The Atlanta Falcons did not have a good day in the trenches in their 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, but it was most noticeable when the Falcons' offense was on the field.
Atlanta gained just 26 yards on 16 carries on Thursday night, an average of 1.6 yards per carry, and 16 of those yards came via Matt Ryan scrambles. And speaking of Ryan, the Falcons' star quarterback was sacked six times, matching the season high for 2018.
After such a disconcerting performance up front, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team is considering other options along the offensive line.
"I'm certainly not pleased with the results of how we finished yesterday, but I haven't made a final decision on who or what or if there is going to be some changes or not. Definitely something we're looking at to make sure we're going to give our team the very best chance to play our best."
The two candidates Quinn mentioned by name as guys they could possibly give more reps were Zane Beadles and Ty Sambrailo.
Beadles has plenty of experience as a starter. A second-round draft pick for the Denver Broncos in 2010, Beadles has played in 128 games and made 115 starts during his eight-year career in the NFL. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012. Sambrailo, also a former second-round draft pick for the Broncos, has been the Falcons' primary swing tackle since arriving in Atlanta in 2017.
"Those are the two that we'll consider if we do want to go down that road to add some reps for some guys into the game," Quinn said. "That's something that we discussed here today, and what role those guys may have moving forward. But that's something that we're going to assess, and if there's a spot where we can do it better then we'll certainly try to do that."
Although Sambrailo has been mostly considered the Falcons' backup swing tackle, Quinn said he's capable of playing on the interior as well. As for Beadles, the Falcons have rotated him at guard and tackle, and even given him some reps at center, since he arrived in Atlanta the day before Halloween.
"He's played a good bit of time at guard and tackle," Quinn said. "He's actually played some at center, too, but over the last two weeks that he's been here we've definitely worked him at guard and tackle."