Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said this offseason was about getting tougher on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Since then, Atlanta signed free-agent offensive guards James Carpenter formerly of the New York Jets and Jamon Brown of the New York Giants. On April 3rd, the Falcons signed guard Adam Gettis, also formerly of the New York Giants.
Today, the team announced they signed John Wetzel, an offensive lineman that previously played for the Arizona Cardinals. The 6’7″, 328 pound lineman was undrated out of Boston College and signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2013. After that, he put in time with the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts before getting his greatest opportunity with the Cardinals in the 2015 season.
“You can have the greatest skill players in the world, but your O-line and your D-line set the tempo for the team,” Koetter said March 13th.
Over the last three years, Wetzel has started 24 games for the Cardinals. Wetzel has played every spot except center at one point.
It can be said currently, Brandon Fusco, Ryan Schrader, Ty Sambrailo and Wes Schweitzer will battle for playing time during training camp this summer. The battle for offensive line could intensify if the Falcons draft another lineman in next week’s NFL Draft.
“With every team, you can have the greatest skill players in the world, but your O-line and your D-line set the tempo for your team,” Koetter said Feb. 20. “Injuries are a part of that. Let’s not forget the Falcons had two offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl. Everything is a work in progress, but whether it’s the run game or whether it’s pass protection, really everything starts with the O-line.”