I've been saying for well over a week that the Falcons were likely to dip into free agency for a veteran right tackle, either to start or to provide proven depth at a position with basically zilch. I just didn't see them going after Jeremy Trueblood, but that's exactly what the team has done.
Falcons have added an offensive tackle in Jeremy Trueblood today. Waived Terren Jones and injury settled with PK Manley.— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) September 3, 2013
The name is a recognizable one and he's a former second round pick, so many are going to see this as a potential upgrade on Lamar Holmes at right tackle. I see it as a depth move, and I'll tell you why.
Trueblood couldn't make the tackle-needy Redskins, as this report from Hogs Haven indicates. He's always been regarded as a solid run blocker, but questions about his effort level crop up again and again. While I'm not a big fan of questioning effort—most of these guys are trying pretty damn hard—the fact is that he's been cut twice because his pass blocking has been poor. That's the real issue, not nebulous effort questions.
Naturally, given Lamar Holmes' up-and-down preseason, there's going to plenty of speculation about Trueblood starting against the Saints. John Manasso started us off:
Smitty was fairly cryptic as to whether Trueblood could learn offense by Sun. but he sounds like they could try & have him start vs #Saints— John Manasso (@jmanasso) September 3, 2013
I'll be clear about this: I don't particularly want Trueblood starting, especially not with less than a week to learn the offense. Everyone fretting about Holmes keeping Matt Ryan upright needs to remember that Trueblood has always struggled with pass protection, so the chances of him being an upgrade on Holmes in that facet of the game are pretty slim. If the Falcons want better run blocking, though, certainly Trueblood can give them that. I'm hoping Holmes will get the start, but the Falcons do have an option if he faceplants, at minimum. If Trueblood looks great and the coaching staff is convinced he'll be that upgrade, well, they know better than I do.
As for the other moves, Manley's gone, at least for now. Jones will likely hit the practice squad once he clears waivers, and I expect there to be little problem with that. He'll have a chance to learn the ropes on the practice squad, at least, though I'll miss Manley.
The Falcons just got their veteran option at tackle, and it's hard to deny they upgrade the depth chart. Trueblood starting against the Saints, though? That might be a stretch.
Your feelings on the signing?