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Dan Quinn: Freeman Has Lots To Prove in 2019


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Dan Quinn says Devonta Freeman has a ‘lot to prove’ in 2019

  • by James Parks
  • 8 hours ago
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Devonta Freeman’s absence for much of last season was a major reason why the Atlanta Falcons were not able to rush the football as consistently as they had hoped.

Freeman dealt with knee and groin issues, starting in the regular season opener, and was ultimately placed on the team’s injured reserve list, leaving the job to Tevin Coleman.

Now that Coleman is gone after signing with San Francisco this offseason as a free agent, the Falcons need Freeman to come back and resume his starting role, fully healthy.

 
 

Head coach Dan Quinn says so far things remain on course.

“He’s doing well, I’m excited to get him back in the mix,” Quinn said this offseason. 

“He’s a factor in the run game for sure based on his slashing style but he’s also a really good receiver. He’s one of those guys who has a lot to prove and heading into the season that’s a good thing. [I told him] his lost year, make it matter.”

 

Originally injured in the Falcons’ Week 5 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Freeman had an MRI examination on the affected area and was told by doctors that he would require surgery to repair the injury. The original report indicated that Freeman would require six weeks’ time to recover.

After the Steelers game, there was some hope that Freeman would be able to returnto action by waiting until after the season to have the procedure and endure the pain for the time being with the aid of some injections, but in the end the player decided to go under the knife instead right away and begin the healing process.

Freeman was placed on the injured reserve list prior to Atlanta’s Week 7 home game against the New York Giants because of what reports called a groin ailment.

 
 

He would have been eligible to come off of the list this week for the Falcons’ final two regular season games, but the team elected to shield him from a potential aggravation of the injury and prepare for next year. The fifth year running back played in two games this season, rushing 14 times for 68 yards.

Freeman has proved a physical, punishing back for Atlanta, but also one whose style of play has resulted in injuries, including a pair of concussions and two knee ailments.

Without him in the rotation last season, the Falcons ranked 27th in rushing.

 
In case of another injury to Freeman, the team will likely rely on second year back Ito Smith, who, despite a good rookie showing, also landed on injured reserve last year. 

To that end, the team addressed the position in the NFL Draft, selecting Qadree Ollison and Marcus Green with late round picks.

But the success or failure of the Falcons rushing attack begins and ends with Freeman.

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12 minutes ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Wouldn’t surprise me to see Ollison split carries with Freeman this year and be our #1 back in 2020.

 We need a healthy and explosive Freeman to meet our goals this year

You sure have a lot of confidence in the rookie Ollison....I remember the hype about B Hill last summer.....hope you’re right

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Just now, Dem Birds said:

We hear this **** every year. I like Ollison but more than one person was saying the same thing about Hill when he was drafted. Let them play first. 

From my memory there was more that didn't like the pick than did like it. Or maybe that is just my hate for him clouding it. He looked bad in college unlike Olly.

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Just now, Yo_Lover said:

From my memory there was more that didn't like the pick than did like it. Or maybe that is just my hate for him clouding it. He looked bad in college unlike Olly.

I only scratched my head about the pick because of need. 

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10 hours ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

One thing that bothers me about the article was that it makes you think Freeman started the season healthy.  He didn’t.

I don’t recall exactly when he got hurt but it was definitely before the Steelers game.

Yeah if you recall he and Julio did not take a single snap in preseason..

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2 hours ago, TheUsualStuff said:

Free doesn't have a lot to prove. We all know his talent.

He has one single thing to prove and that is that he can remain healthy.

I agree.  Some guys start getting banged up and it derails their career.  Others have a rough, injury-filled season and bounce back strong.  Here's to the latter....   

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