Battle for RB#2 – Snelling vs. Norwood

Who Will Be Main Backup?

3rd in The Bird Cage Training Camp Battle Series, Battle for Running Back #2: Jason Snelling vs. Jerious Norwood. Should be a great competition and whoever “wins” may be much more in the Falcons long-term plans.

A New Battle

One of the best battles that has developed the last couple of years on the Atlanta Falcons roster is the competition for the main backup duties at running back. One of GM Thomas Dimitroff’s first moves was to snag Michael Turner in free agency to be the stud running back he eventually became. The campaign for the main backup duties will be at an all-time pitch this camp. Jerious Norwood was long the Falcons central backup with his excellent speed that provided a great complement as a change-of-pace back and was a homerun threat every time he touched the ball. Recent injury history to Norwood opened the door for long valued running back Jason Snelling, who proved to be a very valuable asset and an essential part of the Falcons winning their final 3 games to break the ridiculous curse, particularly the final game in Tampa Bay that looked very bleak at times. Obviously, both running backs will make he squad and offensive coordinator will try to get both as many touches as possible, but this battle has long-term implications as well. Both were re-upped as restricted free agents this past year and its extremely unlikely that both will be retained when they become unrestricted free agents (excluding the obvious NFL-Player Union gridlock). Which one will it be?

Jerious Norwood

Drafted in 2006, Norwood has been lightning in a bottle since donning red and black. He is one of the best homerun threats in the entire NFL and proved early in his career to be a threat both in the running and passing attack. #32 racked up 1,700 yards rushing coupled with 7 TDs and 700 yards receiving with 2 TDs from 2006 to 2008. It was a forgone conclusion that the Falcons would try their best to keep Norwood as a number 2 running back, but it was widely believed that he could carry the entire load as a feature back for another team.

Injuries took their toll both on Norwood’s production and playing time. He played in only 10 games (even though starting 4) and netted a paltry 252 yards rushing and 186 yards receiving and failing to register 1 touchdown on the ground. Many feel that Jason Snelling has supplanted Norwood as the true number 2 after he took over the job in the final stretch and that this might be Norwood’s last year in Atlanta. However, it’s also a widely held belief among fans that much of the blame falls at Mike Mularkey’s feet for failing to utilize him correctly. The OC rarely called screens or created situations to get #32 in space and even trying him at slot receiver. If Norwood can have a great 2010 campaign, then maybe he can retake his former position and be the long-term complement many had hoped.

Jason Snelling

A star was born and discovered last year in Michael Turner’s absence with Jason Snelling. He only got two starts, but made an emphatic case for being the Falcons primary backup going forward. He racked up almost 900 total yards 4 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown. #44 proved to be more than a bruising, between-the-tackles running back. He showed great agility for a big RB (5’11, 223) and that he can excel in the passing attack as well as the running game. He’s not a pure complement to Michael Turner in being a speedy change-of-pace back, but he proved it on the field that he can be highly productive. The Falcons have Antone Smith in camp that could take over Norwood’s speed role if he were to exit.

Even though possible, its highly unlikely that the Falcons can keep Turner, Snelling, and Norwood forever, and Snelling seemingly has taken the lead in securing a prominent role in the Falcons future. Some may argue that Snelling’s production was only a by-product of Turner’s absence and that keeping him over the faster homerun threat of Norwood would be a mistake since Snelling and Turner are essentially the same type back. Throw in the fact that much of Norwood’s underproduction could be attributed to Mike Mularkey and some believe that Norwood deserves to be in the Birds future, over Snelling. However, Snelling seems to be the more productive, more reliable, and probably has a lead on Norwood unless something drastically changes.

The Champs Decide (Your Turn)

-Who will get more touches and become Turner’s main backup?

-Who should be the Falcons second running back and get more carries?

-Is there a possibility that the Birds can keep all three?

-Who’s more likely to be in the Falcons future?

-Was Norwood’s low production due to Mularkey’s play-calling?

-May Snelling look to be another team’s feature back at some point?

 

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315 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

August 7th, 2010
4:58 pm

Snelling wins for sure if Norwood can’t stay healthy. In the meantime, watch out for Antoine Smith…

Things that are surprising to hear :

But the really big news on the defensive line is that Jamaal Anderson is really coming on at defensive end. He’s finally developing those violate hands that Hamilton preaches around.

