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The Promise Of The Falcons Running Game


JayOzOne
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We need to hope the OL holds up this year because we have running backs who don't need much more than space in order to do serious damage. I'm fired up because the home run can come on a running play inside our own five yard line. We don't have a bruiser, but Tevin Coleman, DeVonta Freeman, and Antone Smith are poised to be something we've never had before. I'll be satisfied if the best of them rushes for 800 yards if the least of them rushed for 600. And that's possible.

In 2006, Warrick Dunn rushed for over 1,100 yards and Jerious Norwood had 633 yards on 99 carries. We had a running back who could go between tackles or off the edge (Dunn) and another who could get into space and disappear in a flash. In my opinion, we never had a better tandem including Andrews/Cain in their rookie seasons and Dunn/Duckett.

If Coleman/Freeman/Smith are the three-headed monster I anticipate, this will be the best group of running backs that we've had. Freeman will hopefully be a poor man's Warrick Dunn with a similar set of skills, if not the vision and cutting ability, Smith compares favorably with Norwood with incredible speed and shiftiness, and we'll see if Coleman is what he promises to be (a back that we've yet to see in Atlanta, with a little of Smith and a bit of Freeman).

If they have good seasons, it stands to reason that Ryan, Julio, and the other receivers will feast on defenses with safeties crowding up on the line to stop the run. As long as our OL holds up and Shanahan's offense is a fit for our personnel, we are on the cusp of something special.

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We need to hope the OL holds up this year because we have running backs who don't need much more than space in order to do serious damage. I'm fired up because the home run can come on a running play inside our own five yard line. We don't have a bruiser, but Tevin Coleman, DeVonta Freeman, and Antone Smith are poised to be something we've never had before. I'll be satisfied if the best of them rushes for 800 yards if the least of them rushed for 600. And that's possible.

In 2006, Warrick Dunn rushed for over 1,100 yards and Jerious Norwood had 633 yards on 99 carries. We had a running back who could go between tackles or off the edge (Dunn) and another who could get into space and disappear in a flash. In my opinion, we never had a better tandem including Andrews/Cain in their rookie seasons and Dunn/Duckett.

If Coleman/Freeman/Smith are the three-headed monster I anticipate, this will be the best group of running backs that we've had. Freeman will hopefully be a poor man's Warrick Dunn with a similar set of skills, if not the vision and cutting ability, Smith compares favorably with Norwood with incredible speed and shiftiness, and we'll see if Coleman is what he promises to be (a back that we've yet to see in Atlanta, with a little of Smith and a bit of Freeman).

If they have good seasons, it stands to reason that Ryan, Julio, and the other receivers will feast on defenses with safeties crowding up on the line to stop the run. As long as our OL holds up and Shanahan's offense is a fit for our personnel, we are on the cusp of something special.

Our O line holding up is a huge IF though....
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Dunn, Norwood, Freeman, Coleman, Duckett, and Smith COMBINED couldn't hold William Andrews' jock. Had he not gotten hurt before arthroscopic surgery, he might have gone down as the best running back in the history of the game.

William Andrews was the first back to record two seasons of 2000 or more rushing/receiving yards. I believe just three have done that ever. Maybe a couple more since I read that.

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Only question for me is can Matthews return from the Lis franc. Rest of our line is set and has depth for once

None of our Olinemen have proven they can block NFL players in the run game.

No Olineman on our current roster has ever put up a +7.0 or more PFF run score. The only one even close is Chester at +6.6 in 2012.

Dahl had three, Clabo four and Mud Duck five +7.0 or greater PFF run scores.

Keep in mind Shanny never had a top ten run team without the benefit of a QB carrying a heavy load.

Not a fan of a RBBC. I hope they pick one guy and feed him. Wish we had a big back with speed, power, vision, balance, blocking and catching ability. Somebody like Gurl.....sad.png

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None of our Olinemen have proven they can block NFL players in the run game.

No Olineman on our current roster has ever put up a +7.0 or more PFF run score. The only one even close is Chester at +6.6 in 2012.

Dahl had three, Clabo four and Mud Duck five +7.0 or greater PFF run scores.

Keep in mind Shanny never had a top ten run team without the benefit of a QB carrying a heavy load.

Not a fan of a RBBC. I hope they pick one guy and feed him. Wish we had a big back with speed, power, vision, balance, blocking and catching ability. Somebody like Gurl.....sad.png

Yeah they haven't proven they could run block in a MBS. I have faith they are athletic enough to succeed in the ZBS

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I think we should be quite strong on the interior. Asomoah, Hawley and Chester with Stone backing up should be a ZBS force. Coleman will be a ridiculously strong upgrade to Steven "dead legs" Jackson. Only way we have a crummy running game would be due to injuries this year.

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Dunn, Norwood, Freeman, Coleman, Duckett, and Smith COMBINED couldn't hold William Andrews' jock. Had he not gotten hurt before arthroscopic surgery, he might have gone down as the best running back in the history of the game.

William Andrews was the first back to record two seasons of 2000 or more rushing/receiving yards. I believe just three have done that ever. Maybe a couple more since I read that.

I'm a huge William Andrews fan. I guess what I was suggesting with this post is that we've had good running backs, but seldom have we had three who the other team will have to consider when drawing up their game plan. I can easily see all three having 100 yard games this year. Has that ever been the case in the past?
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I've always loved our offense the most during this Matt Ryan era when we used Turner and worked the play action. Burner had some beast years for us, hopefully we'll see a little more of that style this year.

Note that neither Gerald Riggs nor Michael Turner were in my list of running backs that couldn't carry William Andrews' jock. Neither was as good, as versatile, as Andrews, but both were excellent backs and deserve to be respected properly.

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And somewhere, Jam is wondering if he could carry Andrews' jock...

BTW: Don't forget that his 2,000 yard seasons came in the era of 14 game seasons.

CRAP! My apologies to the original Dirty Bird! He is definitely in the Andrews/Riggs/Turner conversation. My bad.

EDIT: The NFL went to 16 games waaayyyy before Jamal Anderson. Even William Andrews played 16 game seasons. Remember that we went 12-4 in 1980.

Edited by Oldskooler
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Andrews is probably the greatest RB to ever wear the red and black

Dunn and Freeman both went to FSU

Smith and Norwood both have broken legs

Coleman and Duckett both highly overrated

Only simularities those guys share.

Our OLine is really bad and Shannahans run game was only successful when RG3 ran for 800 yards. Take RG3 stats away and Shannahan never had a run game in the top 20.

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