Atlanta Falcons release veteran running back Mike Davis
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons made a long-expected move on Monday cutting veteran running back Mike Davis. Davis is coming off of a season that saw the veteran manage only 506-rushing yards averaging 3.6-yards per attempt. Davis struggled badly in Atlanta and wasn’t the impact player Atlanta was hoping for.
While a large share of the blame does belong on Davis it is only fair to point out that the Atlanta offensive line is to blame as well. Davis is a mauler a running back who thrives in a good pass blocking scheme and can run straight up the middle between the tackles.
This run style wasn’t going to work in Atlanta as long as Jalen Mayfield remained in the middle of the Atlanta Falcons offensive line. Mayfield and Matt Hennessy struggled both in the pass and run blocking leaving little room for Davis to create a positive play.
Cordarrelle Patterson was able to thrive in the offense based on his skill set to evade tacklers and get to the outside. He is elusive and able to make the first man miss giving him a chance to use his speed and find space.
Davis is a player who needs to get his legs churning past the line of scrimmage to be able to do what he does best, power through would-be tacklers. Instead, the offensive line often allowed Davis to be hit right at or behind the line and he was never able to get going.
Davis didn’t live up to expectations in Atlanta and deserves blame for what was a disappointing season. However, the offensive line and run scheme are equally to blame for a player who has proven he can have success in the right system.
Cutting Davis frees up over $2-million in cap space giving the Atlanta Falcons a bit more room to make a move in free agency on the heels of the draft. Something to watch for a roster with plenty of holes to address before the season kicks off.