Turner finds comfort in return trip to San Diego

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner looks on as the Falcons play the San Diego Chargers in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner looks on as the Falcons play the San Diego Chargers in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

 

SAN DIEGO — It was a long week for Falcons running back Michael Turner, who played against the San Diego Chargers after being arrested on Tuesday for driving under the influence in Gwinnett County.

But after rushing for 80 yards and scoring a touchdown against his former team on Sunday, Turner was all smiles in the Falcons’ locker room.

“This was probably the best place for me to be, in San Diego,” Turner said. “Getting out here early, I got a chance to see some old friends and just reflected on the good times. It brought back some good memories. This trip couldn’t have come at a better time for me.”

After his arrest, Turner took full responsibility for his actions. He spoke to the media, apologized to the team and fans and said that he planned to let the legal case take its course.

“Michael had a tough week,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Michael is a very resilient guy. I really don’t want to get in depth about it, but that’s something that we’ve put behind us.”

Turner finally got rolling in the second half of the 27-3 victory. He had a couple of big runs, including a 25-yarder, as the Falcons protected their lead.

In wins over Kansas City and Denver, Turner had rushed for just 74 yards on 28 carries.

Turner capped the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown run.

When Turner scored, he did a tribute to former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson when he put his hand on his helmet and flipped the ball with his left hand. The move was popularized by Tomlinson when he played for the Chargers and Turner was his backup

“I knew he was at home watching the game, so I gave a little love to him,” Turner said.

The Falcons wanted to attack the Chargers, who dropped to 2-1.

“We knew coming into the game that we had to keep scoring when we had the ball because you didn’t know when they were going to start letting loose,” Turner said. “[Antonio] Gates, Malcolm Floyd and everybody else, they have some weapons on offense. They can come back with ease. We just wanted to keep pushing them and keep putting the pressure on them.”

Turner was not a big part of the 17-play, 96-yard drive in the first half that put the Falcons in control 13-0. He had two carries for 5 yards in the key drive while 89 of the 96 yards came through the passing attack.

Turner’s damage came later.

“We were mixing it up and calling different plays with different personnel groups,” Turner said. “We were confusing them a little bit and we were keeping them off balance.”

Turner was elated the running game did finally account for some positive yards. The team averaged over 4 yards per carry (26 for 119 yards, 4.6 per carry) for the first time this season.

“We want to be an elite team and we want to get the offense rolling,” Turner said. “We can’t put all of the pressure on Matt [Ryan]. We have to give him some help.”

Turnover count

The Falcons have an 11-to-1 turnover ratio through three games.

The Falcons came to appreciate what turnovers can mean in Monday night’ win over Denver, when they converted three early interceptions into just 13 points and had to hold on for a 27-21 victory.

On Sunday, they turned the first two turnovers into touchdowns that help build a 20-0 halftime lead.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on and talking about because we have not done that as efficiently as we would like,” Smith said.

Gonzalez from three-point land

Tight end Tony Gonzalez didn’t do a goal-post dunk following his second-quarter touchdown catch against the Chargers, choosing instead to celebrate with a fade-away jump shot over the crossbar.

“That was after a [17]-play drive and I wasn’t going to do the Vernon Davis thing and get stuck up there,” said Gonzalez, referring to the 49ers tight end who was rejected by the crossbar in a botched dunk attempt two weeks ago against Green Bay.

It was Gonzalez’s 98th career touchdown catch.

Etc.

Dominique Franks had two punt returns for 34 yards. … The Falcons improved to 6-0 on West Coach road trips under Smith. … The Falcons improved to 26-0 when Ryan has a passer rating of 100 or more. He finished with a rating of 107.8.

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19 comments Add your comment

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
10:21 pm

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
10:22 pm

Good to be first like the Falcons! Now for Turner, not a bad game just keep giving us more!

[...] was probably the best place for me to be, in San Diego,” Turner told the Atlanta Journal Constitution after the game. “Getting out here early, I got a chance to see some old friends and just [...]

