Will Michael Turner Bounce Back?

Can #33 Regain Pro Bowl Form?

 By far one of the absolute best running backs in the National Football League in 2008 was Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner. In fact, Turner finished behind only Adrian Peterson for most rushing yards 1699 and 17 touchdowns throughout the entire league. Perhaps no other single player deserves more credit than Turner for the magical season and turnaround in 2008, going from 4 wins in 2007 to 11 wins in 2008, a playoff berth, and finishing only one game behind NFC South Champion Carolina Panthers. The story is a well-known one, where Thomas Dimitroff made the biggest free agent strike in securing the rights to Turner and grabbing the best running back on the market in 2008, well before he had a magnificent rookie draft. Possibly the main reason he was named 2008 General Manager of the Year, for its hard to argue that Matt Ryan would’ve become the 2008 Offensive Rookie of the Year without Michael Turner and the offensive line. Not only had Turner become an All-Pro in his first year as a starter, but he quickly became a fan favorite and a face of the newly-redone franchise. Expectations were justly high as the Falcons rolled into the 2009 season, expecting to build on the huge momentum they built, heavily on the broad shoulders of #33 and the running game. Injuries, low O-Line production, and a fairly non-existent running game were some of several reasons the Falcons didn’t make the playoffs in 2009. Injuries aside, is Michael Turner on the slide to 30+ mediocrity or was it a one year blip? Let’s get to it……..

Slow Start, High Level, then Injury

Rumors were rampant that Turner showed to training heavily out of shape and overweight. Some thought it might be a point of concern, but many believed that he would be ready when the Falcons opened against the Dolphins in the Dome for the start of the season. Even though The Burner had a few good games in the first half of the season (105 yds/1 TD vs. CAR and 97 yds/3 TDs vs. SF), in general he started very slow (MIA-65 yds, NE-56 yds, CHI-30 yds, DAL-50 yds). The Falcons running back looked sluggish hitting the holes and was easily tripped up in the backfield, failing to ever get any rhythm or strong showing early in the season. Was is it Turner’s or the O-Line’s fault? Although very difficult to tell, Turner looked less than quick or decisive when getting the ball early on. After looking less than stellar and getting poor reviews by fans, the Falcons RB turned it on when they played the undefeated Saints in the Superdome, racking up 151 yards and a touchdown. Turner found his mojo in consecutive weeks running for 166 yards against the Redskins and looking like the Pro Bowler of 2008. After blitzing the Panthers for 111 yards in the first half, #33 sustained a high ankle sprain that essentially ended the season for the running back. Even though he tried going on the bum wheel a couple more times against the Bucs and Jets, The Burner could never recover from the tough and nagging injury.

Low Self-Production or Line Play?

Was Turner’s low production early on due to his lack of preparation or the weaker play of the offensive line? Very hard to tell since one counts on the other to look good and it’s much harder to judge the OL than the running back. On one hand the offensive lineman were pretty poorly ranked according to ProFootballFocus.com, with the exception of Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure. The easiest cop-out answer is that it was probably a little of both, but Turner definitely looked slow hitting the holes and its fairly easy to say that he wasn’t up to his former playing style. #33 looked sluggish and indecisive early on, but surely turned it on when they played the undefeated Saints and he seemed to get his momentum back before the big injury in Carolina.

Turner by the Numbers

From ProFootballFocus.com, Michael Turner in 2009

Snaps – 349

Overall Comprehensive RB Ranking – Tied for 12th (4.8 Rating)

Rush Rank – Tied 18th (3.2 Rating)

Rushing Yards – 871

Yards Per Carry – 4.9

Rush TDs – 10

Pass Rank – Tied 41st (-1.0 Rating)

Block Rank – 11th (2.6 Rating)

Yards After Contact per Attempt – Tied for 3rd (3.3 Average)

Fumbles – Tied for 56th (out of 63 – 4 Fumbles)

Offensive Line Run Block Ratings

Sam Baker – Ranked 55th (-11.7 Rating)

Will Svitek – Ranked 40th (-2.1 Rating)

Justin Blalock – Ranked 73rd (-13.0)

Todd McClure – Ranked 11th (+10.3 Rating)

Harvey Dahl – Ranked 25th (+2.9 Rating)

Quinn Ojinnaka – Ranked 56th (-4.4 Rating)

Tyson Clabo – Ranked 29th (-0.3 Rating)

