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Turner, Falcons want to be 'nasty'


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Turner, Falcons want to be 'nasty'


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/01/08

Flowery Branch — Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey offered some incentive to his linemen at the start of training camp.

"If you get a stalemate [with a defense], the pile is going to move and you know what could happen to you if Michael Turner comes up behind you," Mularkey said. "It may be better to be pushing than just standing there."

Mularkey forgot to mention that Turner most likely would be chauffeured to, and maybe through, the offensive line by bruising fullback Ovie Mughelli. Turner and Mughelli, the Falcons' two big-free agent signings the past two seasons, provide nearly 500 pounds of speed and muscle.

So the linemen's re-arrangement of vertebrae could be even more severe if they don't do their jobs.

"We bring a lot of attitude," Turner said. "We want to make a point. We are trying to have a new identity on this team. It's going to be nasty and we all get that."

The Falcons may have drafted Matt Ryan, but the success of the young quarterback — and the team — will be predicated on running the ball. After three seasons leading the NFL in rushing, Atlanta dropped to 26th last season. They only had one game (San Francisco) where a running back reached the 100-yard mark.

"We're determined to run the ball and that will make everything else easier, especially pass protection," offensive line coach Paul Boudreau said. "If we run, that will put eight defenders in the box and give you a chance to throw the ball down the field. We're trying to establish something here."

Tight end Ben Hartsock, who is much more of a blocker than receiver, said the running game is "developing," in part because the offensive line is still being assembled in front of a yet-to-be determined quarterback, a new running back and a new offensive system.

Two of the offensive linemen, right guard Harvey Dahl and left tackle Sam Baker, would be first-year starters. Who starts at right tackle — Todd Weiner or Tyson Clabo — depends on Weiner fully recovering from knee surgery.

Though there is uncertainty about the complexion and experience of the line, Boudreau said the establishment of a foul persona is a good first step.

"I make it a point to tell my guys that if the defense is 15 yards downfield swarming, taking shots at our ball carrier you might as well get down there and get into the fray," Boudreau said. "It's one of those things where they're buying into it and we're seeing the results."

Buffering some potential growing pains along the line are Hartsock, Mughelli, and if needed, a second tight end/H-back, Martrez Milner. It's additional muscle that Mularkey has designed to give extra punch.

"You've got to have a good offensive line to run the ball and to make it complete, you need tight ends, fullbacks and wide receives to block," Mughelli said. "With me being the spearhead, as I go Mike goes. When Mike doesn't make any yards. I take it personally. When he does get yards, I take that personally too."

Backup tailback Jerious Norwood will be utilized much more this season, as his game-changing speed is too vital to keep sidelined. The ideal plan, according to coaches, is to use the third-year game breaker after the defense has been bludgeoned for a few series.

Which brings us back to Turner, who, at 5-foot-10, 244 pounds, runs incredibly low, reducing his target to pretty much knees and elbows. Should he reach the second level of the defense, Turner "The Burner" has the speed to break off gains in huge chunks.

"I just feel when somebody's coming," Turner said about his ability to escape or barrel through. "That's my fifth year and that's where my experience comes into play. It's been very effective running like that."

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With Turner and Norwood occassionally in the backfield at the same time I hope the Birds run 70 % of the time with some deep passes thrown in.

I'd love to see numbers like William Andrews and LynnCain pt up a few times !

Turner 1200 Yards

Norwood 800 Yards

Ovie 12 MLB's on IR

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Right on the money here Rev, and I hope that's a good dose of the info Smith is feeding our guys to get them spun up. Not sure how long it will last, but if it gets us off to a good start, no telling.


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Roethlisberger's comments saying " they were threatning me" LOL. That hit that KO'd him was right infront of me at the Dome. Man they put the smack on him and walked away. The only way we could have been threatning him, is while is was knocked the F out and thats what he was dreaming. :lol:

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Guest Gritz
Geez... You ladies sound like a bunch of cheerleaders at a 7th grade slumber party!

Don't forget about that little friend you always ignore called "reality"...

OK, I'm done with the sarcasm

That's some funny "ish" coming from a guy who last week predicted that the Sucs would go 12-4 this year.

A little dose of reality might do you a bit of good too....... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Ahh the beauty of not playing against another team. Once your OL and offense has to actually perform against real NFL talent it's going to be painfully obvious that all this "attitude" will mean nothing. Turner is going to regret going to that atrocity up in ATL. In SD he has the comfort of knowing that LT was the man and they have one of the best OL's in the league. He's in for it come Sept, I can't wait!

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