The release last week of running back Steven Jackson has created a hole at the top of the depth chart at the position, and it looks like soon-to-be-second-year back Devonta Freeman has his eyes on the spot.
Talking to ESPN.com Falcons blogger Vaughn McClure, Freeman made it clear that he's willing to step up and become the every-down back the Falcons could utilize in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's zone blocking scheme.
"Personally, I want to be the man. I want to be the guy," Freeman told McClure. "I want to make my own name with the Atlanta Falcons. I want to go really, really far. I want to set the bar high. I just want to win a Super Bowl and maybe be the MVP one day. You just never know. I feel like I'm hungrier right now. I don't know what's gotten into me this offseason. I just feel like a whole new monster. And I ain't just talking."
If Freeman is a whole new monster, it's cause for attention as the Florida State product showed flashes during his rookie year of having big-play ability. With zone blocking making its way into the Falcons' offense in 2015, it's even more reason to pause and consider just how good Freeman could be under new head coach Dan Quinn.
Freeman played in the zone blocking scheme at Florida State and put up big numbers, rushing 173 times for 1,016 yards during a National Championship year for the Seminoles.
While the new Falcons coaching staff hasn't made its intentions clear just yet about the running back position, it's possible that the team could look in free agency for another running back option or in a draft that is seemingly heavy at the position.
Either way, Freeman is looking at it as an opportunity for him to succeed.
"If they bring in a veteran back, I'm going to learn whatever I can learn from him," Freeman told McClure. "I'm going to be open to him. I hope he will be open to me. My mindset is it's a business and you're going to compete regardless."