Garrett Reynolds – N/A

Speeding to the 30 Year Old RB Curse

It’s a well known fact that even the best running backs in the NFL simply wear down the closer they get to 30. Its probably just a given number, but for some reason it does bare out to be pretty true. A look at all the best running backs in recent history (Ladanian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Larry Johnson, Edgerrin James to name a few) have all had dramatic dropoffs when they approach the age of 30. Michael Turner is 28 years of age and had a breakout year in 2008 where everything came together. He was overworked that year and may not have many great seasons left in him. He came back in 2009 obviously out of shape and it showed in the beginning of the season. He did regain his Pro Bowl form, but quickly got a serious injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. There’s no doubt that the offense if built around Turner and he has to prove that 2008 wasn’t a fluke. Jason Snelling came in and did very well behind the same offensive line that Turner ran behind. Snelling proved that he’s a huge commodity for the Falcons with Turner creeping towards 30 and having a pretty down and injury riddled year. Yes, Turner was a backup while in San Diego and he could easily come back to have a stellar season, but the close he ticks the 30 years old, the more that reality says the Falcons will soon need another and younger franchise back.

Back to Stud

Granted, Turner may have not been the stellar running back he was in 2008, but he found his old form around mid-season right before he got hurt. It also has to be mentioned that Turner ran up against a much harder schedule and was very much hampered by extremely predictable play-calling under the helm offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. Defenses were able to load 8 and even 9 players in the box to stop Turner, knowing there would be a run play on 1st and 2nd down. After having a year of tape to watch on Turner under Mularkey, defenses could easily key in on stopping the run early in the downs and dropping back for coverage on 3rd and long. It is true that #33 may not have held up his end of the bargain by not running strong and decisive early on, but he regained his stellar form rolling up 428 yards in 10 quarters before the high ankle sprain. Even though the injury was most likely a season ender, he tried to tough it out and come back several times the rest of the year and even though he couldn’t make it back, it showed his true leadership and the reason he’s a major cog in the heart and soul of the team. He is 28 years old, but he doesn’t have the history of the traditional running back where he’s taken a pounding pretty much from day one. He was a backup for his entire career up until 2008, so the 30 year old running back curse likely doesn’t apply to Turner. That being said, the Falcons do need to take the load off of Turner and incorporate Snelling and oft-injured Jerious Norwood into the mix more. The NFL is increasingly becoming a two running back league, and in some cases a three back league. Mike Mularkey also bears responsibility in putting Turner in situations where he can be more successful. The Burner showed up lean, fit, and ready to prove that he is without a doubt one of the best running backs in the NFL. Anything more than an off year? Not even close.

The Experts Turn

-What’s your thoughts on Michael Turner: one off year or reason for concern?

-Did The Burner share a large part for his low production early on?

-Who was mainly to blame: Turner, O-Line, Mularkey, or combination?

-Is #33 running out of good years, or plenty left in tank?

-What kind of load should Turner get?

 

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178 comments Add your comment

falcons will win

June 15th, 2010
4:09 pm

Falcon nation pray for a healthy Turner

Poppa Falcon

June 15th, 2010
4:21 pm

Turner is in line to have a MAGICAL season. As indicated, the schedule is TAILOR MADE for him to do well. He’ll also benifit from sharing the load with an EMERGING Jason Snelling and (hopefully a healthy) Jerious Norwood. Not to mention that he’s in phenominal shape RIGHT NOW; down 10 lbs from last yr. I think this offense will have a dangerous running game. Turner may not lead the league in rushing this season, but the FALCON’s RUN GAME as a WHOLE could be a top ten unit. The potential is THERE in 2010!

waynester

June 15th, 2010
4:38 pm

will win and Poppa
’nuff said. If he’s healthy all season we kick butt–otherwise, rotsa ruck…
D3
thanks for the new topic!

DJ Sniper

June 15th, 2010
4:45 pm

There was an article on ESPN’s website about this a few weeks ago. Turner pretty much admitted that he was overweight last season. He normally plays in the 235-240 lb range, but he was carrying almost 260 last season. Reports from mini camp and OTA’s have all indicated that he showed up noticeably slimmer than last year. He should have a bounce back season in 2010.

ATLJBO

June 15th, 2010
4:51 pm

I feel like Michael Turner biggest thing was the injury…. I dont think he had a down year before it…. Lets look at it statistically.

