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Analysis: Why Tyler Allgeier has the right mindset after Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson

The Falcons drafted Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It'll affect Allgeier, but not in a negative way because that's not something he'll allow.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- From the moment the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, everyone was left wondering about Tyler Allgeier and what his thoughts on the move were. After all, the former fifth round pick was just coming off of one of the most productive season of any rookie in the 2022 draft class.

Human nature can be a fickle thing at times, and it would have been easy for a bitterness to creep into the mind of someone so successful the year prior.

It would have been easy for Allgeier's initial mindset upon hearing Robinson's name called to be that of, 'But didn't I do enough?' Or, 'I had a 1,000-plus rushing yard season, over 400 of those yards came after contact. I had one of the best yards per carry average in the league. We were one of the most consistent rushing offenses in the NFL. And you draft at running back at No. 8?' All of these thoughts could be a lot of people's first response had they been in Allgeier's shoes.

However, it wasn't at all the way Allgeier looked at it. In fact, Allgeier's response to Robinson joining the running backs room in Atlanta is the one a lot of people could benefit from mimicking.


According to running backs coach Michael Pitre, the way Allgeier looks at 2023 and his running mate in Robinson is through the lens of the purest form of healthy competition.

"It's encouraging," Pitre said," because I think more than anything it shows that we have the right people in the building."

Allgeier was asked after one of the first open OTA practices this spring what Robinson could learn by working with him. Allgeier was quick to set an expectation in his answer.

"(Robinson) once said that he's trying to learn from me, but really, I'm learning from him," Allgeier said, "because him being an all-around back? That's my goal, to be an all-around back. Protecting the quarterback, running the ball, being a threat in the backfield, (I'm) still striving to be that."

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson #84, running back Bijan Robinson #7, and running back Tyler Allgeier #25 during mandatory minicamp practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Some would say this answer is the opposite of human nature. That is, if you believe human nature has a foundation in self preservation. It's also an indication of the Falcons vision for their running backs: That even though they have three capable backs in Robinson, Allgeier and (don't forget) Cordarrelle Patterson, they all have different skillsets despite having an "RB" beside their names on a roster.

Like Allgeier pointed out, there are things to take from each other's game that could ultimately help their own. I asked Pitre to expound upon this idea using Robinson and Allgeier as the comparison.

His answer was thorough and sheds a little more light on what the Falcons believe each back's strengths are in this scheme.

"When you look at Tyler, you look at his style of play," Pitre said. "He's a physical guy. He's a yards-after-contact guy. He does a great job of taking care of the ball, but he does have some sneaky elusiveness to him. Then, you look at Bijan, and he's an elusive guy and he can do all these things catching the ball. But I think when you look at what Tyler can help Bijan with, it's, 'I can help you learn how to get yards after contact.'

"Sometimes when you have a guy like Bijan who has so much elusiveness, they always want to make people miss, but I truly believe - and we believe - that we want to force people to have to tackle us."

It goes back to the philosophy head coach Arthur Smith lives by, which is based in physicality at the line of scrimmage. Games, Smith has said time and time again, are won and lost in the trenches. It's why the Falcons have pumped the money that have into the offensive line, giving gargantuan contracts to Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom, as well as bringing back Kaleb McGary. It's why when Smith compliments Allgeier's running style he always leans on the notion that Allgeier - because of his physical running style - gets harder to tackle as the game goes on.

Pitre said that's all by design, along with the inclusion of Robinson.

"There's a reason we have certain body types in that room," Pitre said. "We want to force people to tackle us and do it over, and over, and over again. Because eventually we believe through our training and our preparation that we'll be the ones standing at the end because we train a certain way."

That, and Robinson, Allgeier and Patterson all pack a different sort of punch. Like heavy weight boxers, there are different weight classes with boxers leaning on their own personal strengths of speed or power or brains. When it comes to the running back position in Atlanta, the idea is no different. The only difference is that they're not fighting each other.

In all honesty, it could have been easy for them to do so, but that's not where they find themselves. They all bring something different to the table, and they can all learn and evolve and work off each other. It was Allgeier who pointed this out, showing that he has the right mindset after the Falcons drafted Robinson at No. 8 overall.

Take a look at the 2023 Atlanta Falcons in action during mandatory minicamp, presented by MegaFit Meals.

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