After a couple of weeks of virtual meetings, Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews likes where their offensive line stands, in terms of talent.
But those guys are going to have to actually line up next to each other this year for things to improve, something they can’t begin working on at the moment.
The Falcons have the opportunity to line up five former first-rounders up front, and they’ve added some competition this offseason, so there’s reason for expectations.
“Man, I’m such a perfectionist that there’s always some stuff that I want to get better at,” Matthews said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I want to be able to run the ball better as an offensive line. I think that is just going to come with time with younger guys, learning how to play with each other. . . .
“There are a lot of things I want improve on, as a group we can improve on. But I know that we’ve got all of the right pieces to make that happen.”
The Falcons have Matthews, left guard James Carpenter (a former Seahawks first-rounder), and center Alex Mack (Cleveland) along with 2019 first-rounders Chris Lindstrom at right guard and Kaleb McGary at right tackle.
The only problem is, those five only played 45 snaps together of the team’s 1,189 (3.7%).
From there, it’s not hard to see why they ranked 30th in the league in rushing, and allowed 50 sacks and 135 quarterback hits.
The Falcons brought in third-round guard/center Matt Hennessy, and he’ll compete with Carpenter for a starting job, but ultimately, the ability to have a group together will be the key.
“Having a group together, especially like that 2016 [Super Bowl season] . . . I don’t think any of us missed a snap, really for the most part, and that was some of our best football,” Matthews said. “As an offensive line, that’s when you are going to do some of your best work, when you are that comfortable with each other.”
And that’s taking on a different form this year, until they can actually be in the same place at the same time.
Falcons hoping for more continuity up front in 2020 originally appeared on Pro Football Talk