Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) of Team Irvin runs through the Team Rice defense during the first quarter of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) of Team Irvin runs through the Team Rice defense during the first quarter of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

(Over the offseason, we’ll take a look at each of the position groups. Today, we look at the running backs.)

FLOWERY BRANCH —  The Falcons’ focusing on their rushing attack is key this offseason, while Devonta Freeman had a 1,000-yard season, the attack was not very potent over the long haul.

That explains why the Falcons plan to use both Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who has been catching the ball well out of the backfield according to Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.

The Falcons averaged 100.4 yards rushing per game last season, which ranked 19th in the NFL. The Falcons averaged just 3.82 yards per rush, which ranked 25th in the league. The Bills led the league with 152 yards rushing per game and at 4.78 yards per carry.

Here’s a story on Coleman and Freeman.

Terron Ward made the team as an undrafted free agent last season. He had 29 carries for 95 yards and one

101115 ATLANTA: Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco (left) and tackle Jake Matthews line up against the Redskins during their football game on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

101115 ATLANTA: Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco (left) and tackle Jake Matthews line up against the Redskins during their football game on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

touchdown. He’ll have to beat Gus Johnson and Brandon Wills to retain his roster spot.

Wilds, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, had 20 career starts and rushed for 1,844 yards on 379 carries during his four years at South Carolina.

Patrick DiMarco had a breakthrough season in 2015 as he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

“That was quite an honor,” DiMarco said. “I couldn’t have done it without my offensive line in front of me and Free behind me with T. Cole and T. Ward feeling in when they needed to. We have a great team here and I’m really excited about next year. We are just continuing to grow every week and every day.”

Will Ratelle, who played at North Dakota, was a linebacker in college and is making the transition to a new position. He played in 40 games and made 23 starts. He amassed 266 total tackles and earned first team All-Big Sky honors.



RUNNING BACKS/FULLBACKS

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 28 Terron Ward, 35 Gus Johnson, 20 Brandon Wilds

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco, 39 Will Ratelle



90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

FALCONS’ OFFSEASON SPOTLIGHTS

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: OG Wes Schweizter, sixth round pick

Falcons offseason spotlight: LB De’Vondre Campbell, fourth round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: TE Austin Hooper, third round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: LB Deion Jones, second round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: SS Keanu Neal, first round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: DE/SLB Vic Beasley

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: DT Grady Jarrett

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: FS Robenson Therezie

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: CB Jhttp://bcove.me/yjq6zv74alen Collins

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: RB Tevin Coleman

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: WR Justin Hardy

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