Anderson has been playing so strong that he’s been in a couple skirmishes with the offensive linemen. He’s also working well at defensive tackle in pass rushing situations.

Things you do NOT like to hear :

“We have to set the tempo,” Boudreau said. “We have to have an unspoken chemistry and right now we’ve got guys really not on the same page. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Boudreau is trying to cross-train several players and that’s always difficult. Rookie Joe Hawley played mostly center at UNLV, but is being cross trained at guard.

An old-school coach like Boudreau isn’t going to have much good to say about rookies. So Mike Johnson and Hawley just better keep grinding away. They are big, athletic and have been studying hard in the class room.

“It’s been tough on them,” Boudreau said. “They’ve had some good snaps and some bad snaps.”

…on the other hand, he is mostly talking about the rookies, and I’d rather he be tough on them than not.

Big Ray

August 7th, 2010
4:58 pm

…and GREAT stuff as usual, D3

BT

August 7th, 2010
5:07 pm

Snelling all day long as the #2 RB.
The battle is Antone Smith against Dimitri Nance and we can`t forget Klecko.
This group has much more to offer than what was available last season.

Big Ray is right, the O-line play is something to watch as the preseason gets going.
The O-line is the backbone of the offense.
I am thinking, they will be fine come Sept. 12.

Big Ray

August 7th, 2010
5:11 pm

BT ,

Agreed. The line will be fine, the youngsters just have a tough row to hoe, is all. And Nance vs. Smith is a good one to watch.

waynester

August 7th, 2010
5:17 pm

We’ve been reading how well Norwood was flying around at the open camps–if that continues without further injury, I’d warily pencil him in at #2. Having typed that, we all know the deal with Jerious’ injury history and how Snelling performed down the stretch. At this point, with all the positive ink about Nance and A Smith, it’s got me thinking about replacing Norwood with fresh legs, however, the wear & tear of an NFL season leads me to conclude we should keep them all and at least begin the season with Norwood #2 and Snelling #3. The ice under Norwood is about one micron thick and melting…..

D3

August 7th, 2010
5:20 pm

Great Saturday Cage! — Hope all of you are doing good as we draw ever closer to GAMEDAY!

Big Ray — Agreed. Can’t see the Falcons letting Snelling go. He was a stud on the field last year and the emergence of Smith and Nance will likely make Norwood expendable. I sure will hate to see Norwood go to another team and blossom with better play-calling though.

BT — Thanks for the updates. Yeah, that wide receiver battle is going to be impossible to sort through and you wish there was a way to keep several. Meier is quickly becoming a lock, even if he weren’t before. So the real battle will likely be between BFinn, Harvey, Weems, Strickland, and Wolfe for 2 spots (1 as #5 WR and 1 on PS). They may even keep 2 WR’s on the practice squad, even though highly unlikely. Just hate to give up on a guy like Harvey or Wolfe in favor of BFinn and Weems who’s either a high injury risk or has already got their chance and may have a limited ceiling. Did ya’ll get some pics today?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawson Devitt, Dawson Devitt. Dawson Devitt said: http://bit.ly/cXAprj – Who will "win" RB#2 for the #AtlantaFalcons – Jason Snelling or Jerious Norwood? New Bird Cage Post Up #Falcons #AJC [...]

The Real Falcon

August 7th, 2010
5:24 pm

(excluding the obvious NFL-Player Union gridlock). Isn’t that the owners lockout?

The Real Falcon

August 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

If you lile plodding don’t play Norwood

BT

August 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

I saw, Nance up close today.
He has big thighs and calf’s which indicates has low center of gravity.
Should be a more punishing style of runner, in the mold of Turner and Snelling.
I am thinking, he could be the #4 RB while being the backup FB?

We pretty much know what we have in the cases of both Norwood and Snelling, the good and the bad of it.

I can`t wait to see A. Smith in action.
Have heard good things about his speed and quickness.

drew

August 7th, 2010
5:39 pm

norwood is already injured(hip), so he is already losing reps to snelling, smith and nance. he will be gone by the end of the year if not sooner, i hope.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawson Devitt, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: Battle for RB#2 – Snelling vs. Norwood http://bit.ly/9uTrad [...]

