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J.J. Watt's little brother a good test for Falcons' backup linemen

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- As the Atlanta Falcons prepare for their second exhibition Sunday in Pittsburgh, keep an eye on Steelers rookie pass-rusher T.J. Watt, J.J. Watt's little brother.

It might sound funny to Falcons fans, watching an opposing team's player. But how Watt fares could say a lot about where the Falcons stand in finding a swing tackle.

The starters are set with left tackle Jake Matthews and right tackle Ryan Schraeder, and neither is likely to play much against the Steelers. But guys such as Daniel Brunskill, Kevin Graf, Wil Freeman, Andreas Knappe, and perhaps converted tight end D.J. Tialavea will get a chance to make an impression, possibly against Watt, who played 63 snaps last week against the New York Giants and recorded two sacks. Watt rushed from both sides of the line against the Giants, although he's listed as a right outside linebacker.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn noted how it will be the second week in a row his linemen will face a first-round pass-rusher after Charles Harris of the Miami Dolphins last week.

"Harris from last week out of Miami and Watt here, both those we had really good grades on as rushers," Quinn said, referring to the draft. "Within the game, there are some of those matchups that you'd like to see. I'll have to talk to Mike (Tomlin) and see if we can create some more of them for the game."

As it stands, none of the backup tackles really have stood out, with Graf just coming back from an injury and missing the first exhibition. He appeared to be the leader at the swing-tackle spot at the start of training camp.

Last year's swing tackle, Tom Compton, is now with the Chicago Bears. Compton usually entered the game as an extra lineman in blocking situations and also filled in when Matthews went down with a knee injury against Kansas City.

So which player would Quinn designate as the primary backup tackle right now?

"I think we're not there yet," Quinn said. "We don't have one to say, 'this is where the standings are going to go.' We've got a couple more weeks to compete and find out who's going to be the best option for the team in that role. But we're not there yet. We've got work to do to find that out.

"'That's what's fun about these games. You're right. We do get to see (the backups) against some guys that we regarded highly."

The Falcons might put their own rookie pass-rusher on the field Sunday -- first-round pick Takkarist McKinley, who was inactive last week. Quinn said he hasn't decided whether McKinley will make his debut coming off March shoulder surgery, although McKinley is taking close to 100 percent of the practice reps.