The Atlanta Falcons are in Houston squaring off against the Texans for the second preseason game of 2014. The game clock reads 9:57. The Falcons have the ball at their own 20-yard line. It's Atlanta's fourth drive of the game. Quarterback Matt Ryan is under-center as the rest of the offense is lined up in the I-formation. Matt Ryan takes the snap, drives off of his left foot, turning his back towards the defense. He extends his arms towards running back, Antone Smith, and quickly draws them back. He immediately snaps his upper body around, looks up the field in the north-east direction, and throws the football 13 yards towards wide receiver, Julio Jones. Jones, pushing off his left foot, leaps into the air while extending his arms. He opens up his hands, grabs the football, and pulls it in close to his body. Almost immediately, Texans defender, DJ Swearinger, lowers his right shoulder and uses his momentum from sprinting to knock Jones down. The sounds of the officials' whistles begin to blow as Jones stands himself up and tosses the football to the referee on his right side. Then the sounds of blowing whistles come again, and the game clock stops at 9:38. Offensive tackle, Sam Baker, is sitting on the ground with his right foot flat on the grass and both hands grasping his right knee. He (along with the rest of Falcons players, coaches, and fans) don't know it yet, but, Baker has just torn his patella; and in just 19 seconds, the Falcons have a plethora of question marks about their offensive line after working tirelessly to eliminate question marks in the offseason.
So Baker's now out for the 2014 season with a right knee injury. This injury follows up Baker injuring his left knee during the 2013 season. Let's not forget that Baker signed a 6-year contract with $18.25 million guaranteed in March. Obviously this has general manager,Thomas Dimitroff, and owner, Author Blank, shaking their heads.
What makes me shake my head is that Lamar Holmes is currently the starting right tackle after 1st rounder, Jake Matthews, was officially moved over to cover Baker's spot. Holmes admitted to being out of shape during the 2013 season. To me, whether he's in shape or not, Holmes can't preform on an NFL level. The popular video game, Madden NFL, makes numerous players seem better than they are in reality; but even EA Sports can't make Holmes look decent. Holmes is simply a poor linemen. Can he improve? Yes, of course! Will he improve? Uh...
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