By Cedric Williams
Things sure have changed around the Atlanta Falcons’ office buildings and training headquarters, now that the Falcons have begun the 2015 NFL season with three wins that all came about in historic fashion.READ MORE: Black Restaurant Week underway in Atlanta through August 14
The Falcons are the first club in league history to win their first three games after trailing heading into the fourth quarter in each. And now folks are beginning to wonder if this Atlanta club is in line for another magic carpet ride season like it had in 2012, when the Falcons went 13-3 and advanced all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
Devonta Freeman named starting RB ahead of Tevin Coleman
It should really be no surprise, considering second-year man Devonta Freeman is healthy and coming off a truly sensational performance in Sunday’s win in Dallas, while rookie Tevin Coleman is still battling a rib injury. Freeman was named Atlanta’s new starting running back on the Falcon depth charts on Tuesday.
Technically, the move is still unofficial and won’t become official until someone with the team (most likely head coach Dan Quinn or general manager Thomas Dimitroff) says it’s so. But the depth chart changes have already been made on the Atlanta Falcons official website, and Freeman is coming off 141 yards and three touchdowns on a career-high 32 carries.
There seems to be little doubt that Freeman is the Falcons new starter in the backfield, and he should remain so, even after Coleman returns from his rib injury.
“You know, that was my first starting game in the NFL, and you know, I just always wanted to be great,” Freeman said as a guest on the Dan Quinn coach’s show on Monday. “I’m hungry. I’m hungry as I’ve ever been. Being in the NFL has been my dream since forever and now that I get the opportunity, it means so much that I take full advantage of the opportunity.”
For the season, Freeman has rushed for 184 yards on 50 carries with four touchdowns and even added 12 catches for 115 yards as well. Coleman, who was named the Falcons starting running back prior to the season opener, but had to be taken out of the lineup after getting hurt in Week 2 against the New York Giants, was also playing well as Atlanta’s leading ballcarrier, with 112 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown this season.
Roster moves — Falcons looking for help at tight endREAD MORE: Trump says he took the Fifth in questioning in New York Attorney General fraud investigation
Atlanta announced on Tuesday that it had signed tight end Mickey Schuler to its 53-man roster, bringing the former seventh-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings back for his third stint with the Falcons. Atlanta originally signed Schuler to its practice squad in 2013, before cutting him during training camp in 2014. They added him again this past January, before cutting him during training camp back in August.
The move to add a tight end became necessary for the Falcons when Jacob Tamme suffered a head injury during Sunday’s game in Dallas. And with Tamme needing to pass the concussion protocol process before being eligible to play, Atlanta needed to add another tight end to the roster. Levine Toilolo is the only other tight end currently on the Falcons roster.
To make room for Schuler, Atlanta released tackle Tyler Polumbus.
RB Freeman, WR Jones nominated for NFL weekly awards
Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones are both candidates to claim weekly honors from the league, NFL.com announced on Tuesday.
Freeman has been nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award and Jones is up NFL Clutch Performer of the Week.
Freeman’s competition for the Ground Player of the Week honor includes Latavius Murray of the Oakland Raiders and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, while Jones is going against Charles Woodson of the Raiders, Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, and A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals for the Clutch Player of the Week award.
The voting for each award will be done on NFL.com until 3 p.m. on Friday. Award winners will be announced on the program NFL Total Access, which airs at 7 p.m. on NFL Network.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at email@example.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.