Moose

August 7th, 2010
5:46 pm

BT……. Great meeting you and Mrs BT at TC…………Your right that this group has much more to offer than what was available last season……. Alot of tough decisions at alot of positions….. Nice problrm to have for a change………

Eric Weems hauled in a nice one handed catch and Ryan is getting into his groove……… JWParker looked good today and the offense outplayed the defense IMO……

Finn was on the field a good bit and had some nice snags as well as Brandyn Harvey…… WRs are looking strong…………

Moose

August 7th, 2010
5:52 pm

Good one D3………….gotta go with Snelling and watch Smith and Nance………….

Moose

August 7th, 2010
6:03 pm

Yeah D3, I got pics but after looking at them none really worth posting……. I know, I know I’m keeping my day job……….LOL

BT

August 7th, 2010
6:06 pm

Likewise, Moose.
Nice meeting you now, I have a face to put with your comments.
Also, looking forward having you in our FFL this season.
You should do fine and it`s a lot of fun.

Sports Review

August 7th, 2010
6:55 pm

[...] Battle for RB#2 – Snelling vs. NorwoodAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)3rd in The Bird Cage Training Camp Battle Series, Battle for Running Back #2: Jason Snelling vs. Jerious Norwood. Should be a great competition and whoever … [...]

JJ

August 7th, 2010
7:12 pm

Moose, great meeting you and BT/Mrs.BT today. Wrote down some camp obervations when I got home, will post later tonight on the night crew.

D3, snelling hands down! In FFL, would you rather draft turner/norwood or turner/snelling? Great character and all around good guy but it boils down to a business. Sorry norwood, hope they get a 4th,5th or 6th rd pick for ya. Hope you do well on your next team, injuries and mularkey playcalling killed ya.

CBrass

August 7th, 2010
7:19 pm

D3,

Great job as usual. As many here know I’ve been the biggest advocate for Norwood and how MM’s play calling has caused him injuries but as someone stated on the previous blog, WR I think, getting hurt in a non contact drill really make me look like an idiot but I’m still holding out hope for him. I’m not ready to give up on this guy yet. He has a lot to offer. D3, as you stated get him into open space and let him do his thing.

JJ

August 7th, 2010
7:47 pm

SW, talked w/ Spoon and got his autograph on my football, its now a classic my friend, spoonexpress member, always! Shultz got nothing on you! Also got D.Robinsons before the feeding frenzy of fans exploded.

John Waynesworld

August 7th, 2010
7:50 pm

-Who will get more touches and become Turner’s main backup? Norwood will get more touches if combined with pass receptions. Matt himself said there were going to be more screens to get Norwood in space. Snelling will get more carries on the ground because we will be ahead in alot of games and he will be grinding the 4th quarter away with Turner kicking back on the sidelines. As for the new guys unless either Smith or Nance breaks out with some Herschel moves, one will go to the practice squad only to replace Norwood when he eventually gets hurt and the other one goes home (or most likely to Tampa to tell them all our plays).

-Who should be the Falcons second running back and get more carries? Snelling. He’s a workhorse and he hardly fumbles (259 carries, 1 lost fumble last year). We also need him to close out games and save Turner’s legs.

-Is there a possibility that the Birds can keep all three? It would be a safe bet. They are NFL tested and they already know the playbook.

-Who’s more likely to be in the Falcons future? Washaun Ealey

-Was Norwood’s low production due to Mularkey’s play-calling? Hell yes.

-May Snelling look to be another team’s feature back at some point? No, he’s not fast enough to be a number one. He will always be remembered as a solid #2.

John Waynesworld

August 7th, 2010
7:50 pm

And D3, you are the best.

BT

August 7th, 2010
8:06 pm

Lets cut to the chase about J.No.
As some might recall, had a conservation here concerning him to (I think, JWW) almost a year ago.
It was not his hip, knees or anything like that, that`s of major concern.
It`s the fact he has had multiple concussions.
Those have an accumulative effect and there is no rehabilitation.
I am slightly surprised he re-signed and IMO he should have just retired.
That said, it`s his life and his decision to return to playing.
I just hope it has a good ending with him fulfilling some of his potential, wishing him good luck in that chance.