2008- first 10 games: 872 yards rushing, 7 TD’s

2009- first 10 games 831 yards rushing, 10 TD’s (and lets not forget that Turner was in the middle of having a big game vs the panthers before his injury)

It wasnt a HUGE difference (besides the fumbles at the beginning of the season) ….. Michael Turner would have produced around the same numbers .

But yea.. as long as he is healthy… He will be the impact RB .

Birdman

June 15th, 2010
5:42 pm

Enter your comments here

Birdman

June 15th, 2010
6:00 pm

Great topic D3

Turner is now at about 90% . I feal he will be at around 100 when the season begins. He missed what 7 games last year and was a lot bigger . Now he has trim douwn and I can,t wait to see him play. 2009 9&8 . What would our birds have done if he had played all year healthy . Not to metion if HD would have been there .

Great season ahead for us Falcons fans .HD , Turner, White, Gonz, Norwood , and our better secondary , Pluss the Spoon .

I pray they all stay healthy . With this schedule I think we are in for a sweet treat in 2010

Keep it coming D3 & Cage

Falcons , Falcons, Falcons,…….OH YEA

Birdman

June 15th, 2010
6:02 pm

Not to leave out the ICE MAN . But he,s a givin

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
6:34 pm

D3,

Great work hon. I can’t believe that you put this out while on vacation!!! Awesome!!!

As it’s been stated Turner has admitted that he was out of shape last season. He didn’t have to say it but it showed. If he wouldn’t have gotten hurt I think that he would have topped what he did in ‘08. This season and sharing the carries with Snelling I think he will still have around 1200 yrds.

TLH678

June 15th, 2010
6:52 pm

People fail to realize if Turner didn’t suffer that ankle injury then he would have easily had 1200 + yards rushing… If not more. He had over 800 in the first 10 games. Everybody breathe easy. Michael Turner will put up big number as long as he stays healthy. The big question is, what is Norwood going to do? The Falcons should use him like how the Vikings use Percy Harvin. Just my thoughts.

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
7:09 pm

TLH,

I’ve said many times that Norwood is not going used in a way here he could be most successful. People have all but called me crazy. It’s good to see someone else say this. Norwood is a type of player that Mad Mike is not accustom to using in his offense.

Moose

June 15th, 2010
7:49 pm

Turner will be good to go…….. Your right about Norwood, we need to use him in the right positions for his talent to really shine…..

Off the subject………..

The Falcons announced they’ve signed two of their draft picks. Center Joe Hawley, a fourth-round pick, and cornerback Dominique Franks, a fifth-round choice, have signed. The Falcons also released Dominique Daniels, Justin Drescher, Garrett Lindholm and Trey Bryant

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

CBrass – you’re not crazy at all.

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

Sarah,

You’re one of the few you think that I’m not. LOL

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
8:11 pm

Stormin’ like a Mo Fo here.

Deplane

June 15th, 2010
8:14 pm

Greetings Cagers!

I am hopeful Turner will bounce back and think he has a few more years left in him if he stays healthy. I still remember that play against the Panthers and what a cheap shot I thought it was at the time. Turner was wrapped up and speared in the ankles during that play…not sure who the player was. I’m excited to see what he can put together this year…we need the Burner back!

CBrass….agree, Jerious is def not utilized properly to be successful here. Still…I look at his ankles and they are sooooo skinny! He is unfortunately injury prone and it seems you could knock him over with a feather. When he gets in open space he is dangerous. But how often does that happen?

I say toss him the Rock on some screens and dump offs in the flats and see what happens…course that goes against Mularkey’s modus operandi.

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
8:16 pm

Norwood should be used somewhat like Reggie Bush…

Deplane

June 15th, 2010
8:18 pm

Mularkey doesn’t call plays like Sean Payton…

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
8:20 pm

Sarah,

Exactly!!!!

Deplane

June 15th, 2010
8:28 pm

Hey CBrass…how are you this stormy evening?

Sarah, I hope you had a stellar b-day weekend.

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
8:31 pm

Deplane, it was good. Hot, hot, hot but good.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
8:32 pm

Off topic, sorry, but a nice interview with Spoon:
http://www.atlantafalcons.com/media_library/Videos/Player_Interviews/2010/06/Sean_Weatherspoon_Interview_-_6-15-10.aspx

Also, Dominque Franks;
http://www.atlantafalcons.com/media_library/Videos/Player_Interviews/2010/06/Dominique_Franks_Interview_-_6-15-10.aspx

One more:
Flowery Branch, Ga. — Four down, three to go.

