Countdown to camp: A look at the running backs

With the help of a team trainer, Falcons running back Michael Turner stretches his leg muscles at OTAs on June 13. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

With the help of a team trainer, Falcons running back Michael Turner stretches his leg muscles at OTAs on June 13. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland  – With the Falcons‘ training camp opening on Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will take a look at some key positions every day. Today: the running backs.

The 10-day “Countdown to Camp” series started out with the defensive line and followed by the linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, offensive line, offensive linespecial-teams units, wide recievers and tight ends. 

The players report for training camp Wednesday and take the field for the first practice at 10:40 a.m. the next day.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: How will the Falcons split up the carries between running backs Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers?

What will be the ratio that the running back carries are split between Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers?

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Running back Michael Turner has been one of the most productive players in the league and probably doesn’t receive enough credit for his role in remaking the Falcons into perennial playoff contenders.

He’s rushed for 5,281 yards and 50 touchdowns over the past four seasons. Only Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson has rushed for more yards (5,411) and touchdowns (52).  Tennessee’s Chris Johnson (5,645 yards and 28 touchdowns) and Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew (5,145, 40) are the only other players in the 5,000-club over the past four seasons.

So why is there a rush to give some of Turner’s carries to second-year running back Jacquizz Rodgers?

Turner, who turned 30 this offseason, is set to enter the last year of his contract. Also, he’s had 1,189 carries of the past four seasons and showed some signs of slippage last season.

Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (22) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers with teammate Joe Hawley (61) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. AP

Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (22) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers with teammate Joe Hawley (61) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. AP

Despite leading the NFC in rushing in 2011, there were nine games in which he was held under 76 yards rushing. In four key losses to Tampa Bay, Houston, New Orleans and the New York Giants, he was held to under 50 yards rushing.  

Running backs coach Gerald Brown has resided over Turner and fullback Ovie Mughelli’s climb to Pro Bowl status. The 27-year coaching veteran will have his most challenging year with developing a Turner/Rodgers plan and finding a replacement for Mughelli.

“Michael has been our workhorse for a few years,” Brown said after minicamp. “We discussed the possibility of making sure that we monitor his reps so that he can stay strong for us through the season and into December. We feel very good about Jason Snelling and Jacquizz, too.”

Falcons coach Mike Smith has stated that Rodgers will be an integral part of the offense and Brown believes he can get Rodgers ready to play more.

“What he was able to do with not having an offseason, we thought was really good for us [last season],” Brown said.

Mughelli was released in a salary-related move. Fifth-round draft pick Bradie Ewing will compete with veteran Mike Cox and undrafted rookie Lee Meisner for the fullback spot. Snelling can also play some fullback.

“Ewing has done some really good things since he’s been here,” Brown said. “We are happy about the competition that we have at the position right now.” 

FIVE GOALS FOR THE RUNNING BACKS IN 2012

1. Find a replacement for former Pro Bowler Ovie Mughelli at fullback.

2. Cut Michael Turner’s carries.

3. Get second-year man Jacquizz Rodgers move involved.

4. Run with more power in short yardage situations.

5. Catch more passes out of the backfield, especially in the new screen attack.

Here’s a look at the running backs:

Michael Turner:  He  has 50 career touchdowns with the Falcons and needs seven to move past Andre Rison (56) and eight to land in first place in team history ahead of Terance Mathis (57).

Jacquizz Rodgers: He averaged a sub-par 3.6 yards rushing per carry, while picking up 205 yards on 57 carries as a rookie. He also had 21 catches for 188 yards and one touchdown.

Jason Snelling: He led the running backs group with 26 catches last season and could find a role in the team’s new screen passing attack.

Antone Smith: He shined on special teams last season and could compete for the open kickoff return job.  

Robbie Frey: He played three seasons in the Big East at Connecticut before transferring to Division II Kutztown. He returned a kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in Jan. 2011 while with the Huskies.

Dimitri Nance: He’s back for his second stint with the Falcons. He played 12 games with the Green Bay Packers in 2010 after they signed him off the Falcons practice squad.

Lee Meisner: He was invited back after performing well during a rookie minicamp tryout.

