Ryan’s college teammate inked to boost O-Line

Atlanta Falcons

With a $100 million dollar Pro Bowl quarterback to protect this season in Matt Ryan, the Falcons added a key piece to their offensive line Tuesday by signing veteran tackle Jeremy Trueblood. The Falcons released undrafted rookie free-agent tackle Terren Jones and injured guard Phillipkeith Manley to make room for Trueblood, and in the process familiarized depth back into the unit.


Trueblood spent three seasons protecting Ryan at Boston College and was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-8 tackle spent seven seasons with Tampa Bay (2006-2012) and was a member of the Redskins’ practice squad this year, before signing with Atlanta.


The concerns surrounding the Falcons offensive line snowballed as the Falcons sack-filled 0-4 preseason unfolded. The slated starter at right tackle, Mike Johnson, suffered a season-ending leg injury days before the Atlanta’s first preseason dress rehearsal. Second year pro Lamar Holmes stepped into the starting job with Johnson out, and a pair of undrafted rookie free-agents served as the team’s backups.


Holmes proved to be a capable backup last year, and got a lot of valuable reps this preseason with the starting unit. While at Southern Miss, Holmes earned first team All-Conference USA honors, and helped The Golden Eagles post more than 6,000 yards of total offense in a season for the first time in school history. The offensive line has remained in an open competition throughout the offseason, and Trueblood will be given to earn significant playing time this season.


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