Wed, 27 Sep 2023

There will be plenty of touches to go around for both top young running backs and Cordarrelle PattersonScott Bair

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Tyler Allgeier set the Falcons record for rushing yards by a rookie last season. The BYU product totaled 1,035 rushing yards despite being a healthy scratch in Week 1, averaging 4.9 yards per clip.

That's, you know, pretty good for a fifth-round pick.


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Allgeier has already proven to be an important part of the Falcons' young foundation. That didn't stop the team from drafting a running back at No. 8 overall.

Don't look at that as a slight to Allgeier. Instead view it as an opportunity to enhance offensive explosiveness. There will be plenty of carries to go around, even with Cordarrelle Patterson being heavily involved. Though, admittedly, there may be less volume for Allgeier and Patterson with another top runner around.

All that said, no team ran more than the Falcons last year. While it's fair to expect the offense to be a bit more balanced in 2023, the Falcons aren't going to abandon an aspect of the game that worked so well for them last year.

Those facts aren't lost on Allgeier or Robinson. In fact, they're looking forward to working together.

In fact, Robinson made that crystal clear roughly 10 minutes into his introductory press conference.

"Tyler, that boy is a dog at running back," Robinson said. "I really can't wait to talk to him and learn from him, build a relationship with him just because that dude's a beast. I really enjoyed watching him run the ball last year and hopefully, I can just be a great teammate and learn as much as I can from him."

That isn't just about experience. It's about absorbing information from someone with a different skill set. Both guys are elusive as heck but use different methods to avoid going down.

They both have excellent balance through contact, with Robinson slipping past defenders while Allgeier often runs through them.

Robinson had 104 missed tackles forced last year while playing for Texas, per analytics site Pro Football Focus, which led the nation. In Allgeier's last college season, he ranked first in yards after contact and fourth in missed tackles forced.

The elusiveness rating for both guys, it turns out, is sky high. They just have different ways of being productive.

While Robinson enjoys seeing Allgeier work and wants to learn from him, Tyler made it clear the information exchange will go both ways.

"With him coming in being that all-around back is huge," Allgeier said. "He said he's trying to learn from me but, honestly, I'm learning from him. With him being an all-around back, that's my goal. Protecting the quarterback, running the ball, obviously while being a threat receiving out of the backfield is key. That's something I'm still working on. Having him here and having us compete is a good thing."

Head coach/offensive play caller Arthur Smith talks a lot about positionless football for his skill players - Tori McElhaney discussed that point extensively right here - meaning there will be plenty of opportunities for them to work on the field at the same time. It will be fascinating to watch the Falcons work out of personnel packages with two running backs, especially with Robinson able to flex out wide and be put in motion.

Finding mismatches will be the name of the game for Atlanta, with both Allgeier and Robinson heavily involved in that effort.

"This offense will give me an opportunity to be the best player I can be," Robinson said. If I focus on being a good teammate and doing the right things and bring my skillset to this offense, I think everything will take care of itself. I'm really excited to work and show what I can do as part of this team."

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