Pump the brakes on Jake Long to the lineup

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Dan Quinn cautioned the fan-base about tackle Jake Long and his readiness to contribute to the team.

With the release of backup tackle Tyler Polumbus to make room for tight end Mickey Shuler, Long will compete with Bryce Harris for the backup swing tackle spot.

“Regarding Jake Long, he’s getting closer to helping us, and I think the thing we need to remember about Jake Long is that he had a significant knee injury,” Quinn said. “It’s not like he was coming in healthy. For him, he’s working hard and getting better every week. I couldn’t be more pleased with where he’s headed, but I think we have to remember that too.”

The Falcons, who signed the former No. 1 overall pick to a modest one-year $1.16 million contract, have him as an insurance policy and do not plan to rush him on the field. Long’s last two seasons ended with a torn right ACL. He’s finished his last four seasons on injured reserve.

“Let’s make sure he’s at his best for our team,” Quinn said. “I love the way he’s working at it. He’s exactly the style and attitude that you love about ball. He totally represents that.”

And, as far as that swing tackle spot.

“Both of those guys will be fighting for that,” Quinn said.