FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Qadree Ollison and the rest of the Falcons running back room had a conversation the other day about how each of them are big backs, weighing 220 pounds or higher, outside of Avery Williams who's roughly 25 pounds lighter than everyone.
Ollison, a 4th-year vet, takes pride in the depth and physicality this position group holds.
"Even when [Arthur Smith] came here, that's the identity that he wanted to bring to Atlanta," Ollison said. "CP is a big back, but he can catch out the backfield. I'm a bigger back and feel like I can do everything as well. We're all versatile and that's what makes it a really good room."
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Physicality will be the ethos for the Falcons running game this season. For Ollison, improving on short-area quickness and burst was a focal point for him in the offseason.
"You know, I've always been a bigger, stronger guy and having that quickness to add to that is something I worked on, for sure," Ollison said.
The key for this running game to pick up speed will start upfront, on the line of scrimmage. Cordarrelle Patterson emphasized in Tuesday's press conference how well the front line has been coming together collectively, consistently showing up and improving every day.
"They've been working all year, man. Coming back in better shape and seeing how hard they've worked the whole offseason," Patterson said. "They're coming together for the first time with pads on, so it feels great to see those guys working."
The Falcons were second to last in rushing yards per game in 2021. That number has the potential to change this upcoming season. With so much young talent and veteran players returning within this group, the run game will play a vital role in setting this offense in the right direction.
Competition amongst the group has been interesting in training camp. With Patterson primarily at the starter position, Allgeier and Ollison have been seeing more reps in this newly shaped offense. Ollison, who had 21 touches for 105 yards and touchdown last season, will be competing for a roster spot during preseason and the only thing on his mind is helping to bring a winning culture to the franchise.
"Help this team win any way I can," Ollison said. "Help this team win every single week and be a part of something special."