<
>

Falcons' Patrick DiMarco honored to make All-Pro second-team

Atlanta Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco was named to the Associated Press All-Pro second team Friday along with Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.

Teammate Julio Jones was the Falcons' only first-team selection.

"They make everyone around them better," DiMarco said of Jones and Freeman. "I'm honored to get on the field with those guys. They are two of the best players in the NFL."

DiMarco said he was shocked when he received the news from agent Joel Turner of Turner Sports Management, which also represents All-Pro first-team fullback Mike Tolbert of Carolina.

"It's a true honor," said DiMarco, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate as well. "It's something, as an athlete, you always strive to have -- a good individual season. We didn't end up as good as we wanted to here in Atlanta but on an individual basis, I'm definitely honored to be second-team All-Pro.

"I was proud and happy. There were so many emotions running through me. It's something that I've been working five years for. It's a true testament to how hard I've worked and the amount of time I've put in to get to this level."

DiMarco entered the league as an undrafted rookie with the San Diego Chargers in 2011. The former South Carolina Gamecock had a stint in Kansas City before landing on the Falcons' practice squad in 2013. He's started 22 games the last three seasons with Atlanta.

In 2015, DiMarco helped paved the way for Freeman's 1,000-yard rushing season. He also caught 13 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

"Definitely run blocking," DiMarco said when asked what aspect of his game improved the most. "I think the offensive scheme, the coaches did a good job of implementing it and working with the players to create a system that would make everybody play at a high level. It worked well with me, Devonta and Julio. Even Matt (Ryan), he did a good job adjusting to the offense.

"I'm excited for next year and what this team can do next year."