Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turner suffered torn groins last two seasons




By CARROLL ROGERS

FLOWERY BRANCH — If the Falcons are looking for things to draw on that are different from recent one-and-done trips to the playoffs, they could start with Michael Turner.

The Falcons’ running back has carried the ball 222 times this season, well below his 301 total of last season, which was second-most in the NFL. That leaves him feeling that much fresher as the Falcons enter the divisional round of the playoffs on Jan. 13.

Entering the Falcons previous three playoffs trips, in 2008, 2010 and 2012, Turner had 376, 334 and 301 carries in the regular season, respectively. He led the NFL in that category in 2008 and 2010. In each of those three ensuing playoffs losses, Turner had no more than 42 yards rushing.

Turner rushed 18 times for 42 yards in 2008 against Arizona, 10 times for 39 yards in 2010 against Green Bay and 15 times for 41 years in 2011 against the Giants.

In first-year coordinator Dirk Koetter’s offense, the Falcons don’t use the power run game like they have in the past. But that means Turner is fresher, both by circumstances and by design.

“I tore my groin the last two years, one side one year, the other side the next year,” Turner said. “So I don’t have those problems coming into this year. I’m good.”

The Falcons finished the regular season ranked 29th out of 32 teams in the NFL with only 87.3 yards rushing per game. But the three teams they could match up with next week, Washington (169.3), Minnesota (164.6) and Seattle (161.2) rank first, second and third respectively. The Falcons know they’re not in that conversation anymore, but still see the importance of running the ball with success in the playoffs, using Turner up the middle and Jacquizz Rogers on the edge.

“I think we’re our best when the run is working,” offensive tackle Tyson Clabo said. “Now whether or not we’re leaning on it, and running it every play, that’s probably not going to happen. But when our run game is successful, four or five yards a carry, I think we’re at our best at that point.”

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80 comments Add your comment

Mora less Petrino

January 3rd, 2013
4:17 pm

Groins or groin?

Hamad Meander

January 3rd, 2013
4:24 pm

Wouldn’t a groin tear require a quick change of direction to cause? Just sayin’. I do hope Mr. Turner is a force in the playoffs as we wind down the clock up 10 or more points. Having a big back to keep the safeties up would help our offense.

Marcus

January 3rd, 2013
4:31 pm

I would be runnin’ slow, too.
So does this help or hurt his case for being on the roster in 2013?

I already got my eye out for potential draftees.

The Waterboy

January 3rd, 2013
4:31 pm

Comparing his yds/game from this year to that of 2010 & 2011… it looks like the Falcons’ offense would have been better in 2012 if he had a torn groin… just sayin

B'Red

January 3rd, 2013
4:38 pm

Falcon’s 1st and 10, Ryan hands the ball off to Michael Turner up the middle, he’s stopped for a 3 yard loss. The Falcon’s are now 2nd and 13. A sure way to be one and done in the playoffs is to stay with Micheal Turner the ball period.

B'Red

January 3rd, 2013
4:44 pm

Antone Smith must be a bum is he cant get any carries on this team with the running backs we have, thats the only reason I figure he has not gotton any carries. We dont have the running game and it will hurt us big time in the playoffs.

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

January 3rd, 2013
4:44 pm

Agreed we cant allow turner to bog down this offense as he has proven to do constantly. We must utilize rodgers in the run game, if you wanna power it then please use snelling.

Gray Mule

January 3rd, 2013
5:05 pm

Falcons final game of the season was just a preview of the
first game of the playoffs. Expect the same results. One
and done seems to be our theme song. (Or swan song)

Glue

January 3rd, 2013
5:12 pm

the old gray mule should be put down and turned to glue to hold his lowly aints together.

Earl

January 3rd, 2013
5:13 pm

I sure hope he is “Fresh and out of town” next season. The reason he has carried the ball 80 times less is not because of the offensive scheme, it si because he continues to run into the back of his linemen for a 2 yard loss. Very lucky if it is for a positive gain.

He was very good addition in his first 2-3 years, but the last two years he has been awful. Nothing personal, but I hope he is playing for someone else next year and I think he will be.

Everyone potential opponent for the Falcons’s first round game are hoping and hoping that Turner carries the ball most of the time. Would you rather defend Turner running the ball or Ryan passing the ball? Enough said. Goooooooooo Falcons!!

JFKDawg

January 3rd, 2013
5:14 pm

Unfortunately, he still has to run behind a below average OL.

c u later

January 3rd, 2013
5:27 pm

Torn groin??? Maybe he lost his balls or he just runs like it. The excuse that he has played less this year to make him fresher for the playoffs is a bunch of bull. He is not as good as Rogers and he knows it too. Time for him to move on.

joe

January 3rd, 2013
5:31 pm

Draft the kid T.J.YELDON OUT OF BAMA.ROLL TIDE.

joe

January 3rd, 2013
5:33 pm

THATS WHAT HAPPEN MAKE A LOT OF MONEY GET LAZY AND FAT.