WR

August 7th, 2010
8:11 pm

JWW, now I’m not a UGA fan but Hersh is my favorite college player of all time, might have something to do with my mom being as country as the Hersh, or maybe the fact that I couldn’t watch cartoons because pops was watching Hersh, but honestly its because Hersh didn’t have many moves, he was just strong as an Ox with speed like gazelle, to this day no back has been as big or as fast as Herschel, so lets not try to get that out of our young RBs, now if they can pull a Tim Worley or Tate, their a keeper.

Big Ray, we’ve been good since the old DOL days on the late nights but please, please don’t bring up that article about JA#98 again, I read the same article thought about posting it then thought about the good old days of the joint, when people could tell you anything, when I was a great philosopher, then reality set back in, and it will with Jamaal. Don’t get me wrong I have met the guy, great person, someone I have argued will breakout year after year, but its not happening from what I have saw, if it does I’ll go get his Jersey because he’s that good of a person, but I know I can’t same that money and get a Moore jersey while there cheap because they won’t be for long.

As for the RB situation, if healthy Norwood gets more catches, if healthy Norwood makes the Falcons offense almost unstoppable, if healthy, wait, what I’m I saying its Norwood, if you can’t beat’em join’em, Norwood gets more touches in the ten games he will play in this season, in those ten games the Falcons will be somewhat unstoppable on offense give or take a Murlarkey. Good thing is he will be healthy for the playoffs because he will miss the last three games of the season because of yet another mysterious injury to his frail frame. As CBrass said, I’m not giving up on Norwood but I have decided to be realistic, ten games through the regular season, and healthy in the playoffs works for me, now he’ll be hurt by the Superbowl but at least we’re in it.

Moose

August 7th, 2010
8:20 pm

JJ………. It was a blast meeting you and Sarah B along with BT……… Gotta do it again my friend…………. Norwood is fragile and I can not put the blame on the staff…………. BT is right about the concussions and coupled with everything else he’s gone though it does not bode well for his future……….

BT

August 7th, 2010
8:21 pm

WR, good post,as usual, my friend.
Just for the record, I`m not blaming MM for his usage of Norwood, except he could have found more ways to work him in space.
JN32`s injury situation is not of MM`s making and he has used him (really) not too much different than any of his predecessors.

JJ

August 7th, 2010
8:42 pm

Respectfully disagree BT. MM knew he was injury prone and still ran him like a FB. At some point, do we not expect the OC to know his players and use them to the best of their abilities? That’s why their coaches right?

WR

August 7th, 2010
8:43 pm

BT, I don’t blame Murlarkey at all for Norwood’s injury history, when I think about Murlarkey I think about the fact that he said he had such and such weapons in Pittsburgh so they could do alot of different things, then I look at the Falcons now as opposed to that Pittsburgh team he was referring to and I wonder what the H@ll he’s talking about. Some might disagree but the Falcons are loaded with offensive weapons, my hope is that Murlarkey plans on utilizing it this year. Norwood is one of those weapons, noticed I said he would be available for about ten games and about two games in the playoffs, thats enough to help the birds get to the big game, trust me when I say Norwood is an injury waiting to happen, nothing against him but its how he plays the game, he’s all over the place during runs and he has never had the ability to brace himself for a hit, thats why he’s hurt so much, that also where the concussions come from.

Side note, just read the update on the Falcons blog and it mentioned something I referred to earlier in that JA#98 invited a school for deaf kids to camp. I know its a business and in this case the business is football, but if any of you all got a chance to meet Jamaal he would warm your heart, he’s just that kind of person, thats why I have hoped year after year the breakout would come, I’m not a fool, my hopes of JA#98 breakingout are fading if not have faded, but character to wise, you wouldn’t want a better person representing your city.

Sarah B

August 7th, 2010
8:46 pm

Guys I had a great time today also. For the first time in history we actually will have a hard time narrowing which receivers to keep. Yes, today Weems and Finn were outstanding. Roddy had a few good ones too. Got him to sign my football. And CBrass I got Norwood too – have always liked the guy. I got seperated form JJ in the crowd and couldn’t find Spoon damn it. Ryan was mobbed by kids – didn’t even try.

