The release of running back Michael Turner finds the Atlanta Falcons looking to fill a now vacant spot in their backfield.
After five seasons, Atlanta has decided to part ways with Turner, who rushed for only 800 yards in 2012. This was his lowest output since coming to the Falcons. Some say Turner’s low numbers were due to a decline in his ability while others point to a change in offensive approach. Either way a move had to be made to free up some much needed cap space to sign other players like safety William Moore. Not to mention that since Atlanta has become more pass-happy (which is great), they now must figure out a productive way to run the ball.
Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams is one of the names drawing interest from the Falcons and would be a great fit. He has a similar style to Turner as far as being a bruising-type runner but also has exceptional speed as well. Being with Atlanta could make Jackson even more productive given that he would be joining a winning team who came a few plays short of a Super Bowl appearance.
Jackson rushed for 1,042 yards on 257 carries this past season and four touchdowns; numbers Falcon fans are accustomed to seeing from their backs, with the exception of his lack of touchdowns. He would work well Jacquizz Rodgers who has emerged as great change of pace back for Atlanta. With Jackson being 29, having Rodgers in the backfield with him could preserve his legs for a long time if he stays in Atlanta long-term. Jackson would also help Atlanta control the clock a little more than they did this past season, especially on third downs.
One of the things Atlanta missed this past season was the play-action, something that had become a staple of their offense. They were not able to use the play-action pass as much this season because most games they were unable to establish any type of a running game that would be a threat to the opposing defense. The acquisition of Steven Jackson could change that and make Atlanta even more unstoppable on offense given all the weapons they already possess.
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