JFKDawg

January 3rd, 2013
5:37 pm

Uh, Joe. TJ is a freshman.

Gray Mule

January 3rd, 2013
5:44 pm

Glue – -
Yep. I’m old.
Thing is, we’ve already been there and done that – –
over and over. Why expect anything different now?
I hate the Aints as much as any one. I’ve been
a Falcon fan since day one…..
I remember well when they went to the Super Bowl
and one of our stars, by his actions the night before,
turned their mind away from the game and they never
recovered….
Win one, then tell me about it.

sam

January 3rd, 2013
5:50 pm

I’m a huge fan of the Falcons leadership that came in 2008, which was the first year I bought season’s tickets. And the last 5 years have been fantastic, particulaly when you consider where we were in 2007. However, I have to admit that I’m totally mystified by the Michael Turner situation. Even the casual fan can see that Turner has slowed down considerably in the last two years, and yet they still try give him the ball. Did you know that Matt Ryan has higher yards per carry than Micheal Turner this year? Where I sit in the Dome there is an audible groan whenever he is given the ball and we seem to be just throwing away downs. I’d love to hear a rational explanation for this. Like I said, I’m a huge Falcons fan but this one has me stumped!

GT GRAD

January 3rd, 2013
5:53 pm

Turner is a problem.

The Atlanta Falcons have a much better chance of winning in the playoffs with Jason Snelling as the starting running back and bringing Jacquizz Rogers in to rest Snelling and provide a change of pace back.

Turner is a good guy and was very effective for 2 seasons several years ago. It is way past time to move on………we should have traded or cut him prior to this season (we would be a better team today if the Falcons had made this tough decision). Every carry Turner gets reduces the likelihood of the Falcons winning the football game.

Go Falcons!

Good Luck Turner…..PLEASE prove me wrong.

Esquire

January 3rd, 2013
6:06 pm

Gray Mule
January 3rd, 2013
5:05 pm

Falcons final game of the season was just a preview of the
first game of the playoffs. Expect the same results. One
and done seems to be our theme song. (Or swan song)
**************************************

Sure you hate the caints………………hope you enjoyed their season as much as I did. What a failure and dismal organization.

Esquire

January 3rd, 2013
6:13 pm

Poor ol’ SeenThisBFOUR lost his handle over at NOLA…………….hmmmm, wonder what handle he is coming up with these days………………roflmao.

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!

Elderly

January 3rd, 2013
6:14 pm

Am I the only one who sees Snelling running more effectively EVERY TIME he comes in than Turner does?

Who Me?

January 3rd, 2013
6:16 pm

What’s Michael Turner’s weight been the last 4 years he’s been here?

Esquire

January 3rd, 2013
6:16 pm

Hey Gray Mule, the caints sure did stink it up this year………….you could smell it all the way to the Bama line.

Esquire

January 3rd, 2013
6:19 pm

Joe Flacco
January 2nd, 2013
9:59 pm
Cheer up guys, I will be posting my 5th straight year with a playoff win. I have no idea what it’s like to go 1 and done. Matty Ice can you tell me how that feels?
***************************************************
Joe, why can’t ya get to the big dance. I’d say too many interceptions and poor performance in the playoffs has a lot to do with it.

2009 you got past Miami and Tennessee then threw for a measly 141 yards and 3 interceptions giving the Steelers a trip to the Super Bowl.
Miami gave you 5 turnovers and you had a passer rating of 59.1 …..WOW!! Against Tennessee you managed to get only 9 first downs…………..Tennessee gave you the game with 3 turnovers and you were lucky to hit that winning field goal. But here’s where it gets better. In the AFC Championship Game to go to the SUPER BOWL you managed an 18.2 Passer Rating to go along with those 3 int’s, one of those a pick 6 to Troy Polamalu in the fourth quarter.

2010 Here you managed against New England a 10.0 Passer Rating, 4 of 10, for 34 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception, the lowest rated game for a “winning” quarterback in a playoff game ever. New England gifted 4 turnovers to you along with the game.
Against the Colts you managed an incredible 48.4 Passer Rating, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. A very comfortable 20-3 win for Indy as Baltimore committed four turnovers including your two interceptions. Good Bye Ravens in the 2010 playoffs.

2011 So the Ravens beat KC 30-7, a mediocre team at best in a mediocre division Kansas City giving up the ball 5 times.
Against Pittsburgh Jan 15th, 2011 A 61.1 Passer Rating. What happened Joe, you had a 21-7 halftime lead and let this one get away 31-24, another Steelers victory. You managed “3″ second half first downs…………..what’s up with that…….???

