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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

Steven Jackson wants Falcons to rank top 10 in rushing

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Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

 As the Falcons are set to move on to phase three of their offseason program, running back Steven Jackson, in his most recent blog posted on Thursday, said he wants to make sure that the team is ranked in the top 10 in rushing in 2014.

The Falcons start their OTAs on Tuesday and it sounds like Jackson plans to be in the house. He has been working out on his own in Las Vegas for most of the offseason, according to his blog.

Here’s what he had to say about the rushing game:

We fell short in a lot of things last year, but I was definitely most disappointed with how consistently low we ranked in the rushing game. The first thing on my to-do list is to make sure that we rank in the top 10 in rushing, and every statistical category when it comes to the rushing game.

As a group, we need to continue training hard like we all have been this offseason, and have that carry over into the fall. The areas we struggled in last season are fixable. We have the talent. It’s just a matter of us playing together.

Last season, the Falcons dipped to 4-12 after playing the NFC Championship game. It was Jackson’s first season with the team.

He was injured in the second game of the season, but came back strong down the stretch. He played in 12 games and rushed for 543 and six touchdowns. He caught 33 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons finished last in the league in rushing, averaging 77.9 yards per game.

Jackson also writes about making sure his health is balanced after suffering soft tissue injuries early in each of the past three seasons.

He’s been meditating for about 10 to 15 minutes per day. He hasn’t set his goals for next season yet.

PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Tuesday, May 27 – OTA No. 1.

–Wednesday, May 28 – OTA No. 2.

–Thursday, May 29 – OTA No. 3.

–Friday, May 30 – Strength and Conditioning plus a rookie practice

–Monday, June 2 – OTA No. 4.

–Tuesday, June 3 – OTA No. 5.

–Wednesday, June 4 – OTA No. 6.

–Thursday, June 5 – Rookie Practice.

–Monday, June 9 – Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament. Defending champs – Team Scelfo.

–Tuesday, June 10 – OTA No. 7.

–Wednesday, June 11 – OTA No. 8.

–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

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