Following a season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints Falcons coach Mike Smith called out his front five for failing to come to the aid of quarterback Matt Ryan after a late hit by Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro.
By contrast when 49ers passer Colin Kaepernick was on the receiving end of a late hit from Green Bay Packers pass rusher Clay Matthews in Week 1 San Francisco’s linemen — led by Joe Staley — promised Kap: “We’re setting a precedent. No one is (expletive) hitting you late.”
Atlanta’s linemen offered no such call to arms leaving Smith to ask where the Staley moment was from his cast of blockers.
“Our linemen are punks” one frustrated Falcons player told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver this week.