Last year you beat Houston and had a 97.1 Passer Rating, 14 of 27, 176 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT not too bad Joe. You had some help from some Houston turnovers (TJ Yates threw 3 interceptions) on a short field. Only scoring 3 points in the 2nd half isn’t really championship caliber football but you got the “W” in spite of it. You got sacked 5 times by holding the ball and only managed 11 first downs the entire game. I’m really impressed Joe.

Then you followed this up with a loss to New England………….whoops out of the playoffs. Joe, here is the thing. Your record is deceiving, you haven’t played very well, hence an incredibly low playoff QB passer rating and no shot at the Big Dance. You have lived on your Defense and that is the only reason why you have the playoff wins that you do. Your defense has forced 25 turnovers in 8 playoff games, Just for perspective no team since the Eagles in 1989 has forced 50 turnovers OVER A FULL SEASON. And frankly you have done little with those gifts.

In those same years the Atlanta Falcons have faced either the NFC Super Bowl representative or the eventual Super Bowl Champion……………we’ve had no chump playoff games on the schedule. If you want to compare Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco let’s see which one leads his team to a win at the Super Bowl……………..nothing else really doesn’t matter.

Sis-Boom-Bah Humbug

January 3rd, 2013
6:22 pm

This article is depressing. The Falcons would be trying to knock themselves out of the playoffs if they largely go with Michael “Molasses” Turner & Smitty’s signature “Prevent Offense”.

Furthermore, the Falcons really do not have to reveal their offensive play calling restrictions by backfield substitutions. Keep Quizz and/or Snelling on the field! Snelling should have been getting more carries all season long to confirm what he can do – from what little we’ve seen, he is a big improvement over Turner in just running the ball alone.

In any case, Ryan’s hurry-up offense offers the best prospects for winning. Besides higher-percentage play calling, it can curtail the prevent offense considerably.

Ben

January 3rd, 2013
6:30 pm

I’m pretty much the complete opposite of an expert on football, but it seems like telling everyone that Turner will run up the middle and Rodgers will run on the edge makes it pretty obvious what the defense should look for. I guess they probably would already know this from watching previous Falcons games, but even so….

Michael M.

January 3rd, 2013
6:36 pm

Once a playoff game starts for Atlanta, lets all hope they don’t give the ball to Turner unless it is on a trick play. Reason for this is like we all know, it will be a wasted down and more than likely be for a loss too. Turner is washed up and we need a new running back on the team for next year.

ctfalconsfan

January 3rd, 2013
6:42 pm

I sense a lot of negative vibe on this board..

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO ATL WAS TO GET BEATEN BY THE BUCS!!!!!!!!

There are 4 options, play your subs and win or lose we think, ” No big deal, we are still the best”
Play your starters win or lose. We win and we are thinking we are great, unbeatable but we lose with our starters in the game and that’s a BIG SLAP IN THE FACE, A WAKE UP CALL!

I don’t think we have lost back to back home games with Ryan..

You combine that wake up call with a team that all season long has been put down as 0-3 in the play-offs and this team is going to come out hungry!

Also of the 3 teams we would face none of them have had any PO success in recent years..

ATL will soundly beat whomever we face in the divisional and host the Packers or 49ers at home for the Chapionship..

Huh?

January 3rd, 2013
7:10 pm

OK, so he has an excuse as to why he was pretty lousy the last 2 years, but what was excuse for average roughly 1 yard a carry this season?

Falcons: Play 60!

January 3rd, 2013
7:50 pm

“Michael Turner suffered torn groins last two seasons”

“and suffers from a bad case of slowness this season”

FalconFanSince4-Ever

January 3rd, 2013
7:55 pm

I really just don’t see Turner helping the Birds anytime in these playoffs or next year. Time to put him out to pasture and find a new powerback. Thanks for all you did but it’s closing time. You don’t have to go home Burner but you can’t stay here…

FalconFanSince4-Ever

January 3rd, 2013
7:58 pm

I agree Huh. He didn’t address this year and he looked SLOWER than ever. Runs right into the D line and goes down unless the O line opens up a Grand Canyon like hole. THEN, and only then does he get his 14 yard run. My granny could get through a hole like that on her Rascal chair!

Hawes

January 3rd, 2013
8:01 pm

Michael Turtle can use those fresh groin muscles to run water out to Quizz and Snelling during time outs.

Mark

January 3rd, 2013
8:09 pm

Does being fresh and healthy combat being fat and slow?

If we only had a running game this team could play deep into playoffs!

HollyDAZE

January 3rd, 2013
8:12 pm

It’s possible, though unlikely, the Falcons will prove me wrong but I see EVERY team that is currently in the playoffs as playing better football right now. Honestly, were it a neutral field and my money, I’d bet on their opponent every time. The Dome will help – maybe. Didn’t against Green Bay that time but…I see another early exit. And why does being realistic make us bad fans according to ESPN heads? I think we’re smarter than the other towns and know where to better put our money.

