Given all the needs the Falcons have on defense, it's interesting to see the Falcons website concentrating on another area,...an area that has to be addressed and probably next month. This is really interesting because it's either wishful thinking or,...perhaps revealing a concern that has been relayed to this writer from Falcons staff. Wouldn't it be nice if we had that type insdie info?
In the genes
By Michael Oldham, Atlantafalcons.com
March 3, 2006
The son and namesake of a three-time Pro Bowler and the all-time leading rusher in Falcons history, when Gerald Riggs Jr. came of football-playing age, it's no big surprise his parents didn't force him onto the gridiron. Dad's shoes were some pretty big ones to fill.
Gerald Riggs Sr., originally selected by the Falcons in the first round (ninth pick overall) of the 1982 NFL Draft, rushed 1,587 times for 6,631 yards and 48 touchdowns on the ground in seven seasons (1982-88) with the Birds -- all Falcons team rushing records.
"I think, with him(Dad) playing football, they didn't want me to go through a lot of stuff and they tried to shield me away from that as much as possible," the younger Riggs explained. "I think it was more or less because of all the things my dad was able to accomplish, he continued. But it's just something I wanted to do."
By the time he graduated from Red Bank High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he owned most every school rushing record, accumulating an eye-opening 6,046 yards on 724 rushes and reaching the end zone 90 times -- 66 in his final two years at Red Bank.
The impressive prep rÃ©sumÃ© earned Riggs offers from a variety of schools but he elected to stay close to home and accept an athletic scholarship to the University of Tennessee, where he grew from a contributor as a true freshman to a feature back for the Volunteers his junior and senior seasons.
Thrust into the national spotlight with 1,107 rushing yards as a junior in Knoxville, the comparison machine of the national media got rolling, doing side-by-side looks at Gerald Riggs Jr. to his father. Having heard the comparison from such a young age -- and having an opinion of his own -- the younger Riggs can explain the differences and similarities between his game and his father's on cue, in 100 words or less.
"We're a little bit different in that he was a bigger player than I am," Riggs junior explained. "I'm probably a little faster, a little more elusive and probably can make guys miss a little better, while he normally just put his head down to get the tough yards -- which I can do as well. But because of the size difference, it allows me to do a couple things differently than he was able to."
With that ability, in his four years at UT Riggs rushed 383 times for 1,893 yards (a 4.9 average) and 10 scores, but those numbers could have been more impressive. Riggs missed three games his junior year with a hip injury, but more notable was the right ankle injury he suffered this past season in the Volunteers October 22 loss to Alabama. After gaining 530 yards six games into his senior season, the injury effectively ended his college career.
Though he was physically unable to work out at the combine in late February, as the University of Tennessee's March 15 pro day approaches, Riggs believes he will be in perfect shape to show his wares to NFL scouts and to throws his name back into the pool of impressive running back prospects for this year's draft.
So what has his father said in all of this process? From his impressive high school numbers to his short-lived college career to his potential future in the National Football League?
"He said just take everything in and be humble," Riggs junior said. "Don't get too down on yourself and don't get too high on yourself.
"The biggest thing he said is continue to work hard, don't get complacent and stay humble."Daddy Riggs was an awesome back that not many know about. He played on awful, awful Falcons teams those seven years. I'm not sure there was a winning record in that span of years(1982 was the strike season, if I'm not mistaken, so it don't count). Note Dad advising the son to be humble. That's some great advice and looking back, when Gerald Sr. scored a TD or ran for a first down,...or ran for a 20 yard gain,...he'd flip the ball to the closest ref and go back and do it again.
Gerald Sr. received his Championship in the latter part of his career with the Redskins,...thank you pre-Snyder Redskins for getting this guy a ring. He damn sure deserved it.
So,...why is this on the Falcons website, one might ask? This is another article about a college prospect that just so happens to be a running back. This one can be explained because baby Gerald's Dad was a Falcon. The other one about the other guy, before this report, makes one wonder what MO knows that we don't.
What I know is that the Falcons will have to draft a RB for the future. He'll have to play special teams his rookie season and work his way into the game. It's a fact that Dunn is the guy in 2006, and Duckett will finish his contract in Atlanta as well. Logically return man Allen Rossum is gone, or limited, and the young guy, I can never remember his name,...will return kickoffs or be cut. That leaves the third RB position open although some will say the FB, Justin Griffith, can be the RB,...but we know better than that. It's time to think about the RB position for the future and Riggs could be that guy. He's built like Dunn, a little bigger, but has the same darting moves.
Hmmm,...is AtlantaFalcons.COM desiring to start talk,...rumors?,...or sublimely revealing something here?http://www.atlantafalcons.com/team/article.jsp?id=11176