Holmes has solid start at right tackle

There are obvious concerns about how Lamar Holmes will perform if he maintains a starting role this season.

At least Holmes' first appearance as a starter in 2014 wasn't too shabby.

The Atlanta Falcons right tackle had a solid performance in Saturday's 24-17 preseason loss to the Tennessee Titans. He played 47 snaps and didn't allow a sack or pick up a penalty. Not to mention he shoved a guy aside after quarterback Matt Ryan took a finger to the face mask from Titans linebacker Zach Brown.

"It's a mindset, just like coach (Mike) Smith always says: We're going to play right there on the line, but not over the line," Holmes said of showing some toughness. "We've got to keep playing aggressive and keep doing what we've got to do to protect our quarterback."

Ryan was sacked once against the Titans as he played six series and 47 snaps. No one on the first-unit offensive line, save for maybe right guard Jon Asamoah, performed above standard in the run game, so Holmes wasn't flawless. Still, it was interesting to see him hold his own while rookie Jake Matthews had a few hiccups over at left tackle.

Matthews moved from right tackle to left after Sam Baker suffered a season-ending knee injury. It forced Holmes to take over for Matthews on the right side.

"I had ups and downs," Holmes said of Saturday's game. "But it's something I can learn and keeping building off of."

Holmes needs to build confidence if he hopes to maintain a starting role. He is battling both Ryan Schraeder and Gabe Carimi at the position, with Carimi expected back from an ankle injury this week.