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 Post subject: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:57 am 
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Well Turner has only himself to blame for not scoring on the goalline when everybody and their mama thought he was going to get in, yet he can't reach a ball 8 inches over the goalline. :roll:

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/ ... ning-game/

Jeff Schultz
Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game

6:19 pm October 14, 2012, by Jeff Schultz

When a team is a 6-0, every negative critique should begin and end with, “… but they’re 6-0.” Because ultimately, the record determines the standings, the playoff field and whether some climate-controlled, pass-dominating offensive Dome team is going to be forced to head for the snowdrifts of Green Bay or Chicago in January in the postseason.

So we start again by reaffirming that the Falcons are 6-0. All hail.

But anybody witnessing the last three victories, sloppy exercises over mediocre opponents Carolina, Washington and Oakland, can attest to the team’s issues going into the bye week. Need confirmation? Ask their starting running back, who has had a close-up look at probably the Falcons’ biggest failing right now: their lack of a running game.

When Turner, a relative spectator in the mistake-plagued 23-20 win over the Raiders’ Sunday, was asked about the Falcons going into the bye week “the right way,” he didn’t respond with sunshine and lollipops.

“Yeah, a win is a win,” he said. “But we’re looking at something beyond just winning right now. We’re trying to be special and special teams don’t play like that.”

Beyond Matt Ryan’s three interceptions, beyond the defense allowing the NFL’s worst rushing team to run for 149 yards, beyond an offense that was matched in touchdown production by one late-game Asante Samuel pick-six but again was rescued by the foot of Matt Bryant, the Falcons’ problems start with their inability to jam the ball down the other team’s throats.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has all of these wonderful toys to play with. It’s clear Atlanta is now a pass-first team. That’s fine. The NFL has become a pass-first league. But at some point the Falcons will need to be able to run the ball, whether it’s late in the season, and/or on the road, and/or in the playoffs

Trailing 13-10 in the third quarter, they had a first-and-goal at the Raiders’ 2-yard-line following a turnover but had to settle for a field goal. The plays: incomplete pass, Turner for 1 yard, Snelling for a 1-yard loss (from the one-foot line).

Tied at 13-all in the fourth, they had a third-and-a-foot from their 45 but opted for a passing play. Ryan misconnected with Tony Gonzalez. They punted.

Turner seems frustrated. He was held to 11 carries for 33 yards Sunday. Ryan covered half that with a 15-yard scramble. The team’s rushing total: 45 yards.

The Falcons have managed to tip-toe around this issue all season. It hasn’t gotten in the way of them winning yet, but that seems inevitable.

Ask the running back.

“I’m not sure why it’s going like this,” Turner said. “It’s great to be 6-0 and everything. But we can’t just assume we’re always going to be able to get an interception or a last-minute field goal every time. At some point we’re going to have to run the ball. We’ve got to be able to knock it in [the endzone].”

Turner’s runs by quarters: two for 12 yards, three for 12, three for minus-one, three for 10.

Some of this lack of production is on him. He looks slow at times.

Some of it is on the offensive line. It generally has been far better at pass protection this season than opening holes or getting any push. (It wasn’t good at either Sunday.)

Has Turner lost confidence?

“No. I’m still here. I’ve never lost confidence.”

Have the Falcons lost confidence in Turner or their ability to run the ball at all?

“You would have to ask them that. That’s not something they would tell me. It’s their team, their scheme, their offense. I’m just here to try to help them win.”

Coach Mike Smith conceded the running game isn’t where he would like it to be. He referenced the first-and-goal drive, saying: “I know the next question is going to be when you’ve got the ball on the 1½-yard line, do you feel like you have to get it in there? Yes. The goal of our football team is real simple. It’s to score points and to score points any way that we can.”

They managed just enough again. They have won their last three games by two, seven and three points on drives with :05 (field goal), 2:46 (touchdown) and :01 (field goal) left. That makes them 6-0. But they’re playing a dangerous game.

