Falcons want to reduce Devonta Freeman’s workload next season
As a sophomore, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman ranked fourth in the NFL with 264 carries last season. Now the team is working towards easing off the gas pedal heading into 2016.
The Falcons are looking to reduce Freeman’s workload next season, according to running backs coach Bobby Turner.
“It’s about growth,” Turner said to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. “Free had a good year, but I’m expecting even a better year…It can be even better with less carries or less catches because I’d obviously like to get Tevin (Coleman) more involved and that also keeps Free fresher.”
The 24-year-old Freeman rushed for 1,056 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl for his efforts. He was promoted to starting backfield duties after Coleman was injured early on in the year, but it appears as though the Falcons are envisioning more of a competition moving forward into next season.
Freeman is an explosive all-around runner but lacks the frame at 5-foot-9 to be a permanent workhorse like he was for much of last year. Coleman, a faster, more powerful back capable of big runs, should be an excellent complementary back for Atlanta to help lessen the burden on Freeman.
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