The Falcons hit the practice fields in the first week of fall as they prepare to travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Sunday. Take a look at these photos of the Falcons at work.
Moving from cornerback to free safety has had a number of benefits for Ricardo Allen. Near, if not at the top, of that list is his license to roam the field at will.
Safeties have a greater impact in the run game than corners, and Allen, who's embraced a physical style at his new position, has done a tremendous job slowing down opposing RBs in recent weeks. According to Pro Football Focus, the 23-year-old has the third-best run defense grade on the Falcons and ninth-best among NFL safeties.
"As a free safety, the majority of the time, if it's not a pass and people aren't running down the field, you're free," he said. "Some people choose to just hang out and just do their part, but we don't hang out on this team. We're all in it together. It's all 11 of us trying to stop the run. It's all 11 of us trying to stop the pass … So yeah, I go down and I put my face in it as much as I can."
"He has the speed and range for the position," defensive coordinator Richard Smith said of Allen. "He's very intelligent, and he's done a really great job of track tackling. So far we've been pleased with his performance."