Former Pitt star Qadree Ollison stands out among Falcons RBs |

Former Pitt star Qadree Ollison stands out among Falcons RBs

Jerry DiPaola
Pittsburgh’s Qadree Ollison (30) runs through the tackle of Clemson’s Tanner Muse (19) in the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Qadree Ollison isn’t entering an especially crowded running back situation in Atlanta.

In fact, physically, the former Pitt running back will stand out in the crowd at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds because the other backs are listed at 5-8 (Devonta Freeman and Marcus Green) and 5-9 (Ito Smith).

No question, the Falcons need help at running back after Freeman, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2015 and 2016, was limited by knee, foot and groin injuries to two games and 68 yards last season. They also lost Tevin Coleman in free agency to the San Francisco 49ers.

That’s not to suggest Ollison will supplant Freeman in his rookie season, but there’s room for him to make a quick impact.

Ollison’s competition will come from Smith, a fourth-round pick last year who ran for 315 yards and four touchdowns, and fellow rookie Green, a multi-talented back from Louisiana-Monroe. Green caught 50 passes for 855 yards last season, but he also has five return touchdowns on his resume – four kickoffs and a punt.

The Falcons say Green will be a running back at the outset of the offseason, but he’ll surely end up filling a much different role than what they’ll ask of Ollison, whose physicality attracted the Falcons as much as anything.

“He’s a big back. We’ve been looking for a big back to add to that group,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We think that, again back to versatility, he’s a big guy, a strong guy. Actually has really nice feet and game-speed ability about him for a bigger back like that. He has pass-pro ability as well and can catch the ball as well, so there’s a versatility element to a bigger guy.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | NFL | Pitt
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.