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Michael Pitre on what's next for Bijan Robinson, Falcons run game in 2024

The Falcons retained the runnings backs coach for his fourth season in Atlanta.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Falcons run game leadership remains a constant heading into the 2024 season even through changes elsewhere.

Running backs coach Michael Pitre was retained on Raheem Morris' staff three days after the new head coach was hired in late January. Pitre carries three seasons of experience in Atlanta and continuity with the backfield duo of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.

"The most important thing is those guys taking the time to learn this offense," Pitre said of next season's development. "It's just those guys continuing to grow as professionals."

It's true, the running backs will have to learn a new scheme under newly-hired offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. Luckily, they built a strong foundation to work off of in 2023.

The Falcons recorded 2,159 total rushing yards for a No. 9 league-wide rank last season. The rookie Robinson accounted for 976 yards while Allgeier ran for 683 yards in his second year.


Robinson had an impressive showing in his first season, and Pitre sees that as just the beginning.

The next step for the Texas product is sustaining confidence. There were moments when Pitre noticed the running back start to get anxious when a play would collapse around him. He wants to see Robinson learn to work with the ebbs and flows of a game when things aren't going his way.

"The game's gonna slow down for him," Pitre said. "Year 2 is gonna be better than Year 1 because it's not going to be the first game. It's not going to be the first time playing in New Orleans. It's not going to be the first of all those things."

Since the end of the season, Robinson and Pitre have broken down the film. They've watched the tape, taken some notes and then watched it again. It's a continuous process where the two critique and evaluate what little adjustments need to be made next season.

While that's a focal point for Robinson's sophomore campaign, Pitre sees ball security as an area for improvement for the entire room. Atlanta's backs committed five rushing fumbles with three total lost. The running backs coach also wants to see growth from the room in crunch time as the Falcons lost six games by one score or less.

Taking those next steps will be easier with a solid foundation built by Pitre in addition to continuity on the offensive line. On the same day Pitre was announced to return on the new staff, so, too, was offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford.

The Falcons added a run game coordinator title to Ledford's position. Even though there's a slight title change, Pitre said that won't change much to the collaboration process they've set for the last three seasons. It's a similar concentration that Morris has preached with this new staff.

"That collaborative environment makes everybody feel like they have ownership in this thing," Pitre said. "When everyone feels like they have ownership they're going to work that much harder because they don't want to let other people down."

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