The Atlanta Falcons are having some issues at the tackle position, and there’s usually a snowball effect when a team’s starting left tackle is ruled out. Such is the case for the Falcons, as left tackle Sam Baker was ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Miami Dolphins, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter also reports that starting right tackle Lamar Holmes will be the one moving to left tackle to take Baker’s place, thus giving Jeremy Trueblood the start at right tackle.
Trueblood has played at RT for his entire career, so he should be comfortable on that side of the field. On the other hand, I don’t think the Atlanta Falcons are exactly comfortable with giving Trueblood the start, and right tackle is actually the tougher position to play against the Miami Dolphins. Why? Well, that’s where the Dolphins align Cameron Wake, and the uber-talented pass rusher feasts on weaker competition. That’s exactly what Trueblood is, but the Falcons don’t have much of a choice.
Expect Wake to have a big game against the Falcons tomorrow, because Trueblood is an incredibly ineffective starter. Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans know this all too well, and I think Falcons fans who recall beating Trueblood when he played for the Bucs probably aren’t too happy to see Trueblood starting. He actually put together an excellent season in like 2008, but he’s been awful since after living off of the reputation of that season for a couple of years. It’s possible that Trueblood could somehow put it all together after all of these years, but it is extremely unlikely (he couldn’t even crack the Washington Redskins roster this offseason).
The Atlanta Falcons have some major issues on the offensive line, and their lack of depth at tackle is extremely concerning. It’s why the Falcons had to take a flier on Trueblood in the first place, and it’s also why the Falcons desperately need Sam Baker to be 100% going forward. He is overpaid and prone to awful games (Robert Quinn absolutely tore him up in Week 2), but he’s an above-average starter overall and an important player on this team given the struggles of the other tackles.