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Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons revamped line to get tested early by Texans

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.


–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.


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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

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.