Less than one month into the 2014 season, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman shared a personal goal for his NFL career: being one of the best. Weeks later, after the team returned from London, Freeman assessed his performance through the first eight games of his rookie campaign.
"I think I was real average," Freeman said. "I'm a rookie. I had a lot to learn, a lot of adjustments coming from college like pass blocking, a new offensive scheme and learning how to put weight on by eating right. Overall, I feel like I was at the beginning of average. I just want to progress and get better and better every day. I know there is a lot of room for improvement for me."
The former Florida State star did just that, finishing the year with the second-most carries on the team (65) for 248 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run in Week 16. He provided a boost to the running game after Steven Jackson was forced to miss the final game of the season with a thigh injury. Freeman's dual-threat ability was more than useful in the passing game, leading all running backs with 30 receptions for 225 yards and one score.
Having won the BCS National Championship Game at FSU in 2013, Freeman compared every one of his 16 games this season to a title game in college.
Like he did with the Seminoles, the 22-year-old running back is driven to help the Falcons become the best team in the league, while leaving a legacy of his own.
"I want to be the best," Freeman said. "I want to be physical. I want a person to look at me and say, 'That guy is great all around.' "