if necessary.

That's the way I see it........

 

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