OTA’s continue to highlight early June’s gridiron action and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter revealed what he expects from his offense this season.
For the first time in eight seasons, running back Steven Jackson failed to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing as he battled injuries and settled for a mere 543 yards, the lowest total of his career. According to Koetter it was not just injuries that held back Jackson’s rushing yards, but the team’s overall lack of commitment to the ground game.
“I don’t feel like we ever really gave Steven Jackson a great chance to get going last year,” admitted Koetter. “He got hurt in that second game, missed three or four games until he came back. We’ve just got to commit to running the ball more, give it to Steven and that’ll help us get better fast.”
BACKFIELD BATTLES …
Fullback and Atlanta’s do-it-all guy Jason Snelling retired this offseason and rookie Devonta Freeman will get an opportunity to fill some of those roles while teaming up with Jackson. Freeman’s been a standout in the early action of OTAs and wore his confidence while previewing his first professional season.
“I feel like I can come in and make a great impact because I know how to make guys miss in small areas and small creases and for my size I feel like I’m physical.” said Freeman “I can be a 3-down back… If you can block and protect the quarterback then that’s the main part. Catching and running the ball is the easy part and comes naturally, but blocking, that’s something you have to have heart in. I take a lot of pride in that so it’s one of the things I work at the most.”
HD OFFENSE …
Perhaps no player on the Falcons got more out of Atlanta’s injury-plagued 2013 season than Harry Douglas. The 2008 draft pick typi- cally took the field as the No. 3 option behind Roddy White and Julio Jones but stepped into the number one role with a team- and career- high 85 catches and 1,067 yards.
“Harry’s confidence has to be sky-high right now after going for over 1,000 yards last year,” said Koetter. “I think one of the things that really helps us a lot as a team is that Matt Ryan really gained a lot of confidence in Harry as well.”