“In general, it’s something that I do well. I think if we can get that going, we’ll have a very powerful offense,” Mack told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Falcons averaged just 85.1 rushing yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry last season. The struggles remained on the offensive line and Devonta Freeman‘s poor production.
Falcons’ Offseason Plans
This offseason will be focused around the outside-zone attack and perfecting it.
“I think it’s an emphasis of the whole offense to make sure that’s something that we want to be really good at,” Mack said. “So, in order to run the wide zone, you have to have a full commitment of all of the guys on the field to make that work. It is a really powerful offense. It’s something that we have a lot of experience with.”
Mack is all for the run game which the Falcons have failed to do the past two seasons, resulting in a 7-9 consecutive record.
“The better we can run that, the more it opens up the field, the more play-action opens up,” Mack said. “Having that weapon really opens up the offense. I know it’s something that I’m excited about. I like hearing that because it means we get to run the ball more. It means we have more play-action passes.”
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Running The Ball More Means Todd Gurley Will Shine
Last season, the Falcons’ offensive line ended up giving up 50 sacks and 135 quarterback hits. Not only did the Falcons struggle to run the ball the entire season, but when they fell behind they were forced to pass and the opposing defense saw it coming.
Mack is a huge fan of Devonta Freeman’s replacement, Todd Gurley, and believes he has the ability to be the most valuable asset on Atlanta’s offense.
“He’s a really good runner,” Mack said. “I’ve just seen his clips and what he’s been able to do. His first couple of years in the league (were) impressive. Adding that to a wide-zone attack, I think he can be a really good addition to the offense and then a real powerful weapon.”
Helping the Pass and Run Game
For the first time in a while, Matt Ryan will have some solid options to look forward to. Ryan can use Gurley as another passing target or just take full advantage of him as a dominating rusher. Either way, the opponent’s defense will be thrown off balance.
Last season, Gurley finished tied with the 4th most rushing touchdowns by a running back with Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. The Rams didn’t utilize him much in the passing game. But, in total, Gurley scored 14 touchdowns even on workload management.
Say what you want about him, but this Falcons offense will be a huge upgrade with the addition of the former Bulldog.