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Thread: Michael Turner the key for the Falcons

  1. Michael Turner the key for the Falcons

    Matt Ryan gets all the attention, and he is a very good player. But when I watch tape of the Falcons, my eyes are always drawn to Michael Turner and how he impacts defenses. Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularky is a former TE and he bases his offense on power running. It is probably my favorite running game to watch.

    Mularky uses very clever packages of misdirection running and blocking that sets up their play action and bootlegs. The scheme is based around one of the most underrated players in the game, Michael Turner. Turner is a rare blend of power and speed. One of the reasons the Falcons went so strongly after him was his big play ability. In limited opportunities playing with San Diego, he had a lot of dynamic plays. Turner uses his power to break the line-of-scrimmage and his speed to score. Believe me, defensive backs are not lining up to try and tackle that big guy in the open field.

    Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling are good role players, but when Turner went out with the high ankle injury last year, the Falcons were not the same. Turner was well on his way to another monster season, averaging nearly 5 yards per carry prior to the injury. With Turner healthy and the return of DL Peria Jerry, who played in only 2 games last year, the Falcons are well poised to be a legitimate threat to the Saints this year.

    The key questions for the Falcons are:

    1) Is Matt Ryan's toe is OK.
    2) Can Dunta Robinson help a weak secondary that has been re-made after taking most of the blame for a weak pass rush.
    3) Can the Falcons find a pass rushing threat opposite John Abraham who saw his sack numbers collapse from a team record 16.5 in 2008 to 5.5 in 09.
    4) Can Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, and Michael Turner all stay healthy and give Matt Ryan the triplets that could match points with the Saints or anybody else.
    Last edited by Cris Collinsworth; 06-13-2010 at 01:30 PM.

  2. The Falcons are like any other team in that injuries to any of the 3 or 4 key guys would keep them out of the playoffs.

    Norwood is still a high quality back who will have a bounce back/breakout year.

    I am more worried about Matt Ryan. There were many times that he just looked uncomfortable trying to find receivers. The difference between an average QB and a great one is the ability to stand back there calmly and deliver the ball where it needs to be. There were several times last season where I noticed specifically his feet getting jumpy and his head down looking at the rush instead of finding Gonzo over the middle. Hopefully he can continue to progress, if he does the Falcons should be looking at a 10 or 11 win season. Looking at the schedule all their tough games are at home.

    Defense will still be average, but the secondary should be better (Dunta). Between that and the rotating young guys in at OLB, the pass rush will have less pressure and should be more productive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New Orleans/St. Bernard/Da lower 9th ward, LA
    I agree with you on the injury statement. I do agree that Ryan did get jumpy but that happens when you are feeling uncomfortable or have little faith in your O-line. I believe he did start getting sacked towards the end of HIS season. That turf toe can be a real bad thing but it should not be a factor this upcoming season. I will say this, I don't look forward to playing yall next season. It's always a rumble in the south!
    [B]St. Bernard born and raised! BLACK AND GOLD TO THE SUPER BOWL! WHO DAT![/B]

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