The toughness of the Falcons’ offensive line has been questioned often in the last year, most notably by owner Arthur Blank, who said he was bothered when none of the Falcons’ offensive linemen reacted to a hit on quarterback Matt Ryan. This year, Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice says his unit’s toughness won’t be in question.
Tice approved of the way his linemen went after defensive players who hit Ryan during the preseason, and he said opposing defenses had better know there will be no free shots at the Falcons’ quarterback this year.
“The one thing they won’t be, they won’t be punked over by anybody,” Tice said of his line, via ESPN. “That’s encouraging.”
The Falcons’ offensive line may be tougher, but it remains to be seen whether the Falcons’ offensive line will be better. The loss of left tackle Sam Baker will force Atlanta to start rookie Jake Matthews at left tackle this season, which means an unproven player is protecting Ryan’s blind side. The Falcons’ offensive line may not “be punked over,” but they still may struggle against good pass rushers.