The Atlanta Falcons Offensive Line Discussion

I thought this would be an interesting discussion to occupy us for the afternoon.

It's trendy and easy to blame Mike Mularkey for those moments when the offense isn't quite so fresh. After all, his name makes him sound doofy and he does tend to call several bad plays in a row, like a pigeon repeatedly flying into a plate glass window. You can see why he'd be easy to blame.

It's also easy to blame Matt Ryan. He's the face of the franchise in many ways, and gosh, he seems to hold on to the ball too long sometimes. You could also blame the receivers for not being open, or the running backs for not setting up the pass, or the grounds crew for not creating tiny sinkholes underneath opposing defenders. You could do all of that.

At the end of the day, though, I've come to the conclusion that our biggest problem is the offensive line. Justin Blalock, Todd McClure and Harvey Dahl have all managed to avoid sacks, at least officially, though it seems to me I watched Dahl fall backward into Matt Ryan while the theme from Platoon played. That leaves Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo, who have both been pretty damn bad in pass protection. When your line can't stop the pass rush, a host of problems grow out from there like the tendrils of a suckvine.

Today's discussion revolves around what the Falcons could or should do to solve the problem. I'm of the opinion that Sam Baker is going to have to play out the season as the left tackle, but I'm also on record saying the Falcons need Ovie Mughelli, Justin Peelle or Michael Palmer to chip in and give him some help.

Clabo's a different story altogether. If the dude continues to struggle, the Falcons could try Garrett Reynolds or even Will Svitek on the right side and see how they hold up. I'm continuing to view Reynolds as our future right tackle, so his time may come soon.

Hopefully, of course, the Falcons don't have to make any changes and we'll go back to sunbeams, puppies and whimsy. I don't know if that's realistic, though. What say you?

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