The Atlanta Falcons could hardly keep Matt Ryan upright last season. Ryan was sacked more in 2013 than in any other season of his career, he was pressured more than any quarterback in the NFL in 2013, and when defensive players took extra strides to make a tough hit tougher on Ryan, the offensive line was nowhere to be found. This year, offensive line coach Mike Tice is prepared to change all of that.
“The one thing they won’t be, they won’t be punked over by anybody,” Tice said, per ESPN. “That’s encouraging.”
Another encouraging sign for the Falcons is their revamped personnel. They spent the sixth overall selection in the 2014 draft on tackle Jake Matthews to go with a growing line of drafted blockers who showed much more snarl in the preseason. In 79 snaps played behind his new offensive line, Ryan was sacked just twice. Tice hopes that will be enough to get the Falcons offense back to previous levels, when the team finished 13-3 in 2012.
“I’d lose a lot of sleep if we were getting our ass kicked in pass protection, but we’re not,” Tice said. “We’re not going to be a run-first team, so we’ll get the runs cleaned up. We’ve just got to keep protecting that quarterback.”
Tags: Atlanta Falcons