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 Post subject: Lehr signed
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:34 am 
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Matt Lehr, OG/OC from the Rams was added. He's the first addition we've made to the OL this year, and hopefully won't be the last. He played 1 game with St. Louis as he was cut by the Cowboys before the final week of the season. For his career, he has 22 starts in 4 years, almost all of which have come at center.

Lehr signed a 3-yr. deal worth at least $1M/yr. That's not exactly top starter money (most OGs expected to start get contracts averaging $2M/yr. or more), but it's significant. More than the minimum, so you can expect Lehr to compete at LG.

Does this mean that Garza is done as a Falcon. The Falcons have been saying since November they want him back. Garza hasn't visited anywhere as far as I know, so he could still return since the market for him isn't too promising. But with Lehr on the team, his contract demands probably won't be too lofty.

Lehr is a player that is smaller, quick and mobile, so he fits the Gibbs mold. He's not very strong, and thus is a much better OC than OG, but he should be an upgrade over Moore. I like Moore as a player, but he's no starter, and is just a backup. I think Lehr is a decent stopgap at LG. Like Garza, he shouldn't be seen as a long-term fix, so the Falcons should still be aware of other FAs (Like DeMulling and Neil!) and in the draft as well.

In 2003, in 16 starts at C, he did not give up a sack or commit a single penalty. Which makes it seem that he's a controlled player that doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Which compared to McClure last year, who gave up 3.75 sacks and 1 penalty, and Garza with 5 sacks and 8 penalties. Which BTW are very high totals for interior players. It's usually a sign of a poor OG/OC that gives up more than 3 sacks.

In conclusion, Lehr is not going to significantly upgrade the unit (like a DeMulling or Neil could), but he's a cheap stopgap fix that at least has a shot and the ability to be an upgrade at either the OC or LG spot. Vick knows him from their shared college days, so at least there is some potential for Lehr to take McClure's job down the road for all you McClure haters. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:58 am 
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i like this move and yes i hope it will not be the last to the OL but i think this will give us some depth and much needed help on the line
plus i would hope to get Garza back as well
he would be a good addition some where but have not heard any thing about him on the market so it appears he will be back in ATL


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:41 am 
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I believe this is more of a signing to push McClure for his job and backup Moore at Left Guard. Along with Moore, Bibla and Herndon, the Falcons interior line looks set.

I would be surprised if we picked up a offensive tackle in free agency, using a draft pick instead to fill this need.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:27 pm 
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I'm telling you, Mookie Moore is just a backup quality player. He's no starter. If you weren't happy with the play of Garza and Claridge in past years, then you WILL NOT be happy if Mookie Moore is the starter.

He's mobile and quick for his size, but he has zero strength. He's a guy that was an above average to good player IN NFL EUROPE, that equates to little as an NFL starter.

If Mookie Moore starts for us this year, then it will be another poor year by the O-line. No wonder Kevin Shaffer doesn't play well, because he has bad players beside him. A LT cannot excel if his linemate (i.e. the LG) is nothing.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:48 pm 
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I like the Lehr signing as well. I agree that he will probably end up chasing McClure out at C. That would be a nice upgrade to have a C who doesn't make as many mistakes as McClure has. LG is still the main concern to me. Moore, Herndon, Garza, and Bibla have not proven that they can provide any security for Vick. I am convinced that the system creates the openings for the running game, but we need more skill in pass protection in order to give Vick the time to improve. I would like to see them sign Neil to serve at LG. Then perhaps we can look in the draft for someone to match Forney's abilities on the left side.


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