Circumstances can rapidly change in the NFL. There is no telling what the trajectory or downfall could be for a team or player in a year. Adaptability is one of the primary skills you must possess, regardless of your position within the organization. You may enter the season hoping to prove yourself as a valued contributor. Within eight weeks, the franchise is counting on you to be one of the primary drivers of the engine toward winning games.
Tyler Allgeier did it and never looked back once he earned his spot as the lead back for one of the most lethal running games in the league.
In the first part of our interview, he emphasized the importance of getting comfortable during his rookie season. The coaching staff needed him to step up and be the player they envisioned him to be. Allgeier’s relentless drive and determination helped him grow into a real imposing force out of the backfield. Coming off a remarkable 1,000-yard season, many were intrigued to see him as the main lead back for an entire season. The Falcons had another idea in selecting the most highly-regarded running back prospect since Saquon Barkley with the eighth overall pick.
The decision to take Bijan Robinson proved how aggressive Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot can be in pursuing what they want. Drafting a running back that high after having your franchise rookie rushing record broken by a young, hungry running back for Smith’s offense seemed preposterous from a team-building standpoint. That’s not the case when your offense is built around playing positionless football and versatility.
There is a method to Smith’s madness. He knows how to bring the best out of most skill position players, and he prioritizes running the ball more than most coaches. The concept behind pairing Robinson with Allgeier creates a new dynamic dimension to a tantalizing offense. Smith gave everyone an idea of the newly-formed tandem at the Day 1 post-draft press conference. Allgeier didn’t need an explanation about the pick to be thrilled about Robinson joining him in the backfield. His immediate reaction was filled with joy.
“I was super excited about the pick,” Allgeier stated. “To be honest, everyone should be excited. We are two different backs. He can line up in the slot. He can be used in motion. He’s a total playmaker. I know people were talking about my job status, but it’s like we both know we are going to be productive and elevate each other. I have already spoken to him on FaceTime. He said he was excited to work with me, but really I’m excited to work with him. He can learn from me while I’m going to be learning from him on how to be like that perfect all-purpose back that he was drafted as.“
Allgeier takes tremendous pride in being a good teammate. He wants to learn from others and provide wisdom to help elevate his teammates. Playing alongside Cordarrelle Patterson gave him significant guidance to maintain playing at a high level for an entire season. The rookie wall is as real as it gets. The NFL grind can make rookies crumble by December. Allgeier spoke about how he could help Robinson prepare for the NFL before his elation about the Texas star coming to Atlanta took over.
“Taking care of the body is so crucial,” Allgeier told me. “You got to be able to handle the punishment. You got to be patient as a runner, especially in our offense. Those are some things. Besides that, I’m pumped. I can’t wait for when he comes in. Obviously, he’ll learn from me, but I know I can learn from him as well.”
There is nothing but enthusiasm from Allgeier when talking about the latest major addition to the Falcons’ offense. He has huge admiration for Robinson’s dynamic skillset in what he can do with the ball in his hands and the mismatches he can create with his sheer presence. There is also the strong possibility of forming the most prolific running back tandem in the NFL. As Atlanta Falcons beat reporter Tori McElhaney brilliantly said, Robinson is the lightning to Allgeier’s thunder, the same analogy Falcons fans used to use for Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett. Allgeier is all in on being exactly that.
“I like the sound of that,” Allgeier said, laughing. “We are going to be that one-two punch. I had that at BYU with Lopini Katoa. Having that one-two punch can have defenses constantly guessing about what you are doing. When one back is fresh, they come in for the other back and boom the defense feels it. I look at Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as the prime one-two punch. They are still punishing defenses to this day after all these years. We can be that. I have full belief in Coach Smith in how he’s going to maximize us. We are both playmakers that can overwhelm defenses.”
Robinson isn’t the only new player on the roster generating buzz. The Falcons’ free agency frenzy had Allgeier on the edge of his seat. They made several notable signings to bolster the roster. It’s one thing to sign talented players capable of elevating the team. What is also imperative is how they help strengthen a growing unified locker room. These are players that Allgeier anticipates learning from and building a winning foundation with.