Bradie Ewing: He registered 30 touchdown-resulting blocks as he cleared the way for running back Montee Ball. He caught all 28 passes targeted to him last season and 19 of those catches went for first downs and 16 were of 10 yards or more. He was a team captain.

Mike Cox: He played in nine games and made five starts in 2011. He was used almost exclusively as a blocker and caught just two passes for 8 yards.

Training camp Dates, Practice Times (public availability)

Thursday, July 26 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Friday, July 27 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, July 28 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, July 29 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, July 30 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, July 31 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Wednesday, August 1 Players’ Day Off

Thursday, August 2 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Friday, August 3 Practice 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

KIA Motors “Friday Night Lights” at Peachtree Ridge High School

6:45 – 9:10 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, August 4 Players’ Day Off

Sunday, August 5 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, August 6 Walkthrough 11:10 – 11:55 a.m. (closed to the public)

Combined Practice w/ Tennessee Titans

Coahulla Creek High School – Dalton, GA — 4:30 – 7:15 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, August 7 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Wednesday, August 8 Pregame Walkthrough – No Media Availability

Thursday, August 9 Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens, Georgia Dome, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, August 10 Players’ Day Off

Saturday, August 11 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, August 12 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, August 13 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (closed to the public)

Tuesday, August 14 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (closed to the public)

Wednesday, August 15 Pregame Walkthrough – No Media Availability

Thursday, August 16 Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Georgia Dome, 8 p.m. – FOX (National Broadcast)

Friday, August 17 Players’ Day Off

Saturday, August 18 Walkthrough 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. (closed to the public)

Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (closed to the public)

Sunday, August 19 Walkthrough 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. (closed to the public)

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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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63 comments Add your comment

redcoat

July 25th, 2012
5:15 am

Running backs are good to go…….Turner will still demand respect from defenses and Snelling and Quizz will have them on there heals in confusion! Go Falcons!

Rick James

July 25th, 2012
6:09 am

Lofa Tatupu never even llayed a down with Falcons and is out for season hurt. Dmitroff,bad move dude.

Marcus

July 25th, 2012
6:10 am

It will be interesting to see what happens after this year ………turning 30 as a RB is like the beginning of the end. Now for Burner, it may be different, given that he didn’t have the early career wear and tear being Ladamien (sp?) Tomlinsons’ backup in SD. One could argue that the Falcons made up for lost time (LOL) with his usage rate since landing as our No. 1 RB.

Laughing hard at redcoat's comments above

July 25th, 2012
6:54 am

This is a team that can’t win a playoff game or score more than 2 points while in one….you have no SB Ring and the Saints have humiliated you the past 8/10 games. The only person on their heels is your stupid coach and little Tommy D for making dumb offseason moves….your team is such a joke….

The Real Falcon

July 25th, 2012
6:56 am

Smith also confirmed that injured defensive tackle Corey Peters has not yet been cleared to participate in camp.

Told ya!

JSS

July 25th, 2012
7:14 am

Hatred and name calling aside towards Turner, he’s given this team value and more…

They will miss Ovie, this team never really values its pieces until they are shown of their errors… McKay overpaid, now this team will have to pay on the books and on the field until the vaunted Ewing delivers..

SWAT Native

July 25th, 2012
7:32 am

Understand about the salary, but still don’t like the Mughelli release.

Rick

July 25th, 2012
7:46 am

Turner’s last year it looks like I expect big things from the Burner, maybe the Burner of the first two years? Anxious to see Quizz under some new coaching and to see how he will be used properly. Snelling was given a three year deal for a reason, as Turner may not be coming back next year. Snelling is a back who can do whatever is asked so I am excited to see him back also. We missed Olvie last year especially on short yard situations but I think he is still a FA? I might be wrong? Nice move by TD to go get a rookie FB in Ewing, this kid is a grader and he will clear some room for Mike, Quizz, and who ever else runs behind him! He also has a decent hands for a FB. Good group now I cant wait to see how our OC uses all this talent! RISE UP!

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
8:26 am

The falcan’ts seem to be a bit overly optimistic that their rushing attack is going to be “good”. Mediocre is a better word. Weren’t they in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing last year? Didn’t they themselves admi they have to reduce the amount of carries/load for Turner? Come on now, this aspect of the falcan’t offense is not a serious threat. The falcan’ts sat on their hands during the off season when they should have been retooling this unit.

