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What can the Falcons learn from Josh Vaughan?

The Atlanta Falcons have added RB Josh Vaughan to their practice squad. Inconsequential, until you realize the knowledge he has.

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Less than a week removed from a match-up with the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons have elected to try and glean as much information about what makes the Panthers' offense tick by bringing in RB Josh Vaughan.

An undrafted free agent in 2010, Vaughan established himself in Carolina as a power back, and regular feature on the practice squad. The Panthers didn't really have a use for him given their established stable of backs, but did last long enough to receive a copy of the 2012 Carolina playbook, something the Falcons are surely interested in.

There is a widespread misconception that Carolina with Cam Newton are heavy pass-first team, but watch them closely and you see an offense where everything branches off the run. Fake hand-offs, option read schemes, and a host of trick plays gives the RBs an intimate knowledge of how the Panthers try to keep teams off balance. What allowed the New York Giants to have so much success (in turn embarrassing Carolina) was stuffing their run game early, which turned the Panthers into a one-dimensional team, and was ultimately their downfall.

Josh Vaughan is a solid running back in his own right, but this is a move that reeks of an ulterior motive. The timing is just too coincidental, and should the Falcons get a sense of how the Panthers' playbook ticks, it could be a long day for Cam Newton and company.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.