Posted: 9:23 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Falcons revamped line to get tested early by Texans 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons tight ends Jacob Pedersen (left) and Levine Toilolo (right) run drills during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

Falcons tight ends Jacob Pedersen (left) and Levine Toilolo (right) run drills during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons revamped offensive line will get tested early in training camp when they travel to hold two practices against the Houston Texans before playing them in an exhibition game on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Houston’s defensive line, which features two-time Pro Bowler and 2012 defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, will provide a stout test for the Falcons, who could have three new starters along the offensive line. Also, left tackle Sam Baker is returning from knee surgery.

The Falcons drafted right tackle Jake Matthews with the sixth overall pick in the draft and signed right guard Jon Asamoah in free agency. Centers Joe Hawley and Peter Konz are in a competition for the starting spot. Last season, the Falcons opened the seaon with Lamar Holmes at right tackle, Garrett Reynolds at right guard, Konz at center, Justin Blalock at left guard and Baker at left tackle.

Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals practiced against the Falcons in Flowery Branch and their defensive front won nearly all of the one-on-one matchups against the Falcons offensive linemen, foreshadowing what was to be a difficult season in the trenches.

The Falcons and the Texans will have joint training camp practices Wednesday, Aug. 13 and Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Houston Methodist Training Center.

It is the first time the Texans and the Falcons have held joint training camp practices.

In 2012, the Falcons held a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans in Dalton.

The Falcons hosted combined training camp practices with Jacksonville and New England in 2010.

The Falcons also traveled to Jacksonville in 2011 for combined practices with the Jaguars.

PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Today, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

PRACTICES WITH TEXANS — Wednesday, August 13 and Thursday, August 14.

THE LATEST FROM OTAS

Sean Weatherspoon suffers season-ending Achilles injury

What’s next for Sean Weaatherspoon?

What’s next for the Falcons at linebacker?

Javier Arenas gets to watch longtime role model

Falcons cut Szczerba, Yoklic

Falcons minicamp is open to the public

VIDEO CORNER

Sean Weatherspoon to miss 2014 season

Matt Ryan on Harry Douglas’ contribution to the offense

Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox

Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo

Falcons assistant head coach Terry Robiskie on Devin Hester

Falcons coach Mike Smith on OTAs

 DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

6 comments
BeastOPS
BeastOPS

Practicing against arguably the best d-line in the league.Great idea.

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

Matthews vs JJ ... now that will be fun to watch!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

None of this matters - it's the season that matters. Spoon already gone - now what?

JSSN
JSSN

Called it, first smart thing they've done in years!

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Mathews will knock J'DC on his A$$ !!!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@TreeRollins


Got to disagree.  These two games in camp will prove if they can hold the LOS against some real defense players! The season starts here for them and they must prove that they will not get pushed around on the Oline this year. Last year I was one to say it did not matter but after they got abused in camp but Tennessee and then again by Cincinnati it proved that we were soft up front and the whole league saw that and took advantage of it all year.  The time to prove it is in camp and take the attitude with them throughout the year.