D man

July 25th, 2012
8:28 am

I don’t feel great about our RB’s. Mainly because of our weak offensive line. We need a faster leaner meaner RB to carry the load. Turner is too slow and Rodgers is too little.

D man

July 25th, 2012
8:29 am

Seen — Fal-CANS

NFCCHAMPSLIVEINGA

July 25th, 2012
8:41 am

MT33 is a top 5 running back in this league. JR22 showed potential as well as production last year and JS44 has the skills to fill in when needed. Our Offense didnt utilitze the screen game at all last year, which made it easier for Defenses to read the MT33 dive, MT33 counter, MT33 right side, MT33 left side. Very vanilla running game offense. The screen game will do wonders for this running game. Play calling makes a huge difference.

NFCCHAMPSLIVEINGA

July 25th, 2012
8:49 am

As far the the Falcons sitting on there hands, you will see a lot of moves in 2013. The team will have its 7 draft picks plus comp picks for Lofton, Weems, Hayden, & Sanders, which could be 10 picks total or more. The team will clear 7 mil in cap space for TG88. Depending on Grimes being extended/signed long term, the cap hit would be less than 10 mil per year. MT33 is in the last year of his contract, so 7 mil there. If im not mistaken, this is the last year for paying “dead money” for Jamal Anderson.

Rick

July 25th, 2012
8:58 am

Educate the masses NFCINGA! Great info and I agree witb you 100%. Get what we always get from Turner and that is about 1300 yards this year and that will be big considering he will have a reduced role. Quizz will surprise many this year! He ran between the tackles in the Pac-10 and that is no easy thing to do! Although I cant compare him to CJ in Tennesse, he has a similar body structure and the idea is to let him maximize his speed and quickness; coaching will see to that! And lets not forget Snelling who can carry the mail when needed. This is a good group and as we start Camp this week it is time to put it all together and let these guys eat! Lets go FALCONS!

Rick

July 25th, 2012
9:09 am

BTW, to be a back that is in the top 4 in rushing and TD’S over the last 5 years is something to hang your hat on! It is important to reduce his role as we all know that 30 is the magic age that running backs decline, so this is a VERY SMART move! Smart coaching and even smarter foresight! We have all seen Turner slow down around week 11 or 12 so to keep him fresh for the strong playoff push is something we need to do in order to change our playoff run. I like the idea that we know we are going to playoffs the question remains as to how we make noise when we get there. We doing the right things and when Turner has another BIG year I think this move to share the load with the backs we have in camp is extremely smart! Go getem BIRDS!

NFCCHAMPSLIVEINGA

July 25th, 2012
9:10 am

@Rick, No problem my friend. The Falcons will build a championship team via the draft, not free agency. Thomas D. has said this multiple times. The guy thinks and make moves during the current year for the next year’s business. The guy is PROACTIVE. For example, in the 2011 draft taking Dent, from UGA; knowing that CL50 would want a huge deal. If I had to guess, that deal will be for SW56! This year drafting Holmes, which could replace SB72 at LT for next year if the team decides to move beyond Baker. Have faith in our team! This team has come a LONG way and I see it going much further down the road to NFL success!!

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
9:10 am

You won’t get 1300 yards from Turner if he gets a reduced role! Duh! His yards per carry won’t magically skyrocket. And why would you get a compensatory picks for Lofton and Weems?

observer

July 25th, 2012
9:22 am

This is another weak position for the Falcons. Turner is still probably the slowest starting RB in the NFL, and his back-up is one of the smallest. Unless their O-line does a super job this running game will be bad.

Nah

July 25th, 2012
9:24 am

It’s not magic. It’s skill, son. Learn your football.

NFCCHAMPSLIVEINGA

July 25th, 2012
9:25 am

In oder to get comp picks, a team has to players that where a.) released from other teams, b.) NFL team trade or c.) Been out of the sport for a NFL season. Manuwi and Tatupu sat out the 2011 season, so they will not count against our comp picks. A. Samuel as aquired via a trade with Philly, so he will not count as well. As for Chis Hope, I think he was released from the Titans, if so he will not count as well. Atlanta did not get any Free agency players this year from other teams, with the exception of Chis Hope(which im not 100% sure of on the details of that). Atlanta lost talent to Free Agency and didnt GAIN talent in return from what was lost, therefore, the NFL grants those teams comp picks for the next NFL draft. CL50 was a 4 year starting MLB. Depending on how he does, ATL can get at least a 4th, or even better a 3rd round Comp Pick for him!!