The Atlanta Falcons today signed fourth round (117th overall) pick center Joe Hawley and fifth round (135th overall) pick cornerback Dominique Franks. Their signings bring the total to four the number of 2010 draft choices under contract with the team. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The Falcons also waived cornerback Dominique Daniels, long snapper Justin Drescher, kicker Garrett Lindholm and defensive tackle Trey Bryant.

I am surprised by their waving Lindholm, thought he would get a shot.

Post on Turner later.

Deplane

June 15th, 2010
8:36 pm

I’m glad you had a good one Sarah!

The band played a private party and we were sweatin’ buckets…but had a great time.

BA I thought Lindholm might get a shot too…guess they saw what they needed to….

crabapplejoe

June 15th, 2010
8:47 pm

The guy is making millions of dollars a year to play RB and then, after a poor season, admits that he was overweight and out of shape….geez…we should have just cut him and drafted Toby Gerhart to replace him.

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
8:47 pm

Deplane,

I’m good. The storm has finally made it to my neck of the woods. How are you?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
8:53 pm

I am a bit fearful about our running back situation outside Snelling, Turner had one bright, shining year with us as a starter, with the second year a worrisome decline in durability and explosiveness. Understanding that there were mitigating circumstances (injury, scheme, HD’s injury stacking defenses, etc.), ALL RB’s have mitigating circumstances working against them at one time or another – the great ones persevere. Turner showed flashes at the mid season point, but I recall vividly the concerns expressed by pundits thru the season regarding Turner losing a step.

Unless there is a wildly optimistic resurgence in Turner and Norwood (and yes, scheme IS a factor here) I suspect that RB will be a high priority next draft, maybe our first pick (remember that Norwood may not be resigned, but allowed to go to reap a comp pick). Position/depth wise, this could well be the weakest link.

Hope I am wrong, but to paraphrase Mark Twain (and likely others), it is better to be pessimistic and risk being pleasantly surprised, than to be optimistic and risk being disappointed.

On to Mr. D3’s thought ticklers –

-What’s your thoughts on Michael Turner: one off year or reason for concern?
I am concerned, and ready to consider an apprentice/replacement thru the draft next year.

-Did The Burner share a large part for his low production early on?
From what I could tell, yes.

-Who was mainly to blame: Turner, O-Line, Mularkey, or combination?
By my purely selective ordering (and adding one factor)
A) Turner
B) Mularkey
C) HD Injury with weakness by potential replacements
D) O-Line (ot saying they were blameless, just that they were the least – most responsible, if that makes sense.

-Is #33 running out of good years, or plenty left in tank?
Running out of good years I fear. (defining good as 2008ish) He depends on quickness and explosiveness from what I saw, and if they erode just a bit his effectiveness will drop exponentially.

-What kind of load should Turner get?
Use Snelling more, even use Norwood if healthy or even Kerry Meier for the threat of razzle-dazzle.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
9:01 pm

Note to OC Mularkey-

Try out the idea of Meier lining up at RB 2 or 3 plays a game, he WAS a fullback on occasion. He can catch the odd pass out of the backfield, act as a safety valve with great hands, and could toss the occasional pass to Norwood.

Remember the old fleaflicker? How about a pass to Meier in the flat, take what he can, then a laterial to a trailing Norwood, of even a pass across the field to Norwood or HD (he also is a former QB). save that one for NO, after they are used to the idea of Meier in the backfield on occasion.

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
9:06 pm

BA the Fleaflicker is my favorite play.

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
9:06 pm

Wow can’t believe they cut Lindholm. That’s really surprising!!!

BigCaliDawg

June 15th, 2010
9:09 pm

We’re still in good shape on “O”, especially at TB. The loss of Matt Ryan loomed much larger than the loss of The Burner, especially since Snelling is aproven NFL tailback. Remember that Jets game in the snow. I do.

At any rate, Norwood is exciting in very brief stints and is about as brittle as a player can be. He’s basically good for 3 carries a game. Give him more and he’s likely to miss a few games. As much as I like watching him play, you can’t put a game plan around him under any capacity cuz he just might fall down in the tub.

Turner needs to come in 240, or less. Tony needs to work with him to get off the Red Meat and Micro Brews. Dang, that makes me hungry.

