Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he has yet to hear from veteran guard Chris Chester about Chester's future, but Quinn is by no means in panic mode about the right guard spot heading into next season.
Chester, 34, told ESPN.com in early February he would take some time to make a decision about continuing his career. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said on March 1, during the NFL combine, Chester would take a few weeks to decide. Chester started all 32 regular season games and all three postseason contests for the Falcons the last two seasons.
Garland, an undrafted player who received an exclusive rights tender, showed versatility last season in serving as the backup center and also playing defensive tackle. Schweitzer, last year's sixth-round draft pick out of San Jose State, was inactive for every game during his rookie season.
Quinn's confidence in Garland and Schweitzer doesn't mean he's content at the guard spot. But again, he's not panicking.
"On both sides of the ball, because there's five of them and four on the D-line, you're always in the front of your thinking at that spot," Quinn said. "I love looking at that [offensive line] position, too, to evaluate. So whether it's free agency, draft, undrafted players, if they have a role, we'll find a way to feature them. But they have to show the strain, the battle, the technique.
"For sure, the O-line has been a big topic, especially right now. It's who has them and who is developing them and where they're at in the draft."
Speaking of the draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has the Falcons selecting Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson with the 31st overall pick in his latest mock draft. It sounds appealing considering Robinson is highly-rated player and spent some time around current Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who held the same title briefly with the Crimson Tide. But Robinson, a three-year starter at left tackle, has resisted talk of playing guard in the NFL. And the Falcons already are set at tackle with left tackle Jake Matthews and right tackle Ryan Schraeder.
Prior to the combine, McShay mentioned Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp and Pittsburgh's Dorian Johnson as offensive guard prospects the Falcons should keep an eye on. Lamp's stock continues to rise, and McShay's mock draft has Lamp going to Indianapolis with the 15th overall pick.
The Falcons did inquire about at least one guard during the early stages of free agency in former Green Bay Packer T.J. Lang, but the Falcons never were a contender as Lang signed a three-year, $28.5 million contract with the Detroit Lions that included $19 million guaranteed.
The outside-zone blocking scheme implemented by former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, a scheme the Falcons hope to continue, relies on athletic offensive linemen who can work in unison and run in space. The Falcons were the only team to start the same five offensive linemen all last season.