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
9:49 am

Hmmm, thanks, didn’t know that. Going to have to research that to confirm though.

Rick

July 25th, 2012
9:50 am

Keep educating them NFC! @SEEN- When Turner averages just 80 yards a game over a 16 game season then he will get those yards tough guy. I got faith he does that, see I am a Falcon fan! He yards per avearge does not need to skyrocket, 20 touches a game at 3.5 yards a carry leaves him at at least 70 yards a game and I do believe with a new blocking scheme he will do better than that to fill that extra 10 yard void. Remember he is playing for his last contract so he has to play big. Not magic, just hard running which produces good numbers!

Big Ray

July 25th, 2012
10:15 am

We don’t need 1300 yards from Turner. That was a result of stubborn stupidity as much as it was his talent.

This isn’t Jacksonville, where they had NO CHOICE but to run everything through their featured RB. We need to use our backfield a little more the way New Orleans has (though it pains me to reference them).

NO. I’m not saying we have the same kind of backfield, because we don’t. They have a backfield that isn’t skilled at tough running (can’t stay healthy like that, for one thing, as they’ve proven). They’re more pass oriented with a gash run here and there. It’s why they couldn’t get far in the playoffs despite Brees’ record setting stats. He can’t do it alone.

Our backfield is different. We have guys who can punish you between the tackles, but we also have guys who can catch the ball. We need/have to do that more. These days, you win through the air with a compliment on the ground, not the other way around. Koetter brings those changes, and now…unlike in Jax…he has the talent to work with at all offensive skill positions.

Rick

July 25th, 2012
10:26 am

I agree Ray well put! We dont need it but you can guarantee we will get it and it will be for every reason you put! MTBurner will have some big games this year for every reason you have given cause. Our offense will be dictated through the air this year which will give MT more holes to run. The NFL has changed but it is always good to have a back that will produce when needed and he will do that this year.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution continued its “Countdown to camp” series with a look at the running [...]

JAYCOOL

July 25th, 2012
10:46 am

Don’t expect to much drop off from Turner, this guy will still put up 1300 yards. Teams are going to double up on Roddy and Julio so Turner is going to get the ball. I’m not about to let a probowl WR and a up and coming star WR go crazy on my secondary when I can just give up the run to a 30 year old back. Teams are going to pick their poison and that poision will be Turner.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
11:10 am

Rodgers is going to get about the same amount of touches as Darren Sproles when he first got to SD.

It’s Snelling that’s really going to spell Turner.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
11:11 am

Because Snelling can catch, it might be smart to platoon them. If Turner ends up with 1000 yards this year but 50 or 60 less carries, that would only be a good thing for the playoffs.

Shotyme

July 25th, 2012
11:25 am

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

PMC

July 25th, 2012
12:08 pm

Seen, I’m pretty confident in the rushing attack because Turner is usually very good early on in the year and falls off as the year goes on he starts out at 4 or 5 yards a carry and falls back to 2.9 or so after a year of getting hit in the backfield all the time. Not to mention I don’t think Mularkey did a good job of using all of the talent he had available to him. Your team is much more effective at using all the talent on offense than this team has been. Snelling is pretty good and Rodgers has shown flashes on the rare opportunity he got to make plays. Yeah, I’m pretty confident in the run/short passing screen game.

Redcoat

July 25th, 2012
12:19 pm

I feel good!………Falcon’s Got the talent!…..Yes Sir!……

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
12:24 pm

@Rick: Your 20 carries per game for Turner puts him at 320 carries for the season, which is even higher than what he had last year. I think the falcan’ts made it clear they want to reduce his carries. Now using Big Ray’s comment to use New Orleans’s running game as a model, Pierre Thomas carried the ball around 110 times last year during the regular season, roughly 7 carries per game, which is probably what the falcan’ts want to achieve with Turner, that would give him roughly 25 yards per game or only 400 yards for the season, (that was using the number you gave him for an average). Good luck with that!