Slaw Dawg

January 3rd, 2013
8:43 pm

How can anyone in their right mind not see the body of work for Turner this year and believe that he has anything left in the tank. How the coaches keep giving him the ball, and creating second and long, or third and forever is hard to take. This guy is spent and how or why the coaches don’t want to see that is beyond belief. Please please do not feed him the ball, if you do we will lose or Matt Ryan will be beheaded.

Starship 1

January 3rd, 2013
8:55 pm

Turner has been used the wrong way for a long time. If he’s as healthy as he says he is-then it’s time to use him in a running game that doesn’t depend on running up the middle all the time. If you look at the Giants game in which the Falcons played their best ball-you could see that the Falcons were using Turner on slants where he got a head of steam before being tackled. Turner needs to be running in motion on every run play. It’s simple physics: A 250+lb back like Turner has a natural advantage when running from a motion offense when handed the ball better than with no running start and handed the ball. Just sayin..

veedub

January 3rd, 2013
9:12 pm

I hear Steven Jackson may be available after the season. He would be a great addition when Turner is cut loose… Thoughts?

veedub

January 3rd, 2013
9:29 pm

Its really unbelievable that Snelling does not get more carries, he always gets positive yardage by moving forward. Turner is slow and he does this thing where he turns to the side and always loses yards. How can you be so big and not always get positive yards????

DJANGO

January 3rd, 2013
9:39 pm

The “D” is silent, and so are the nervousness of 0-4.

Mora less Petrino

January 3rd, 2013
10:04 pm

veedub, I read that about Steven Jackson as well, and was thinking the same. Would be nice additions to sign Jackson and draft Barrett Jones to block for him.

DawgDad

January 3rd, 2013
11:24 pm

I’m more concerned about the Falcons STOPPING the run than running on offense. They ran effectively when they needed to aganst the Giants, and I think the lower number of carries for Turner has been part of a bigger plan. I really don’t expect to see him come out tip-toeing in the playoffs, I expect the Falcons to be on a mission.

Falcons have four key defenders with significant injury issues (those that we know of, anyway). They need this bye week. Earning the bye is equivalent to winning a first-round playoff game without any of the physical wear and tear. Keep that in mind this weekend.The first round NFC games figure to be all-out physical wars; the team visiting Atlanta should be pretty beat up.

Rob_Rocker

January 3rd, 2013
11:24 pm

Steven Jackson? That turd puffer. He’s 29 closin’ on 30. He done too. Seriously, ya get a 22-23 y/o back he’s good for 8 years time to trade in for a new model. Turner’s wheels are shot. TD knows it. Turner is gone watch.

okeetee

January 3rd, 2013
11:27 pm

We’ve been handing off to Turner on 1st and 10 all season! The results have been 2nd down and 10 yards to go! We cannot afford that in the playoffs. We need to pass on 1st down. If it’s incomplete…..we PASS AGAIN on 2nd down. If that’s incomplete….WE PASS again on 3rd down! This is a passing league! USE it to our advantage! If we pass on 1st down and gain 7 or 8 yards, THEN we can run Turner for a couple of yards! Get my drift? I don’t care how fresh Turner or the coaching staff thinks he is…….he’s lost a step and is not the runner he was a few years ago…..plus our offensive line does better at pass blocking than run blocking! So USE our strengths!

Rob_Rocker

January 3rd, 2013
11:28 pm

CTfalconsfan, is right. The Falcons will come out pissed off and havin’ something to prove after that dismal showing against Tampa. Just watch, it’s another great effort like against the Giants. They will be focused, betcha!

mock1

January 3rd, 2013
11:55 pm

Those kind of injuries happen when you are trying to play past your prime….FATHER OF TIME tackles us all !!

Polk County Falcon

January 4th, 2013
5:35 am

I think we would all be surprised at what Turner could do with a solid O-line, all the more reason to run him to the edge rather than between the guards.

Jimmy Crack

January 4th, 2013
7:22 am

Turner will eventually end up in our Ring of Honor, but getting back to reality, what difference does it make if Michael is healthy or not when he is average as unbuttered grits?

I truly believe if it wasn’t for Michael’s contract we would have seen more of Antone Smith this season than Turner.

jerry

January 4th, 2013
7:26 am

I think we’re our best when the run is working,” offensive tackle Tyson Clabo said. “Now whether or not we’re leaning on it, and running it every play, that’s probably not going to happen. But when our run game is successful, four or five yards a carry, I think we’re at our best at that point.”

Four of five yards a carry? I must have missed that.

great expectations

January 4th, 2013
7:38 am

Expect a …………… Super Bowl Victory for the Falcons.