Falcons rookie Tyler Allgeier has put would-be tacklers on notice – Atlanta Falcons Blog
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Tyler Allgeier wrapped up workouts each day before his freshman year at BYU and ordered an Uber. Instead of heading home, though, the running back needed to go somewhere else.
He needed to go to work.
Allgeier spent his first couple of months in Provo, Utah training to push defenders out of the way in the morning and at a local Walmart in the afternoon, pushing shopping carts around the parking lot.
It was a way for Allgeier to help pay college bills and earn himself a little bit of money as a non-scholarship player — a long way away from where he is now as the Atlanta Falcons leading rusher as a rookie.
“That’s some hard work right there, man,” Allgeier told ESPN recently.
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Luckily for Allgeier, there was no night shift because, he said, in Utah everything closes early. But that was his early college life: workouts, work, sleep, repeat. Occasionally, he said, he’d get a ride, but he doesn’t like to ask people for things. So unless someone knew where he was headed and offered, he jumped in an Uber, spending some of the money he made pushing carts in order to get to work.
Collecting shopping carts taught Allgeier sometimes you might not enjoy what you’re doing, but you have to do it to make things work. The gig lasted for a couple of months until classes began.
“Coming in there was no way I was going to be able to try and fight for a spot and do school,” Allgeier said. “Because BYU is hard. Like really hard. So there was no way I was trying to manage doing all of that at once.”
In some ways, this helped prepare him for his rookie year in the NFL. A fifth-round pick by Atlanta, he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. He hoped there’d be a role for him — and with the Falcons’ backfield at the time there was a chance of that.
Atlanta liked his running style crafted over the years with the Cougars, where he went from a preferred walk-on pushing carts in a parking lot and then making extra money working for a trash pickup service in a Provo apartment complex to 1,000-yard seasons in 2020 and 2021.
Allgeier ran through people. He was next to impossible to bring down on first touch. It jumped off his college film and became one of the most intriguing qualities about him as a potential draft pick. As his rookie season has gone on, it became even clearer it could translate to the NFL.
Of Allgeier’s 900 rushing yards this season, 483 have come after first contact — No. 6 in the NFL. He leads the NFL in yards after first contact per rush, with 2.6. Just he and Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who averages 2.58 yards in the category, are over 2.5 average yards after first contact.
“That’s kind of his body of work. That’s who he was,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “Certainly, you don’t know how that will translate, a lot of it is educated guesses. There are some things that you can control and some that you can’t until you work with a player. I wouldn’t say that surprised me.
“We had a pretty good idea of who he was and what he was made of. We’re happy that it translated quicker than maybe we anticipated.”
That, though, wasn’t always clear. Allgeier was inactive in Week 1 as Atlanta went with Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams as its main backs. Williams was hurt on his second carry of the season and the next week, Allgeier had his opportunity.
It started slow at first, but a 10-carry, 84-yard game against Cleveland flashed his potential at the beginning of October. By midseason, he was part of the rotation. Over the final six weeks of the season, he took another step, establishing himself as the back of the future in Atlanta.
He has averaged at least 4 yards a carry in every game since Week 11 against Chicago. He had his first 100-yard game — a 139-yard effort — in Week 15 against New Orleans. And he’s been rolling ever since.
“The way he works, the work he put in, he doesn’t understand how good he is,” Patterson said. “And hopefully he’ll continue to playing with that chip on his shoulder, because he’s great and he can fit in any offense.”
It’s in part because of his improvement in pass protection and also glimpses of pass-catching ability out of the backfield. But it’s largely due to his running style, one that started with a simple concept: The fastest way to the end zone was a straight line.
It’s how he learned to run as a kid at age 9, when he said it took entire Pop Warner teams to bring him down. Allgeier describes it as “power and no juke.” It’s part of how he reached the league and part of how he might stay in the league for a while, too.
“Just probably not being tackled by one guy,” Allgeier said. “Always had that mindset as a kid. Not one guy can freaking tackle me.
“Just translated it and now translated it to the NFL.”
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