Snelling will be Turners backup but I hope OC finally realizes screen passes are what Norwood needs to be healthy and utilize his speed. He cannot bust it the middle. Oh and CB since he was not mobbed I got to talk to him for a few minutes and he said he will do whatever is necessary to stay healthy this year and whatever a hip flexor is he wasn’t limping.

JJ

August 7th, 2010
8:52 pm

WR, saw them today signing each other. My oldest sister is deaf so I know a little signage. As I was leaving, noticed those kids on the field with a big grin, nice to see, no dought!

BT

August 7th, 2010
8:57 pm

WR and JJ,
We can respectfully dis-agree concerning Murlarkey.
I think, he`s a pretty good OC and he`s doing about a good a job as we can expect.
All things considered, we have seen a hell of a lot worse and he has (at least on the surface) the players up most confidence and respect.

Moose

August 7th, 2010
9:11 pm

Look guys n Gals Ryan is only past his second year and MM is molding him not Norwood……… Ya want to start throwing plays in for one player and forget about your main objective?…….. Ryan is the team not Norwood………….

CBrass

August 7th, 2010
9:16 pm

Sarah,

Getting Ryan’s autograph is impossible. He goes directly for the kids and I have no hard feeling for that.

Moose

August 7th, 2010
9:20 pm

JJ……. Your right about how he should be used but the process tells me why he is not being used that way yet……… Maybe this year if he holds out………..

Sarah B……… On Lofton………… Now we know……….

“Coach Mike Smith said LB Curtis Lofton, SS William Moore and WR Andy Strickland were given Saturday’s mock game off for rest.”

Moose

August 7th, 2010
9:23 pm

CBrass……….. Hey kiddo…….. Thats what he did to me and to tell ya the truth I kinda like it……….. The kids should come first IMO………….

CBrass

August 7th, 2010
9:34 pm

Moose,

I couldn’t even get near the guy during mini-camp. As soon as the huddle broke all the kids started screaming his name and he ran directly to them. It was so cool seeing the smiles on their faces after he gave them an autograph and took a picture with them. Like you said how can you get mad at that?

Moose

August 7th, 2010
9:47 pm

CBrass I’m a big guy and was right out front on the line when Ryan came by and he never looked at me….. gave all the kids an auto and moved on……………. Good for him but I had a football for my grandson that I would love to have his sig on…………Oh well……But yeah the smiles on the kids faces showed it all…………

I got a few however……….. Coleman, TLewis, VWalker, T Jhonsn, JWP and a few more so maybe next time……….

Sarah B

August 7th, 2010
9:49 pm

CB I wasn’t complaining about Ryan, don’t take it that way. Truthfully I wanted Gonzo & Turner more. Couldn’t find Gonzo. And Turner was mobbed by pushy 20 something guys who just pushed my wee self out of the way. I think Roddy liked my shirt.

BT

August 7th, 2010
9:53 pm

Epic post from CBS Falcons message board from a guy who knows his Falcon business concerning this weekends scrimmages.
http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messages/chrono/23729203?tag=pageRow;pageContainer

August 7, 2010 7:21 pm

I haven’t heard the official numbers from today’s mock game at practice, but the turnout was great.

The “Friday Night Lights” scrimmage started out with a field goal kicking session, with Matt Bryant and Steven Hauschka each kicking from several distances. Both of them made all their kicks. That was reassuring. Jason Elam seemed to have a case of the yips coming out of preseason last year. Nice to see both our candidates are on target.

The mock game today began with a long session of punting. Long snapper Joe Zelenka was the very first player out on the field, followed by Michael Koenen, the two kickers, and Joe Hawley – who practiced a few long snaps. Apparently he’s lining up to be our emergency backup long snapper.

You’ve probably read plenty of articles about the Friday scrimmage and its highlights elsewhere… It featured live tackling and blocking, sort of like an exhibition game. But no cut blocks, low or cut tackles, and the QBs were off limits. It was offense vs defense, and Smitty used a scoring system (that favored the offense) to grade the two sides. I’ll skip the details. Executive summary: lots of guys looked really good, and it looks like the final roster decisions may be even tougher than we expected.

