Another Falcons free agent follows Arthur Smith to Pittsburgh

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When former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith took the offensive coordinator job in Pittsburgh, it was always expected that several of his former players would follow. Earlier in the offseason, wide receiver Van Jefferson inked a deal with the Steelers. Now, fan favorite Cordarrelle Patterson is joining Smith in the Steel City.

Patterson took to social media last season to express his displeasure with his role in the Falcons offense. However, this is a guy that was essentially an offensive zero before Arthur Smith got his hands on him.

In his first season in Atlanta, Patterson ran the ball for 618 yards and six touchdowns, while also hauling in 52 catches for 548 yards and five more touchdowns. Those were all career highs, and Patterson was able to top his rushing total in 2022, carrying the ball 144 times for 695 yards and eight scores.

However, with Bijan Robinson entering the Falcons offense this past season, Patterson’s role was severely diminished. He was relegated to the duties of a third running back, only recording 50 rushing attempts for 181 yards. He was also essentially phased out of the passing game, catching just nine balls for 38 yards.

Entering his age-33 season, I wasn’t sure just how much football Patterson had in front of him, but it’s awesome to see him land on his feet in a familiar situation under Arthur Smith. This is a player Pittsburgh fans are going to quickly come to adore. His physicality and competitive drive will fit in perfectly under Mike Tomlin.

He’ll soon be a fan favorite with the Steelers, just like he was with the Falcons, and maybe he’ll break the NFL record for kickoff returns for a touchdown for one of the most storied franchises in the league.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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