“Jessie Bates stands out for sure,” Allgeier declared. “He’s a dog. We faced him last year, and he was everywhere. I definitely got to mention Calais Campbell too. Free agency was great. They weren’t stopping with the moves. I was closely paying attention, seeing who we got. It had me like damn, the front office is going crazy. A lot of great additions to the defense. A couple of offensive moves as well. I’m excited about Scotty Miller.”
“You see who is coming into the locker room, and it’s an excellent opportunity to pick their brains. See what they do in taking care of their bodies. See what they do in the off-season. It’s good having those veterans to learn from. They are not just great players. They are great overall people as well. That’s who Terry (Fontenot) and Arthur (Smith) love to bring in. That’s what builds our chemistry. That’s what builds our purpose for this team.”
The signing of Campbell will certainly play an important part in enhancing the team’s purpose. The former All-Pro is one of the most beloved players in the league. Players love learning from him. Coaches love working with him. Fans love how ferocious he is. Even at 36 years old, Campbell can make a massive difference. He stated in an interview that Allgeier is special. The praise, particularly from a top-tier defensive player, meant a lot to the former fifth-round pick.
“That’s huge respect,” Allgeier said. “Man, it’s a good feeling. I like when defensive players praise me. It’s kind of like a pat on the back. For example, Demario Davis tackled me last season. Usually, one player can’t really tackle me unless they go really low. I pride myself on being tackled by two or three defenders. Maybe even a whole defense in some instances where the offensive line is pushing me to get extra yards. Davis did get me solo, which was a good reminder of why he’s one of the best linebackers in the game. We embraced afterward, and he praised me for how hard I ran. That was another cool moment with a great defensive player.”
During the off-season, Allgeier is looking to be active within the community. He recently announced he is teaming up with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America. The non-profit organization creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships to help children grow across the United States. They aim to guide the youth in reaching their full potential. The power of mentorship connects deeply with Allgeier. He reflects on how much it has strongly impacted his life.
“My high school coach, college coach, I got a handful of mentors I’m grateful for,” Allgeier revealed. “There are so many mentors in my life. My mom, of course, is definitely up there. Being a part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America is a good feeling because you never really know what you are doing as a kid. It’s always great to have a role model to pat you on the back or someone to talk to. Someone you can open up to instead of hiding those emotions, hiding that stress. Being able to be a kid and growing up while having mentors around me was huge for my development.”
Allgeier is still in the early stages of working with them. As he continues to pursue opportunities to help those in need, he opens up about what he did in college at BYU. Working with children in programs always interests him. By making them welcome and appreciated, he looks to give back to the community however he can with his tremendous character and desire to make a difference.
“Hopefully, down the line, I can do more with them (Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America),” Allgeier said. “What I just did was a quick introduction post about my story. I’m looking to do more partnerships. I did something at BYU involving cancer. My dad passed away from cancer, so it definitely connected with me. The other organization I was with worked with special needs kids. They give them jobs and other stuff to do, which is awesome. They get to have responsibilities. They get paid the full amount for their work. They get fully taken care of. Helping with that got me started in doing work in the community.”
“I got plans to do a football camp next year. Besides that, whatever offers come within the community, I’ll be interested. When our PR lady Kenyah (Jordan-Jackson) gives options for community service, I’ll be the first to apply and give back. It’s awesome to have an owner like Arthur Blank that loves giving back to the community. It’s great to have a person like him in our lives to push us to make a difference off the field. Definitely look to follow in his footsteps for what he does within the community.”
One final message had to be delivered before the end of our interview. Allgeier knows the anticipation is building in Atlanta. He recognizes how expectations are increasing following the numerous high-profile additions to the roster. Coming off an outstanding rookie season, he is aware improvement is expected. With his mentality and commitment, the Falcons have the nucleus to push them toward long-term sustainable success.
“Get your mind right for a good season, “ Allgeier said confidently. “We got a lot of young dogs. We got dogs across the entire roster. We’re going to get our minds right and win games. Take it day by day. That’s with everything in life. Take it day by day. Don’t look too far into the future. When you look at the past, learn from the past. Make sure not to make the same mistake again. That’s the mindset. I can’t wait for the season to come.”