On Saturday, the Falcons were divided into the red team (which had most of the starters) and the white team. There was no tackling – the players were out in shorts, and it was essentially two hand touch with Smitty declaring where and when each player was “tackled”.

A few noteworthy items: the red team picked on undrafted rookie Daylan Walker in its opening drive. Matt Ryan isolated him in single coverage against Roddy White on one pass play. Roddy turned him around with a good move and had an easy time with the catch. In the red zone, Ryan then went up over the top to Brian Finneran for the touchdown, again with Walker isolated in single man coverage.

Dan Klecko played fullback for the white team, lead blocking for Antone Smith and Dimitri Nance. Ovie Mughelli did the lead blocking for Michael Turner for the red team, behind the first unit offensive line. (Seems like an awful mismatch, doesn’t it? Ryan, Redman, Turner, Roddy, Tony Gonzalez, Justin Peelle, Mughelli, Snelling, and the first unit O-line were all on the red team.)

Wilson showed a good arm, including hitting on a deep ball to Tim Buckley for the highlight of the entire event. Ryan Wolfe also had a touchdown reception.

Sam Baker and Will Svitek rotated at left tackle for the red team. Quinn Ojinnaka got most of the LT snaps for the white team. Jose Valdez player RT for the white team, with Hawley at center, Mike Johnson at left guard, and I believe Garrett Reynolds at right guard.

Mike Peterson anchored the red team linebacking corps. Curtis Lofton was kept out of this one. Bear Woods played MLB for the white team, flanked by Sean Weatherspoon and Weston Johnson.

Dominique Franks looked good on Friday and has had a very good camp, but he had a few bad moments on Saturday. He muffed a punt in the opening drills, and then got beaten by Eric Weems for a long first down play in the 2 minute drill AND got flagged for interference on the play. Chris Redman led that drive and hit Jason Snelling for a touchdown pass to end the day.

Ryan seemed fine, but Redman looked spotty before that final drive. He had a few passes that were off target and that were in danger of being intercepted.

Emmanuel Stephens batted down one pass while dropping back into short coverage. He had an interception in practice earlier this week, so the undrafted DE is doing quite well and making a strong case for at least a practice squad job. This play was one of those overload/rotation jobs. Linebacker Bear Woods rushed on the defensive left/offensive right side, and Stephens dropped back into short coverage on the defensive right side.

It’s tough to grade the linemen, linebackers, and running backs when there’s no tackling. The big news is that Peria Jerry did participate, working in tandem with Vance Walker. Jamaal Anderson also had a few snaps at DT, in particular working with Trey Lewis.

Matt Giordano got banged up a bit on Friday but was out there again today. Most notable on him: he took the role of gunner in the punting drills before the mock game. Harry Douglas was used sparingly, but he was there – and he did participate. Brandyn Harvey participated too. I noted earlier that he wasn’t participating in practices during the week. Apparently he’s had some issues with headaches, but he was able to go this weekend.

Thomas Johnson was held out. He’s having some problems with his Achilles tendon, and the team is obviously taking it easy with the big man. No point risking him just for a scrimmage. Michael Jenkins was out today too, after landing badly on his shoulder trying to catch what appeared to be an underthrown ball in the Friday scrimmage.

Overall, the Saturday mock game was really just a glorified practice. It had refs and even the national anthem, but otherwise it was really just a bunch of ordinary 11-on-11 practice segments. But it was more fun to watch, since the 11-on-11 and even the 7-on-7 segments are short bits scattered between individual drills that aren’t so great for the fans.

No practice on Sunday, but the Monday and Tuesday sessions are the combined practices with the Jaguars. All four practices are open to the public. And the Falcons preseason begins next weekend. After watching the white team put in a pretty good showing for themselves, I’m actually getting kinda stoked to see how Wilson, Nance, Smith, Klecko, Harvey, Wolfe, Buckley, etc can do in the second half of the exhibition games.

We’ll have to stay tuned for updates on the injury situation with Michael Jenkins and Thomas Johnson, and also to see if the Falcons really can get Brian Williams back into practice this coming week.

Moose

August 7th, 2010
10:04 pm

Nice BT………. Thanks……….

