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Chris Lindstrom 'extremely fortunate' to have offensive line continuity going into 2024 season 

The Falcons will trot out the same starters on the offensive line, while also retaining coaches through transition. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Synchronicity is paramount to a strong offensive line, and the Falcons believe they have the continuity in that position group to sync up early.

The Falcons run back a starting O-line crew of Chris Lindstrom, Jake Matthews, Kaleb McGary, Drew Dalman and Matthew Bergeron in 2024. Atlanta tied for No. 12 league-wide in sacks allowed last season.

Meanwhile, Dwayne Ledford, the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, was retained in Atlanta after head coach Raheem Morris was hired in January. Assistant offensive line coach Shawn Flaherty also stayed along through the coaching transition.

"When you have all those guys that have come back, everybody knows what the standards in our room are," Lindstrom said. "Then you're able to kind of build upon those and we get to push ourselves instead of, I guess, trying to stay the same."

There's no get-to-know-you period, so even in voluntary offseason practices in May, the group can pick up right where they left off. It translates to already understanding communication styles to the simplest of things. For example, when Ledford sets up a drill, there's no time wasted explaining it. Players get right to work.

It also helps that relationships are already built. The linemen thoroughly know each other's tendencies by now. They know what each other's best effort looks like. So, if there's something not up to par, they can push each other. Or if they want constructive feedback, they know how to help each other.

"They know the way I play, and I know the way that they play," Lindstrom said. "It's really, really such a great resource."

With familiarity across the line in good standing, they can also turn their attention to building it with the passer. Last season, the offensive line protected two quarterbacks, as Desmond Ridder started 13 games and Taylor Heinicke started four. This year, quarterback Kirk Cousins will start under center.

After Cousins signed with the Falcons, the veteran said building on the continuity will have to be "intentional." That process has begun so far in offseason training. As Cousins continues to rehab from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Lindstrom said the offensive line is beginning to gauge his timing and pocket size.

Voluntary OTAs continue through the next month, while mandatory minicamp takes place in June. By the time training camp rolls around in July, the offensive line should be primed for another season with the continuity needed with a new head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback in place.

"(I'm) really, extremely fortunate for the culture that we have in our room," Lindstrom said. "I'm so lucky and thankful to be a part of it. Because there's 13 or 14 guys right now. But we're all pushing in the same direction, helping each other."

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