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Dan Quinn on Falcons' right guard battle: 'You could see both of them playing' vs. Bears


ATLANTA -- One of the primary storylines for the Falcons this preseason has been the ongoing battle between Ben Garland and Wes Schweitzer for the starting right guard spot.

After four exhibition games, that competition may continue.


"As we head into next week, we pretty much have our decision down and you could see both of them playing," Quinn said after Atlanta's final preseason game, a 13-7 loss to the Jaguars. "That's how close this was."

Both Garland and Schweitzer have seen close to an equal number of snaps during games, and those snaps have been plentiful. The two players have different skill sets, but it's clear that one hasn't separated himself from the other after four preseason games.

"Both of them have really good run-game stuff where they can get onto the second level and get guys," Quinn said earlier this summer. "Wes is a little bigger and has a little more bulk. Ben has almost the same size, but when he latches on he can really latch onto a guy down the field with his quickness. They are a little different in that way. … We really have two players who are playing at a high level." 

The Falcons return four of the five starters from last year's offensive line that started the same group of players in every game during their run to the Super Bowl. With that level of continuity, Atlanta has been able to focus on the right guard situation and developing depth behind the starters.

Quinn has praised both Garland and Schweitzer for their versatility throughout the preseason, and they have each spent time at a couple of positions along the line. That versatility has allowed them to be on the field together during games while also getting reps at a couple of spots in case they are needed during the regular season.

"We're excited," Quinn said. "We're very fortunate that we've got two guys of that caliber that can play all three inside spots. That's pretty rare in our league to have men like that that can play both center, guard, right side, left side and because of the training they've done, they're equipped to do that."  

With roster cuts needing to be finalized by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, there other pressing matters at hand for Quinn and his staff. He did indicate, however, that discussions about the right guard position may take place over the weekend.

"We'll sit down over the weekend and kind of make our final push as we're heading into next week, and into Monday, but I thought both guys really threw a very good camp," Quinn said. "We had great assessments, and we wanted to take it all the way through (the preseason), including tonight, where we played them both at center and guard, and that was really by design."

What the final result of those discussions will be remains to be seen, but it looks like Quinn is comfortable playing either Garland or Schweitzer in the Falcons' season opener against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 10. As Quinn indicated Thursday night, he may even play both.

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