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Can Atlanta Native Caleb Huntley Make Falcons 53-Man Roster, Help Run Game?


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After trading Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, many are expecting the Atlanta Falcons to be the worst team in the league. But following a 2-1 outing during the preseason, the Falcons proved they might have the talent to surpass the modest expectations.  

One area of progress Atlanta has showcased during the 2022 preseason has been the production of the backfield. The Falcons closed out the preseason rushing for 135 yards during their 28-12 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday

 

With Caleb Huntley leading the way with 86 yards on 19 carries, the Falcons' finished their three-game preseason schedule averaging 139.3 rushing yards. Atlanta's preseason production appears to be a complete 180 from the 85.4 rushing yards the franchise averaged during the 2021 campaign.

Can Huntley - the 5-10, 229-pound Ball State product who was a UDFA last year jumping from Ball State onto his hometown-Falcons practice squad - help?

"They ran hard, but it takes all 11 of us in the run game," coach Arthur Smith said. "I thought the line, the receivers, they blocked. When you're in the fourth quarter with the lead and watching these guys come off the ball and churning off two-yard runs to eight, to nine. Huntley popped a big one, but it takes all 11 to run the football for us.”

 

Huntley seems on the bubble here at Tuesday's cutdown to 53 nears. But the second-year prospect has a shot to stick alongside Tyler Allgeier and Qadree Ollison. ... and, of couse, Cordarrelle Patterson.

The Falcons' lack of talent in the backfield forced the organization to rely heavily upon Patterson last year, and the receiver-turned-runner producted. But after three successful preseason games, maybe the Falcons are showing they could benefit from utilizing a running back corps by committee in 2022.

And maybe Locust Grove's own Caleb Huntley is ready to help.

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Things are not going to necessarily happen a week from this Sunday like they did the past three weeks.  

I'm not saying we won't have a good ground attack...but gaining yards against Jags and Jets who'll be working at Carmax and Amazon next week, isn't really cause to get uber-excited. 

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