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Ito Smith is primed for some big weeks for Atlanta

 
The rookie running back has shown genuine talent, and his life might get easier soon.
By Dave Choate  Oct 19, 2018, 8:00am EDT
 

1043811966.jpg.0.jpgPhoto by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ito Smith isn’t the flashiest rookie running back, or necessarily the best. Yet he’s shown tremendous value for the Atlanta Falcons already as a fourth rounder, and the best is yet to come.

Why do I sound so confident about that? Here’s why.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

The #NextGenStats for Ito Smith paint an extremely promising picture. Smith currently ranks as the 6th-most elusive RB based on a stat called Yards Gained After Close. Meanwhile Tevin Coleman ranks as the 3rd worst in this metric. #Falcons #InBrotherhood (thread)

 
Before you roll your eyes to the heavens at another new stat you haven’t seen before, let’s just consider the implications of this thread. You should read it in full, because what it implies is that Ito Smith has been astonishingly unlucky in terms of his blocking up front, while Coleman has been less unlucky.

This jibes with what we see with our eyes, which is that neither back is getting the blocking they need to excel. Watching Smith on runs where he does have room to operate, you can see how physical and shifty he can be, as was the case for his first score of the year. It’s worth noting that Smith had a nose for the end zone in college, too, as he once scored in 15 straight games.

 
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Ito Smith's first career touchdown. Matthews & Levitre hit the down blocks, which leads to Fusco pulling for the kick out. Paulsen continues to shine as a run blocker. Nice patience and vision from Smith to finish off the drive. Red zone success.

 
 

Smith is not Devonta Freeman, but the highest praise I can give him is that he shows the kind of all-around game and vision that impressed me so much when I saw Freeman in training camp as a rookie. If he’s done this well without the line blocking effectively for him, and against some solid run defenses, he should be in store for better the rest of the way. It’s not like the Falcons will hesitate to use him.

The Falcons can find all sorts of smart, useful ways to use Tevin Coleman, who is and will remain a stellar weapon for this offense. With Smith, though, it’s as simple as blocking better for him and letting him run like we all know he can.

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Good to see this stat about Ito!!!  I've liked him since his college days, and was excited to see us draft him in the 4th round....I thought he might go higher. 

Now, if our danged O-line would start run blocking a little better, him and TeCo could have some great games coming! 


 

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3 hours ago, TheFalcoholic said:

Ito is leading the NFL in missed tackles per rushing attempt. This dude is shifty. Looking forward to seeing him get more carries. Looking like another great mid round RB selection by TD & Co.

 

Flawed Data..

** it says min 32 rush attempts

There are far more better backs than Ito Smith

That said, who cares about stats as long as he finds the END ZONE.

May GOD bless him with all red zone T.D

 

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4 minutes ago, Dirtybird56 said:

Him and a healthy Free will make a nasty backfield next year 

Yes but I still feel we need to add a different element to backfield. Some power. He doesnt have to be 240 lbs but a good 220 lbs bruiser to change up from the quick elusive guys

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2 hours ago, Ergo Proxy said:

It’s a shame we lost Levitre but Logan is the real deal.

Honestly, not surprised about Tevin not being elusive. He has never shown the ability to consistently shake defenders. Relies so much on his speed.

Hoping that Ito keeps up the miss rate.

Yeah, Tevin is more of a straight line speed guy. I still wish we could find ways to use his speed to exploit coverages more.

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52 minutes ago, Jpg428gggg said:

Yeah, Tevin is more of a straight line speed guy. I still wish we could find ways to use his speed to exploit coverages more.

TeCo comes in the game, other teams often go Nickel and put DBs on him when he’s out of the backfield. They rarely put LBs on TeCo anymore. 

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15 minutes ago, droopy1592 said:

TeCo comes in the game, other teams often go Nickel and put DBs on him when he’s out of the backfield. They rarely put LBs on TeCo anymore. 

Good observation. I didn't realize that. It is amazing how smart teams are. I would love to see if we could combine both rb's in the backfield and use that to isolate Coleman on a lb.

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9 minutes ago, Jpg428gggg said:

Good observation. I didn't realize that. It is amazing how smart teams are. I would love to see if we could combine both rb's in the backfield and use that to isolate Coleman on a lb.

They have actually done it a few times. Not sure what defenses were running those plays but it looked like small lineups. Three safety, Nickle, dime. They rather lose an extra yard on the ground than 20 in the air. Look at David Johnson last night. Those DBs were all over him. 

Edited by droopy1592
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