Think I’ll have a Pint O’ Porter and a lamb steak with horsey.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
9:17 pm

Sarah;
Yep, I will date myself here but my very first memories of football was listening to Ga. tech games, and going to my first game with my dad (He was a tech grad, but I went to UGA, go figure). I remember a Bobby Dodd team using that to break open a game once, never forgot. That play excited me.

Fleaflicker and quick-kicks from inside their own 10, that is what I remember about Bobby Dodd play calling.,

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
9:30 pm

CBrass;
If you get the storm that passed thru this neck of the woods today (down I-64 between Mt Vernon and Evansville) forget your brolly (and not just because my dad always called it a sign of cowardice) – the 60mph winds will shred it. Stick a snorkel in your raincoat pocket.

On the expressway the rain was so thick I had to drive looking down at the lines in the road, and avoid the trucks that were being blown across lanes. Not a long storm, just fierce.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
9:32 pm

BigCaliDawg
Completely agree regarding the fragility of Norwood, always an excuse it seems like. SarahB has it right, he isn’t a full time back, he is a Reggie Bush style playmaker.

CBrass

June 15th, 2010
9:35 pm

BA,

Wow!!! I’m glad that you made it back home safely. Not that bad here. Things have calmed down.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
9:36 pm

DePlane, CBrass;

All I can guess is that they figured Lindholm couldn’t beat out the 2 vets on the roster, so they cut him early to give him chance to catch on with another team.

Other than that, I am befuddled (as evidenced by my comments on D3’s earlier kicker blog where I guessed Lindholm would work his way onto the roster). One more quantifiable data element to prove I haven’t a clue :-) .

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 15th, 2010
10:02 pm

CBrass;
Thanks! It was a stressful rive, but one does what one must, I reackon.

On an mostly unrelated note, I was a bit peeved (family blog edit there) that, after waiting weeks to see the Braves up here on MLB TV, they were rain delayed to the point the Philly/NYY game is being shown! I feel a tad better now now that I see that Kenshin Kamikaze gave up 4 runs in the 4th.
(Slight relevance being weather reference from earlier, and Atlanta Pro sports related).

drmondo

June 15th, 2010
10:17 pm

Here are some excerpts from an article on the Bleacher Report
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/25493-mike-mularkey-is-not-the-answer-for-atlanta-falcons

“(In 2003)Mularkey began to be characterized as a coach that used predictable formations and was way too quick to abandon the run. He became reliant on the gimmick or trick play as opposed to sound play calling”.

“Ask any Bills fan about how they feel about the job Mularkey did with Losman, and you will get an answer that will most likely force you to ask small children to leave the room to spare them the obscenity laced tirade”.

Living in upstate NY about an hr from Buffalo, I heard plenty of negative things about Mularkey. I didn’t think he was the answer for OC, but the stars aligned and everything went right in 2008. In 2009, everything didn’t and the team had a slide. If the offense stumbles this year, 2011 should be MM’s last year here.

Deplane

June 15th, 2010
10:25 pm

CBrass I’m doing good thanks…having to do some late night work for tomorrow though….blah!

Sarah B

June 15th, 2010
10:26 pm

drmondo – with our schedule we better not stumble.

A.Dylan Thomas

June 16th, 2010
1:02 am

the evidence against mularkey was pretty lousy I haven’t noticed him overvaluing trick plays or abandoning the run at the wrong times for the falcons and blaming him for lossman is weak that guy would have sucked under anybodies tutelage.Its not as if the new guy took over after mularkey left and turned the team into a top offense. Buffalo Bill fans should be frustrated with their teams management i am sure the management is frustrated with the teams management losing does that to you.Nothing I have seen so far makes me think mularkey isn’t up to the task of play calling. (Bobo at UGA on the other hand should be fired)

Zoomie

June 16th, 2010
10:05 am

Turner will be much more effective in hitting the holes and breaking tackles when he’s not carrying Little Debbie with him. He was woefully out of shape at the beginning of last season and it showed. He got the message and showed up this year looking lean and mean. I think he’s going to have a great year. He may not have many left in him, but he’s got enough to be a killer this year.

As mentioned above, though, I’m concerned about our depth at RB. Snelling is good and has the heart of a lion, but he’s just not the man to carry the load. No-wood just doesn’t cut it out of the backfield. He goes down easily at first contact, dances in the backfield because he can’t break through a crease, and gets hurt with nearly every significant hit. No-wood’s greatest utility is in the short passing game.