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
12:32 pm

@PMC and D’Led: You all seem to be confident in the run/short passing screen game that HAS YET TO BE INSTALLED! The Saints run a lot of the run/short passing screen, cause they are really, really good at it. You just don’t install a screen game in the meeting room and turn around and executed to perfection on the field. You need to practice it, you need to sell it not only to your team, but to your opponents, and you need to have the personnel to run it. And I don’t think you have the personnel to run it. Turner’s not good for that, he doesn’t have the quick foot work for it, so it won’t happen when he’s in, and I don’t think Snelling has that quickness either, the only one that I think could be effective in that is your boy Rogers, but if he’s in the backfield, you’re going to have a hard time selling a run when you’re setting up the screen.

Runner-

July 25th, 2012
12:34 pm

Don’t see much promise in Jacquizz, a short back with no speed doesn’t seem like he has too much upside. I think the only way we can give Turner less carries and still be successful is if Julio has a breakout year and Matt is able to throw the ball down field to him in stride.

SeenThisB4, why are you so obsessed with the Falcons? Go on the Saints blog and discuss your team instead of constantly refreshing the AJC’s page and waiting to rant like a madman

Big Ray

July 25th, 2012
12:36 pm

Rick ,

We found out in the no huddle offense that its all about WHEN you call the plays. Mularkey’s idea of running play calls was every damn 1st and 2nd down…when Ryan ran the no huddle, the run would catch teams by surprise. How hard can it be?

This kind of stuff makes me feel uncomfortable simply because Smith was the head coach. Now if he allows the more versatile and less predictable Koetter to do his thing, we have something to work with. If Smith gets in the way, we’ll be screwed.

North FLA Falcon

July 25th, 2012
1:52 pm

Seen B4 — make yourself useful … as DLed breaks down each position for the Falcons, why don’t you break down that position on the Saints? For example, today we are talking about Falcons running backs … so how do the Saints compare? What do they bring this season? What off season moves did they make? Who is coming back and who is gone from 2011?

who dat? we dat! go dirty birds!

July 25th, 2012
1:55 pm

i like our backfield. if nothing else, turner has been consistent and snelling has done a wonderful job filling in. we just have to wait and see what dirk does with these weapons.

@seenthisb4
thats why we have practice and mini camps. to iron out all the details, get players familiar with new terminology, sets, roles, etc. you perfect your schemes in practice, duh! no one knows what will happen until it is implemented and ran in games. whats wrong with being optimistic? are you not optimistic about your saints? oh wait, you r a secret falcons fan cuz i see you on here EVERYDAY!
get off our n*&sacks please!

Rick

July 25th, 2012
2:23 pm

Seen we talking about averages! I am sure there will be some games he does not get 20 touches and some he gets more than 20. We talking statistics. There will be games when he rushes for 100 and not touch the ball 20 times. In the NFL a back like MT gets to touch the ball at least 5 times a quarter which is about a 20 touch game. Good backs (that which he is) needs those touches to produce. As for tour “aints” the reason you could not beat SF was because of that running game you speaking off. Still the pros and you have to run the ball to be successful if not you have glorified stats that dont mean anything. Come on Seen you know that! Back to the Birds, Turner will get his touches you just dont go away from a back who has proved (see the above write up) that he can carry the load!

Rick

July 25th, 2012
2:34 pm

We practice to make perfect Seen! Come on man! You are absolutely hating to much. Lets take an example. New England is moving from a 3-4 back to a 4-3 defense. Trust me they will implement that D because they will use Camp and the pre season to do so! COACHING! We have coaching regardless if you want to admit that or not. Even with Mularkey the Birds put up numbers and stats man so learning how to run a screen is something that will be coached. You know that! Dont make an argument that cant hold water just for sake of bashing the Birds! People here in the FALCON BLOG ROOM give the Aints props when deserved and sometimes man you need to do the same regardless if you a Aint fan or not. Your arguments would sometime have more bearing if you respect the Birds; dont like us but respect the team!

Rick

July 25th, 2012
2:36 pm

And trust me we dont want MT to carry the ball only 7 times a game. That is not who he is!

