One of the biggest question marks for the Falcons is who will be starting at left guard. The LG position has been a revolving door since the retirement of Andy Levitre, and quite frankly, the play there has been largely horrible up to this point. If the Falcons hope to make a run for the so elusive Super Bowl ring, they have to solidify that position among others.
The players that are likely to be in competition for the left guard spot are the following players:
- James Carpenter
- Jamon Brown
- Matt Hennessy
- Matt Gono
- Justin McCray
Now at this point, it’s really difficult to call a presumptive starter because there doesn’t appear to be a clearcut favorite. That’s a very sad thing to say considering the money Dimitroff poured into acquiring Carpenter and Brown last offseason, and yes, I am still annoyed by those contracts. Coach Quinn has stated that Hennessy is definitely in the conversation at left guard. In my humble opinion, that’s still a stopgap solution to the guard problem, and that’s not ideal because the position could use a multi-year solution.
How will the left guard battle turn out? The competition will be stiff, but I do think Gono could possibly be the long term solution there if given the chance. I know he’s listed as the swing tackle, but I’d love to see Quinn give him a chance to start at LG.
That way, the offensive line would be full of youth and athleticism with Matthews, Gono, Hennessy, Lindstrom and McGary. If Carpenter and Brown are beat out for the position, I’m really interested to see how the Falcons address them because they’re under contract, and basically both are paid as if they should start. Either way, there will be at least one expensive reserve on the offensive line.
This battle be the main one to watch this offseason—unless you’re really invested in punter or third string tight end—and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. If, after the smoke clears, the Falcons can get solid play from LG, the offense truly has a chance to go from productive to special this year.
What say you? How will the left guard position pan out?