(Over the offseason, we'll take a look at each of the position groups. Today, we look at the running backs.)
FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons’ focusing on their rushing attack is key this offseason, while Devonta Freeman had a 1,000-yard season, the attack was not very potent over the long haul.
That explains why the Falcons plan to use both Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who has been catching the ball well out of the backfield according to Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
The Falcons averaged 100.4 yards rushing per game last season, which ranked 19th in the NFL. The Falcons averaged just 3.82 yards per rush, which ranked 25th in the league. The Bills led the league with 152 yards rushing per game and at 4.78 yards per carry.
Terron Ward made the team as an undrafted free agent last season. He had 29 carries for 95 yards and one
touchdown. He'll have to beat Gus Johnson and Brandon Wills to retain his roster spot.
Wilds, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, had 20 career starts and rushed for 1,844 yards on 379 carries during his four years at South Carolina.
Patrick DiMarco had a breakthrough season in 2015 as he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
"That was quite an honor," DiMarco said. "I couldn’t have done it without my offensive line in front of me and Free behind me with T. Cole and T. Ward feeling in when they needed to. We have a great team here and I’m really excited about next year. We are just continuing to grow every week and every day."
Will Ratelle, who played at North Dakota, was a linebacker in college and is making the transition to a new position. He played in 40 games and made 23 starts. He amassed 266 total tackles and earned first team All-Big Sky honors.
RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 28 Terron Ward, 35 Gus Johnson, 20 Brandon Wilds
FB 42 Patrick DiMarco, 39 Will Ratelle
90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS -- POSITION BY POSITION
FALCONS' OFFSEASON SPOTLIGHTS