[...] Turner finds comfort in return trip to San Diego 23, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). SAN DIEGO — It was a long week for Falcons running back Michael Turner, who played against the San Diego Chargers after being arrested on Tuesday for driving under the influence in Gwinnett County. Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Jimmy

September 24th, 2012
5:36 am

Turner should NOT have played in this game. It’s incredible to me how lightly so many people take DUI’s. What’s it take, for him to actually KILL somebody for anyone to notice??

Oh wait, Leonard Little of the Rams did that a few years ago, then got arrested again a few years later for another DUI. It’s not like the league or the teams care about killing an innocent person. Little killed a school teacher w/ a husband and kids in St. Louis, btw.

Let him, or any other NFL player (or any of you reading for that matter) kill anyone in my family because you’re too stupid to call a taxi after having too much to drink….well let’s say God will take it much easier on your soul than I will. But hey, I’d be more than happy to arrange the meeting!

Dr. Warren

September 24th, 2012
7:52 am

Tuner’s negative attitude about his downgraded role in the offense caused his poor performances in games 1 and 2—and stimulated his late-night fiasco. The demotion hurt his ego and drive and made his career mortality too apparent. The DUI arrest served as an attitude-adjustment. He will be team-first now.

Michael M.

September 24th, 2012
8:33 am

Magic Mike became Turner the Burner again……………………………………

Incredible

September 24th, 2012
8:46 am

Is there something wrong when – if you get a DUI at a local college you’re punished more than if you get a DUI as a pro, when you’re supposed to be an adult and know better. Nice job Falcons. Did you even slap him on the wrist, or were you scared of hurting him???

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
10:23 am

That 4th quarter 18 yard run around the left end………………a thing of beauty!! Best I’ve seen from him in a long time.

Esquire

September 24th, 2012
10:33 am

Incredible

September 24th, 2012
8:46 am

Is there something wrong when – if you get a DUI at a local college you’re punished more than if you get a DUI as a pro, when you’re supposed to be an adult and know better. Nice job Falcons. Did you even slap him on the wrist, or were you scared of hurting him???
**********************************************************
Gee, I wonder which troll this is. You must be afraid of a slap on the wrist here on the blog, you won’t even use your real handle.

It’s not up to the Falcons to suspend Turner, it’s now a league matter. And they won’t mete out a suspension until the legal part has been resolved.

Falcoons

September 24th, 2012
12:19 pm

[...] Turner finds comfort in return trip to San Diego Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner looks on as the Falcons play the San Diego Chargers in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). SAN DIEGO — It was a long week for … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

SirReal

September 24th, 2012
7:57 pm

Sorry to hear that about Palmer but in the words of Mike Tomlin…”Next man up. No excuses.” Chase Coffman should get a shot. No need to go looking for anyone. For those who keep asking about Julio’s hand, though Im curious too….I think if it was serious they’d have said so…but then again they’re pretty cryptic about injuries so who knows.lol

The Real Rick

September 24th, 2012
9:22 pm

If he’s learned his lesson, so be it

alex

September 24th, 2012
11:26 pm

@Dr. Warren,you are a moron of immense proportions. How about someone talking to the arresting officer,we just MIGHT find out that this derelict was obnoxious,disrespectful and an embrassment to the city of atlanta

Now we get another arrest, what does one expect, combine ignorance plus arrogance plus money and see what you get…..Atlanta Falcons, the next Bengal imitators

stauff

September 25th, 2012
6:23 am

Lighten up Francis!

Lt Col Razorback

September 25th, 2012
6:57 am

What is a “West Coach road trip”? :) It seems like a little editing is in order. :)

The Austrian Brotherhood

September 25th, 2012
7:56 am

Hey Jimmy, we got a DUI once. We didn’t kill any body. Just got pulled over. Why don’t you just shut the f-ck up with your dimwitted generalizations ya collectivist fairy tale worshiping idiot. We’d like to arrange it so we can pummel your pencil necked azz for being an evil Taliban like zealot. You disgusting POS.

Falcon James

September 25th, 2012
12:39 pm

They is just no denying that the Falcon are the powerhouse of the NFL right. We gots a top rated QB and 2 hardened criminals on each of the ball. Teams are going to be shaking in they boots when we turn loose of the weapons. Must be something in the prison water that turns these guys into beasts. We need to lock up a few more guys.