Sports

After dismal season up front, Falcons bring in 2 new starters, challenge holdovers to step up

  • Atlanta Falcons offensive linemen Adam Replogle (67) and Mike Johnson work out during NFL football training camp Friday, July 25, 2014, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo)

    Atlanta Falcons offensive linemen Adam Replogle (67) and Mike Johnson work out during NFL football training camp Friday, July 25, 2014, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during NFL football training camp Friday, July 25, 2014, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo)

    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during NFL football training camp Friday, July 25, 2014, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Through the first two days of training camp, the Atlanta Falcons look just fine along the offensive line.

Of course, let's see how they do when they break out the pads.

The Falcons must improve up front after a miserable 2013 season, when a team with Super Bowl aspirations staggered to a 4-12 mark. Much of the blame fell on the offensive line after Atlanta ranked last in the league in rushing, despite adding Steven Jackson, and quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked a career-high 44 times.

Looking to address perhaps their most glaring need, the Falcons used the No. 6 overall pick on right tackle Jake Matthews, who will move right into the starting lineup. The team also added free agent guard Jon Asamoah, another new starter on the line.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL