Atlanta Falcons 2017 Positional Breakdown Series: Running Backs
Quarterback Matt Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons offensive attack throughout the 2016 season, but they still leaned heavily on its committee of running backs to help carry some of the load.
It’ll be hard to deny the talent that the Atlanta Falcons have put together at the running back position over the years, but being able to place each running back in the right position to succeed has put the Falcons head and shoulders over other NFL teams. Former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left Atlanta to start his own regime in San Fransisco with first-time general manager and former NFL player John Lynch.
Thankfully Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn already had an idea of whom to replace Shanahan before his departure in former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisan, who also uses many of the same running schemes has Shanahan.
Star running back Devonta Freeman is in a contract year and reports are coming in that the Falcons will be trying to do a deal before the end of training camp, securing Freeman as the team’s leading back.
Now with the new changes also comes new competition that leaves belief that the Falcons are maybe looking into replacing someone in the backfield with incoming rookie Brian Hill from Wyoming. It’s still too early to tell if Hill would even push third-year back Tevin Coleman for the second spot on the depth chart, but it will be interesting to see how the two will battle for carries.
In the shadows of the Freeman, Hill, and Coleman still lies the capable role player like Terron Ward, who can finally prove himself after a season ripped by injuries. Much like the 2017 season, the Falcons’ running back core is filled with expectations of excitement but figuring out each players’ roles may be more difficult than most think.