Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By JOHN MANASSO  |  Last updated 9/3/13
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Five days before their season opener, the Atlanta Falcons have bolstered a position that stood out as a potential trouble spot throughout training camp: right tackle. Head coach Mike Smith said the Falcons signed tackle Jeremy Trueblood, who originally was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2006 (Round 2) and has played mostly with the Buccaneers. He was in camp with Washington until they cut down to 75 players a few weeks ago. (Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Trueblood were once teammates at Boston College.) Trueblood has logged 84 NFL starts and went three years without missing a game from 2007-09, meaning that Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was confident in Trueblood's ability to pick up the offense quickly. The move was likely made to compensate for Lamar Holmes' struggles during training camp and preseason action. Holmes, last year's third-round pick (Southern Mississippi), surrendered two sacks to the Titans a team not known for their pass-rushing prowess in the Falcons' third preseason tilt. In particular, Holmes had problems with Tennessee's "twist" or "stunt" rushes. On the whole, the Falcons' first-team offense allowed Matt Ryan to be sacked five times that night. On Tuesday, the Falcons coaches offered somewhat mixed messages to the media, in terms of who would start at right tackle against the Saints this Sunday (Week 1). "Any time we make a roster move, we're trying to better our roster and we feel like adding an experienced offensive lineman gives us an opportunity to better our roster," Smith said. While Trueblood lacks familiarity with both offensive line coach Pat Hill and the OC Koetter, Smith would not rule out the possibility he might play on Sunday. Nonetheless, Koetter affirmed that Holmes, who has never started an NFL regular season game, would start. "He's a veteran player, (Trueblood has) 84 starts in the NFL," Koetter said. "I can't talk, per se, about him because I dont know him; but other guys like that weve had in the past when theyve started 84 games he went three straight years without missing a start for line play, it's similar enough that theyll get up to speed. "But for now, let's make it clear: Lamar Holmes is our right tackle, and we're doing everything we can to go full speed ahead towards New Orleans with Lamar as our right tackle. And that's how it will be on Sunday." To make room for Trueblood, the Falcons cut tackle Terren Jones and reached an injury settlement with practice-squad O-lineman Phillipkeith Manley. The Falcons' troubles at right tackle began when Mike Johnson, who appeared ready to win the job, suffered a broken left leg and dislocated ankle during the second week of training camp, ending his season. Back in March, the Falcons cut former Pro Bowler Tyson Clabo for salary cap reasons.
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