You just sound like you know how the Falcons will play ball this year
I don't know how the Falcons offense will play and how Turner will be used. I'm only making an educated guess based off logical conclusions and the bevy of context clues I have to judge by.
Snelling & Quizz combine to make about $1.5 million this year ($1 million for Snelling, about $500K for Quizz) in terms of how much they count against the cap. If I was to consider them to be one entity, and they would get close to or equal share of the workload on offense. Then why does it make sense for Michael Turner to be making 5x as much as they are this year ($7.5 million against our cap)? It really doesn't. If the ratio of workload is going to be 1:1 or 3:2, then the price tag should reflect that, correct?
So the only logical conclusion is that Turner is getting paid 5x as much is because he is going to get significantly more work than they are. It probably won't be 5x as much, but it certainly is probably going to be 2 or 3x as much.
If they were to significantly cut down Turner's workload, one would think that they would at least try to make it up via the pass. Yet, this team has virtually ignored the WR and TE positions. Having a veteran player at either one of those spots to fill in at #4 WR or #2 TE would have made a lot more sense if you were going to compensate for Turner's decreased role with an increased role of the passing game. The Falcons have largely ignored those positions. Sure, they added some undrafted FAs, but we all know that WRs, particularly undrafted FAs rarely contribute as rookies. Even the ones like Wes WElker, Rod Smith, and Victor Cruz who go on to be stars, usually do virtually nothing as rookies. The overwhelming abundance of the team's TEs behind Gonzalez are blockers first, receivers second.
There are any number of factors that could occur between now and September that can change those outlooks. Maybe the Flacons will sign a WR or TE. In fact, I expect the team to sign at least one before the season starts. Although TD's M.O. is to wait until the last minute just before the season starts rather than taking advantage of OTAs, mini-camps, and training camp tog et that player integrated into the offense/defense as early as possible. I'm just basing things off what looks to be the case today.
While Koetter has in the past effectively juggled a 2-headed backfield, in '07, using Taylor on 1st & 2nd down, and then MJD on passing downs, that was really the only year he made it work. They tried it again in '08, and Taylor's production took a sharp decline. And they cut him, and ever since MJD has been the workhorse with only sporadic reps for players like Rashad Jennings and Deji Karim.
So based off his own history, I don't suspect Koetter is going to be Greg Knapp with his ability to utilize the 2 or 3-headed backfield (something that Knapp has historically done well every place he's been). And thus I expect Turner to be similarly a workhorse RB. He may not get the 18-20 carries per game he got under Mularkey, but it still will likely be a high number (say 16-18?) based off Mike Smith's affinity to running the football, Koetter's own affinity, and Turner's price tag.
Koetter comes from J-ville, where he coached under Jack Del Rio, who has a very similar conservative philosophy as Mike Smith. In fact, it was likely Del Rio that instilled that philosophy into Smith. Look at Smith historically, and you'll see the two years where the teams he coached were most successful (2000 Ravens & 2007 Jaguars), they were teams structured around running the football (Jamal Lewis, Fred Taylor/MJD), playing good/great defense (Ravens one of the best ever, Jags Top 10 that year), and having QBs that managed football games (Dilfer & Garrard) because of a lack of playmakers on the outside (Qadry Ismail/Travis Taylor & Ernest Wilford/Reggie Williams were starters at WR).
And until Smith hires coordinators/coaching staff that are markedly different and don't fit that historical trend, I think the Falcons are going to continue to be a conservative offense. And I think it raises the question that going forward, is Mike Smith "too conservative" for his own good...