The Falcons filled their only coaching vacancy with the hiring of Michael Pitre, which was created when former running backs coach Desmond Kitchings left Atlanta to become the offensive coordinator for the University of Virginia.
Pitre joins the Falcons after coaching in Chicago under the same role, where he led the league’s second-best rushing attack. He’s a 14-year veteran who had an illustrious stint with Oregon State.
Under Pitre, the Bears rushing attack averaged 118.7 yards per game and tallied 13 carries of 20+ yards. Last season, David Montgomery rushed for 849 yards and seven touchdowns.
He is also one of the few Chiefs’ Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship coaching program graduates, but he got his start as a scouting intern with the Patriots in 2009. After coaching over a decade at the collegiate level, Pitre entered the NFL last season and now enters his second season coaching at the professional level.
During his time at the collegiate level, Pitre helped coach the Beavers’ rushing attack to an average of 165.8 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry from 2018 to 2020. He takes over a position group in Atlanta that doesn’t quite inspire much confidence.
Cordarrelle Patterson is coming off a career year, but there are no guarantees that he will return in 2022. Mike Davis had his worst season to date, and Qadree Ollison didn’t get the burn necessary to make a thorough analysis. Pitre could end up with a stable of running backs that look much different than last season’s group.