FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – No position on the Falcons' roster was critiqued, criticized and picked apart more than the offensive line was following the 2018 season.
In case you need a refresher, Ryan was under duress quite a bit last year. The Falcons quarterback was sacked 42 times and Atlanta was among the league's worst at allowing hits and pressures. Also, the Falcons struggled to run the ball with any sort of consistency.
Remember what Falcons owner Arthur Blank said back in March during the league meetings?
"This is my 19th year as an owner and one of the things I've learned is that Matt (Ryan) plays much better vertically than horizontally," Blank said. "I don't think we're complete in terms of the offensive line. I think it'll be an area of great scrutiny and activity during the draft."
FALCONS AUDIBLE PODCAST
So, the Falcons made changes.
They went out and signed James Carpenter, Jamon Brown, Adam Gettis and John Wetzel in free agency before drafting two more offensive linemen in the first round of April's draft – Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary.
During the latest edition of Falcons Audible podcast with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, tight ends coach Mike Mularkey and Ryan, the offensive line naturally came up a number of times. First during a game of word association and later on when talking about possible wrinkles in the Falcons offense. You can listen to that portion of the podcast in the clip above.
There were a number of other topics and some fantastic behind-the-scenes stories shared on the podcast, including the story behind Ryan's first-ever NFL pass, which ended up being a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins.
You can listen to the entire podcast below.