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Falcons training camp 2016: The team is getting RBs involved in the passing game early

Expect Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman to soak up plenty of 2016 targets.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Devonta Freeman was the team’s second-leading receiver a year ago, so when we suggest that the Falcons will get the running backs more involved in the passing game, we don’t say that lightly.

Freeman is insanely valuable as a pass catcher out of the backfield, as he showed a year ago, so you can fully expect him to be featured again this year. It would not be a surprise if he was the team’s third-leading receiver, and his vision and ability in space make him incredibly dangerous. The man who might increase his role is Tevin Coleman, who was a decent pass-catching back out of college, but isn’t currently in Freeman’s league.

The team’s emphasis on giving Matt Ryan an obvious outlet is smart. If Freeman is going to touch the ball less and Coleman is going to be in the game a lot more, it makes sense to get both involved in the passing game, even if you expect Julio Jones Mohamed Sanu, and Jacob Tamme to soak up a ton of targets, as I do. Coleman’s deep speed make him incredibly dangerous no matter how he gets the ball, while Freeman proved to be one of the three-or-five best receiving backs in the NFL.

It’s going to depend on how Matt Ryan fares, to an extent, but you should fully expect the Falcons’ passing game to be dangerous this year. Coleman and Freeman should only make it more dangerous, frankly.