Turner will produce for us this year. If he goes down, we’ll be in touble.

SeminoleWarrior

June 16th, 2010
10:56 am

Good morning Cage Family…taking a needed day off here.

D3, how in the hell did you come up with one like this when you are supposed to be chilling with the CEO and the future HOF WR? My brother, you continue to simply amaze.

Back in a few to break this one down…

John Waynesworld

June 16th, 2010
10:56 am

D3, Great job. Thank you.

Concerning the drop off in rush production when nearing age 30, there must be a dynamic here that is different from the list of great RBs you mentioned. There must be consideration for the YEARS of Turner being a backup and not being used (or abused) on a consistent basis game after game for those years. So maybe it is as simple as Michael getting too many carries in 2008, becoming too content and soft in the off season, and flaming out due to improper conditioning in 2009. I will also add that I am accusing certain defensive backs in the NFL of purposefully directing their hits on Turner at the side of his knees and lower legs, as seen here at the 1:48 mark:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/09000d5d814429a5

One can attribute this to the fact that Michael is hard to bring down any other way, but I still saw more than a fair share of defenders using their helmets as missiles aimed right at the SIDE of his knee caps on these high/low tackles. I remember defenders doing this to William Andrews, for similar reasons as he was almost a mirror image of the kind of rusher that Turner is today, and opponents did succeed in knocking William out of games from time to time and essentially ended his career on a knee injury in 1984.

I agree with the ladies, Norbert, er Norwood is being misused. He is just too spindly in the legs to even be a substitute tail back. He needs to be put in exclusive packages, in the “Wild Bird” or the “Nor-Bird”, and as the 5th receiver/slot back in a 4-wide set doing a little chip-blocking and, more importantly, snatching hot reads from MR when he gets into trouble in the pocket. Matty sure isn’t gonna outrun anybody (when he does run I quickly freeze in time whatever I’m doing) and having Norwood in there in passing situations will keep at least one unlucky opposing linebacker honest enough to guard Norwood and off the rush towards Ryan.

Personally, if I had the reins, I would put Norwood on a 5-10 per game maximum play limit and put him in kickoffs ONLY if we can’t find somebody else to do better. Also, VERY limited time in preseason games for Jerious. He already knows his limited playbook and coach knows his limitations as an every-down back. The most important thing is to have Norwood healthy for the home stretch of the season and the playoffs. A healthy Norwood come playoff time will be the difference in going deeper in the playoffs and make defenders look like they are running in mud. In the meantime spell Turner with Snelling as well as doses of Nance and/or Smith.

Thanks again, D3!

SeminoleWarrior

June 16th, 2010
11:02 am

JWW, Excellent points!! Damned, that was fantastic. I can even be sympathetic to TipToe Norwood after reading your piece.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Short answer, NO! O-line was not very good and no help in the future. Getting the guy from Florida would have helped but the line needs an injection at 3 positions not including McClure who is done after this year.

Coop

June 16th, 2010
11:29 am

ADT – While I agree with you that the Bills have more issues than playcalling, MM was predictable last year. In 08, everyone expected us to suck and we likely snuck up on a lot of teams. MM acted like he could call the same plays in 09 and actually shrank the playbook. Many of us complained he should be opening the playbook.

How many MR2 roll outs to the right with only one target did we see called last year? Wit the weapons we had (even missing HD), our O should have been much more explosive and diverse.

I’m not ready to get rid of MM just yet, but is is to the Falcons what Bobo is to the Dawgs. Flashes of brilliance with long periods of… blah.

CBrass

June 16th, 2010
11:34 am

JWW,

Exactly. Norwood needs to be put in space as much as possible. If I remember correctly on the pass that Matty threw to MJ to set Elam up to beat Chicago in 08, Mad Mike had Norwood coming out of the back field as a decoy on the same side that caused one of the safetly or corners to freeze. In saying that opposing defenses have account for Norwood. They know that he has speed to kill and good hands coming out of the back field. During my lunch break I will look for that clip from nfl.com where they broke down that play.

CBrass

June 16th, 2010
12:11 pm

DePlane

June 16th, 2010
12:48 pm

Nice nugget CBrass…I remember our crew jumping out of our seats and just being crazy with excitement that MR2 made that throw and Jenkins caught it. But to your point, Norwood kept the corner from staying on Jenkins and he split the safety and it was a perfect throw. I agree, Norwood should be used more like this.