Shane

July 25th, 2012
2:54 pm

I cant be the only one getting tired of seenthisBSb4 and JSS trolling our FALCONS blogs. I mean seriously why are you talking so much ish Seen? Bounty gate,pill popping,uncertainty at HC(laughable actually), New DC with no pass rush (but who am I too talk), a weakened receiving core imho with all that stuff going on you would think you and the rest if the wretched,vile,scumbag loving ‘Aints fans would keep yall DANG mouths shut and huddle around your fractured franchise and let us Bird fans deal with our team

Saints cheat & live off of pity

July 25th, 2012
2:57 pm

Who makes more money in new orleans, crack dealers or liquor store owners? To be honest most of the pathetic beggars who live in that cesspool are hooked on both.

North FLA Falcon

July 25th, 2012
3:01 pm

In my opinion we should have traded MT. He has lost a step. His first step is SLOW. He cannot move a pile. If there is a huge hole then he can rack up yards and if he gets around the corner or past he first level, he’s tough to bring down. MJD type runner. NOT a cutback runner. He had way too many -1, no gain, 1 yd carries last year. This may have been a factor of our offensive line as well. You could always count on him to bust a long one per game and he abused poor defenses (Carolina). Finally, he is ham-handed and cannot be relied upon to catch a pass. I still remember us trying to rally vs Green Bay in the 2010 playoffs, Ryan threw him a simple little wide open pass and he DROPPED IT. It will be interesting to see him in Koetter’s new scheme. Keep him fresh!!!

PMC

July 25th, 2012
3:09 pm

Seen, any screen game is going to be a massive unbelievable upgrade over last year. I think they had 44 yards on screens.

Harry Douglass has been criminally underused because of his injuries etc. The Falcons have 2 of the best downfield blocking WR’s in the league and Gonzalez is pretty good too. They have the personnel to be very good in that area if the offense is crafted that way. You’re correct in that we don’t know what we’re going to see yet, but it’s going to be better than last year because theres no where to go but up.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
3:11 pm

Turner isn’t catching the ball, no question, but the other guys on the team, Snelling is an excellent screen player, and Rodgers basically has an NFL career because of his versatility and the Jet Sweep.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
3:12 pm

As evidenced by the many 4th and 1 failures last year. The Falcons were hard headed in thier approach, not much if any misdirection. That must change this year.

Saints cheat & live off of pity

July 25th, 2012
3:23 pm

Of course seen and jss are angry and bitter and filled with hate. They have lived their entire lifes with their hands out begging for scraps and change from their betters just like everyone in new orleans has done. Their parents and grandparents probably offered them to strangers for a half empty bottle or a few rocks as well. After all those empty pathetic years of being laughed at and spat on by drunken revelers, seen and jss finally thought they had a reason to be proud for the first time in their empty lifes.

Alas those perpetual losers find out their team the taint’s had cheated and been gifted a super bowl they didn’t deserve. Their sole moment of victory in otherwise empty lifes filled with humiliation at the discraceful acts they commited so they could avoid working was torn from them. Both seen and jss know not one person outside that trash filled cesspool of new orleans where bodily waste fills the streets daily will ever credit them with that super bowl because they cheated adn begged to get there.

Now can you understand why those wretched truly pitiful deadbeats are so filled with anger towards those of us in Atlanta? It has to increase their anger that Atlanta welcomed many of the beggars into our homes even though we knew they would most likely steal from us while we gave them somewhere to live and fed them.

Thank God we Atlantans will never know what it’s like to have to live off of others pity and welfare. Sadly that is what every day is like for the lazy ragamuffins that live in that stench filled trashheap called new orleans.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
3:34 pm

We’re kind of talking about football not social conditions, don’t get so upset folks.

It’s just a rivalry, no need to hate each other over it.

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
3:43 pm

@NorthFalFacan’t: Regarding your suggestion to post what the Saints bring per position, I pretty sure DLed would have booted me off permanently if I had done that! Remember, he wants to keep it about your team. Which I have tried to do, albeit on the opposing view. At least my comments have been about your team’s weaknesses versus the geographic vomit coming out of some pityful souls.

SeenThisB4

July 25th, 2012
3:47 pm

@NorthFlaFalcan’t: Although tomorrow, for the QBs, maybe I’ll post a glimpse of what Drew Brees brings…but, I think you all already know that pretty good.

Maybe a short bio on Chase Daniel though may be of interest! LOL!