By Jeff Schultz-

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Turner is a powerback who couldnt afford to lose a step....which he has. He is the weak link on the offense and needs to be replaced next year. Rodgers is not an every down back either.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Turner has lost a step, but the offensive line isn't opening holes. Rodgers and Snelling haven't been able to do anything either. This is because our line is a below average line. They are not a playoff line. I realize that this team has other needs next offseason, but I wouldn't be disappointed in the least if we spent the whole draft on offensive and defensive linemen.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:25 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
Turner has lost a step, but the offensive line isn't opening holes. Rodgers and Snelling haven't been able to do anything either. This is because our line is a below average line. They are not a playoff line. I realize that this team has other needs next offseason, but I wouldn't be disappointed in the least if we spent the whole draft on offensive and defensive linemen.


^^This. When Turner has holes, he's been able to move quickly and get nice gains. For whatever reason, the OLine has just not been able to open significant holes this season. I don't doubt Turners age and inability to make big cuts haven't added, but we have to get more movement up front if we're going to want any sort of run game.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:07 pm 
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El gato wrote:
Turner is a powerback who couldnt afford to lose a step....which he has. He is the weak link on the offense and needs to be replaced next year. Rodgers is not an every down back either.



That about somes it up perfectly. RB is clearly are biggest whole on offense. Our O'line is average, our RB's are below average.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Our OL sucks DaveWaz. Turner is getting old, but Rodgers isn't. They're simply not making holes on the vast majority of plays.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:45 pm 
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The Falcons are going to have to make a decision on what type of running team they want to be after this season. Either way, there should be changes up front.

Turner's running style needs an O-line that can consistently get push. That has been lacking the past few years, and with Turner's decline in skills it's reached a threshold that makes all parties mediocre.

Rodgers however is a back that works best in a zone-blocking scheme, which is one of the reasons why I questioned why the team drafted him. He and Turner do not mesh well on the same offense. Now the Falcons do look like under Koetter they are using more zone blocking runs, but again their O-line isn't ideally suited for that. Guys like Clabo and Blalock have spent recent years being bigger which limits their lateral quickness. Konz is also not a zone-blocking guy either, nor is Lamar Holmes.

Since we all assume that Turner won't be back in 2013, the question is will the team try to replace him with a quicker, more explosive runner in the mold of Arian Foster, or do they look to replace him with another bruiser like Turner?

A Foster-like RB probably makes the most sense because it meshes more with what you want to do offensively (i.e. throw the football), but in order to maximize that you're probably going to have to make some changes up front, and ask most of the current linemen to drop 10-15 pounds this off-season to improve that lateral quickness.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons 6-0 but Turner is frustrated with running game
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:53 am 
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http://www.profootballweekly.com/2012/1 ... of-decline

Falcons' Turner wrestles with signs of decline

Posted Oct. 15, 2012 @ 8:14 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Falcons are 6-0 for the first time in franchise history. They have a 3½-game lead in the race for the NFC South title, but the last thing head coach Mike Smith wants is for his players to get too comfortable during a Week Seven bye.

Smith apparently will not need to caution RB Michael Turner about becoming overly satisfied.

Turner expressed his frustration with the team’s running game after he matched a season-low, rushing only 11 times in Atlanta’s win over the Raiders on Sunday. He said he was still confident in himself but told reporters they would have to take their inquiry to management when he was asked whether the team had lost confidence in him.

Turner rushed for only 33 yards (3.0 average) vs. Oakland and has 84 carries for 357 yards (4.3 average) and three touchdowns through six games. Atlanta’s complementary back, Jacquizz Rodgers, has not fared any better, rushing 31 times for 77 yards (2.5 average), but this is unfamiliar territory for Turner, who has been a heavily utilized workhorse since he became the first marquee addition of the Mike Smith-Thomas Dimitroff regime in 2008. Turner has had at least seven games with 20 carries or more in each of the three seasons in which he has played in every game for Atlanta. This season, he has yet to have more than 18 carries in a game.

Our Falcons sources say the team has been far from content with the running game’s frequent ineffectiveness this season and is eager to work on improving it during the bye, so Turner is not alone in his frustration. The issue for Turner might be that he is sensing his own decline in his first season over the age of 30 and that the Falcons are sensing it, too.

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