Birdman

August 7th, 2010
10:06 pm

This one’s easy…Jason Snelling deserves the #2 spot behind Turner. There’s no question about it. I honestly don’t believe that Norwood could hold up in a game. He’s constantly getting hurt and I’m getting very frustrated with both him and Michael Jenkins. Those two are really starting to erk me and I wouldn’t be disappointed at all to see either one of them go. They’re almost getting to the point where they’re not helping our team in any way. But yeah Jason Snelling is a beast and definately can replace Turner if Turner injures himself again. We can win ballgames with Snelling in the backfield. I’m not so sure with Norwood.

Eric

August 7th, 2010
10:41 pm

Snelling proved that he could play last year. Here’s your problem: Norwood is a change of pace back while Snelling has the same running style as Turner. Snelling can pound the ball when Turner gets tired, but opposing defenses don’t have to reset their game plan. Norwood also catches passes out of the backfield. Neither Turner nor Snelling can do that. If Norwood is healthy, he will be #2 due to his differences from Turner. If he stays injured, you still have to find another runningback who can catch passes out of the backfield and change up the pace.

Birdman: Norwood has been injured, but I can’t see getting angry at him, it’s not like he got injured on purpose. Jenkins is healthy, yet he drops passes in key situations. There is a big difference between those two. I wouldn’t put them in the same category.

WR

August 7th, 2010
10:42 pm

BT, were not in disagreement in the least, I don’t think Murlarkey has done a bad job, but he’s old school bringing along a young QB, has he done a good job at that, yes, but this is a world of evolution, you have to evolve to sustain success. Over protecting your young QB in todays NFL can be just as detrimental as not having adequate protection for that QB on the field. At times Ryan was over protected with the play calling and if that continues he will not have a long career in the NFL. My point is this; sometimes by over protecting a player, especially a young QB, you become predictable, in the NFL predictable can lead to disaster, not just the idea of the win and loss column, but the injuries associated with defenseless players in a predictable system. Steve Bartkowski is a perfect example of this, with his prolific career Dan Marino is a perfect example. I applaud in some ways what Murlarkey has done in his first two seasons with the birds, not even considering Norwood my hope is that the cuffs come off this season, not only on Ryan but the entire offense. The grind it out offensiive run game and tough nosed defense is from the days of old. Its still the fundamental basis of having a successful team, but in this period of evolution it will not take you over the top.

Birdman

August 7th, 2010
10:43 pm

Why do people post using someone else’s name here ? I kinda agree with you tho . But then if Norwood stays healthy this year .?
Maybe they should keep them both !

Eric

August 7th, 2010
10:50 pm

I agree. Snelling and Norwood should stay.

WR

August 7th, 2010
11:14 pm

Its kind of crazy how we finally can honestly argue about who makes the roster, who gets the most touches, who should start over whom. For so many years, probably all of the Falcons years of existence up until now, we have never had this problem. We knew who the starters would be, we knew who would come off the bench, and we knew preseason games were a complete waste of our time unless someone got injured. Today thats not the case, today as Falcons fans we still know the starters, but we ponder how long before such and such takes over, we argue, debate and break down the actions of camp, the reactions from the coaches, the so-called expert opinions of analysis, the opinion of individuals, whether in the cage or thorughout the intellectual world of the internet we now wonder, we now ponder the march down Peachtree, we don’t know when, we have high expectations for now, if not now we know its coming, where there was once a wish, then hope, now its a matter of time, its coming, we all feel it, we want it now, we know we might not get it now, but also finally know its coming.

Sarah B

August 7th, 2010
11:16 pm

Very true WR, very true…

Eric

August 7th, 2010
11:32 pm

WR, you are right on. I would also add that it feels great to look at the Falcons and demand excellence instead of hoping we might be mediocre.

Sarah B

August 7th, 2010
11:36 pm

Eric – I think this may be our year. The bye week is week 8, the schedule is in our favor, our two hardest games are with NO if we split with them – we are in it to win it. Now I gotta crash.

sportaree

August 8th, 2010
12:09 am

Way off topic: My favorite snack when the Falcons are playing is boiled peanuts and I grow my own peanuts in my garden. I go down to the garden pull the peanuts up wash them off blanch them and put them in the in the freezer until gameday. Last year I had 16 bags. But this year I planted a longer row and put 19 bags in the freezer……..