Skip to main content

#AskAndrew: Monday Falcons Mailbag

That's difficult to say right now. In the short-term, Tevin Coleman has an edge based on health alone. Because Freeman's damaged hamstring has taken a while to heal, and because Terron Ward—Atlanta's third RB—is an undrafted rookie, Coleman will likely be the go-to guy against Philadelphia next Monday. In the long-term, however, I expect Coleman and Freeman to both make significant contributions. Teams who implement outside zone blocking schemes tend to rely heavily on multiple running backs, and we've yet to receive any indication the Falcons will use a different approach.

Plus, a quick glance around the league reveals a telling trend: "Feature backs" in the traditional sense are becoming less and less common. Part of the reason why is because coaches want to bring lots of different looks out of their backfields. Coleman, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, has a strong burst and can be a dangerous north-south runner; Freeman is shiftier and can bring a lot of value in the passing game. One will inevitably see more time than the other, but as long as they're physically capable, each figures to be an important asset.

I'm really excited for LB Allen Bradford. Though it's uncertain what he can provide on defense, it looks like he's going to have a lot of value on special teams. Given his speed, hard-hitting nature and familiarity with Dan Quinn, I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a fan favorite.

I'm also excited for WR Nick Williams. The 5-foot-10 wide receiver started out as a longshot to make the 53-man roster, but his productive summer made a lasting impression on the coaching staff. It's unclear what Williams' role will be, and it's unclear if he'll stick around for long, but it's always great to see athletes push for jobs the way he did.

As far as we know, Freeman's status for opening night is still up the air. Last week he said his injured hamstring felt much better, and he is targeting a Week 1 return, so he may be close. But, since hamstring injuries can linger, the team isn't going to rush him back.

Ward has some potential. I definitely liked his pass-catching ability during training camp. If he can improve his vision a bit and gain comfort in Shanahan's system, he could earn some carries.

@andrewhirsh @AtlantaFalcons how quickly do you see Levitre being implemented on our line? Is he plug and play capable? — Nathan (@Natty_Ice2) September 6, 2015

If he has a good week of practice, I expect he'll be given a starting spot when the regular season begins. Atlanta's offense can be difficult for linemen to digest, but Levitre, who learned a similar scheme in Buffalo, should be able to pick it up quickly. So yes, I think he's capable of being plugged in and played from the get-go.

I don't think he's locked anything down just yet. Veteran Charles Godfrey is still in the mix, and Therezie has yet to play a regular season game in the NFL, so he may need time to develop. That said, he has a lot of upside and certainly plays Quinn's brand of football. It wouldn't be surprising if he evolves into a solid, reliable defensive back at some point.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content