Determing Jacquizz Rodgers’ Role in the New-Look Atlanta Falcons Backfield
The signing of Steven Jackson left many wondering if the Atlanta Falcons‘ backfield work would be largely wrapped up with a sole featured back. The 29-year-old vet and former first-round selection consumed a three-down role throughout his carer and his abilities seemed to overlap with Jacquizz Rodgers‘ contributions on passing downs. After all, Atlanta did just hand a free-agent running back a three-year, $12 million deal in 2013, which is a major investment in today’s game.
Rodgers will employ the same strategy he did while relieving Michael Turner, and that is too make the most of it.
“When I get in the game, I’m going to try to make my plays and try to get my number called more often,” Rodgers said during Falcons camp recently, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ll try to make every carry and every catch count.”
Rodgers provided the ying to Turner’s yang last year, except the ying was actually good with 764 yards on 146 touches (94 runs/53 receptions). Rodgers even looked better on the ground and in short yardage situations than Turner at times, largely due to this declining offensive line’s need for a shifty runner behind them.
Many speculate the upgrade Jackson brings as having a damaging effect on Rodgers’ 2013 touches, but Rodgers is looking at the glass half-full
“That helps a lot because we can keep the defense on their toes,” Rodgers said. “When we are in the game, we can also pass. That will help because the defense won’t know what’s coming. … It’s always good to have an older guy around. You can watch how they carry themselves. He’s a guy who’s had success in the league for a long time. So, you just watch the little things that he does in practice, the way he works and tries to get better and better each day. That helps the young guys, like me, out.”