The Atlanta Falcons are now in the business of killing monkeys. That’s right, quarterback Matt Ryan is feeling the pressure of that monkey on his back year after year of having stellar regular seasons but coming up short in the playoffs.
2013 will feature a bit of a different look in their back field as their number one back Michael Turner has been let go and not re-signed. Instead, the Falcons brought in one of the most consistent backs in the NFL over the past nine seasons in signing former St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson to come in and share time with third year pro Jacquizz Rodgers.
It’s Rodgers and Jackson who will be a lot of fun to watch during training camp, with Rodgers specifically enjoying a more increased role this season in comparison to his first two seasons.
Throughout his first two years, Rodgers has 151 carries for 567 yards and two scores. The Falcons love what the smaller, more versatile back brings to the table especially in the receiving game. On top of his limited run as a ball carrier, Rodgers has also caught 74 passes for 590 yards in his first two years.
During training camp, Rodgers will have the opportunity to shine as the Falcons will likely use a two-back system in order to give Jackson the proper work load at his age while working in the younger guy on a regular basis.
Watch for Rodgers to take on more of a significant role in camp as he is now looked at as more of a veteran after having his first two seasons under his belt. He knows the offense and should be able to perform it at the best level possible.
This has been the plan all along for the Falcons to give Rodgers more time in the back field. They’ve liked him since coming out of Oregon State and he can truly be a force with their high-powered offense since a lot of the pressure falls on guys like Ryan and his receivers.
Training camp will be a lot of fun to watch this summer and as it kicks off, look to see if Rodgers takes advantage of his more impacting role with the offense.