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Article about Turners Carries and 370 Curse


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FBO: NFC South questions and answersComment Email Print By Doug Farrar

Football Outsiders

Archive With the 2008 season in the books, Football Outsiders is going division by division, applying its unique brand of analysis to one key question for each team. Today: the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons: Will the "Curse of 370" strike Michael Turner?

One of the major keys to Atlanta's 2008 turnaround was former San Diego running back (and long-time LaDainian Tomlinson backup) Michael Turner, signed to a six-year, $34.5 million contract in March of last year. In his first year as a primary NFL back, Turner finished second in the league in yards (1,699, behind only Adrian Peterson) and touchdowns (18, behind only DeAngelo Williams). Turner did manage to lead the NFL in one important category -- unfortunately, that category was carries, with 376.

Football Outsiders has established in numerous studies that running backs who are overworked (roughly 370 carries or more) are at greater risk for significant decline or injury the next season. The talented Turner now finds himself in the crosshairs of the Curse of 370.

Jerious Norwood

#32 RB

Atlanta Falcons

2008 STATS

Rush 95

Yds 489

TD 4

Rec 36

Yds 338

TD 2

The sad part is that Turner never had to be overworked, because the Falcons have another running back with a perfectly complementary skill set: three-year veteran Jerious Norwood. In 2007, Norwood put together a very impressive statistic -- while the offensive line in front of him finished dead last in Adjusted Line Yards, Norwood somehow finished first among all running backs in DVOA (our per-play value stat). And while Turner is a bruiser who likes to break through first contact and make his own lanes, Norwood is a speedster with a quick first cut that Turner just doesn't have.

So, why did the Falcons give Norwood a total of 95 carries? In those carries, Norwood gained 5.1 yards per attempt and scored four touchdowns. The team seems to see Norwood as more of a multi-purpose player (he caught 36 passes and returned 51 kickoffs in 2008), but it would serve them well to split the load a bit more equitably especially since the rejuvenated offensive line can now help Norwood make plays.

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Some of that is caused by overworking off the field. I remember a report when LT was so hot and he worked out hard off the field. While his work ethic is commendable running is hard on your knees. Turner needs to stick with a normal exercise regime and a lot of low impact workouts.

Also I am willing to bet that most of the 370 curse guys were in their first or second year in the nfl.

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I say run him until he falls over dead, then just get a new RB. RBs are cheap and easy to find.

Whoa dude that sucks lol.

But I'm not worrried about Turner too much. His body is built to take punishment, compared to a more lean back like LT. Also Turner learned from LT things to do to take care of your body, like getting weekly massages regardless of if you feel you need it or not.

In my opinion Turner is having the equivalent of finishing his second year as a full time starter. If we take this year as a year and a half of him starting, punishment-wise, and add up the starts he had prior to it, I haven't done the math, but it shakes out okay for Mike.

That said, we will be able to reduce his carries next year, with Norwood, and Ryan getting more snaps. Turner was VITAL to the development of Matt, he was his "training wheels" so to speak.

By the end of the season we saw that Ryan was ready to pedal on his own, so we will be able to ease off of the burner to a safer amount of carries.

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When noticing Turner's running style, true he has a lot of carries but to me he isn't one of those big impact run into you types. It seems a lot of the times he is getting dragged down by defenders he is dragging down the field more than getting "knocked" down. The way he runs low, guys seem to try and grab and wrap him up as opposed to say Jamal Anderson or a Adrian Peterson who try and run through people and end up with those car-crash type blows. It also seems like when guys try to wrap him up and there's a pile, he wiggles loose and gains 20 more yards. I think this makes his 370 carries different than most cause his not just bulldozing into people (accept for 3rd and shorts), more of a refuse to go down and drag your azz after the first tackle attempt by defenders. Anyway, even if he does go down I am more than confident in the abilities of Jason Snelling (assuming we still have him next year) to take up the slack. I really like that guy too and wish we could see more of him in the reg season to see if he's the real deal. I know tearing it up in pre-season and practice is different than reg season ball, but the guy seems legit to me. I think the staff will properly watch after Turner's carries as to not let him get worn out. We'll be okay...

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Anything "historical" isn't nearly as valid today as it was. Nutrition is better. Training is better. There are more resources available to the players to improve physically, and there's better medicine to help them recover better and faster. Historically, players were done after 30. Today, 35 year olds are signing multi-year deals. An injury that was historically career ending is season ending. An injury that was historically season ending is now a 4-6 week return.

As long as Turner listens to his body, keeps himself healthy, and in shape, he shouldn't be any more susceptible to injury than he was any given Sunday this past season.

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Whoa dude that sucks lol.

But I'm not worrried about Turner too much. His body is built to take punishment, compared to a more lean back like LT. Also Turner learned from LT things to do to take care of your body, like getting weekly massages regardless of if you feel you need it or not.

In my opinion Turner is having the equivalent of finishing his second year as a full time starter. If we take this year as a year and a half of him starting, punishment-wise, and add up the starts he had prior to it, I haven't done the math, but it shakes out okay for Mike.

That said, we will be able to reduce his carries next year, with Norwood, and Ryan getting more snaps. Turner was VITAL to the development of Matt, he was his "training wheels" so to speak.

By the end of the season we saw that Ryan was ready to pedal on his own, so we will be able to ease off of the burner to a safer amount of carries.

:lol::lol::lol::lol: Not sure why, but I found that really hilarious. Nice analogy.

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I say run him until he falls over dead, then just get a new RB. RBs are cheap and easy to find.

JEDI !!! Man You are ROTTEN to the CORE !

But back on point here.

The 370 thing does not hold water and this is why.

But first keep in mind that the heavy work load was to

benefit Ryan.

Turner had 3 or 4 years in San Diego with very little usage.

During this time his body was reaching a peak in physical

maturity for a Pro Football Player.

In short, This was a perfect scenario for an NFL Running Back

because he was ready to Take It.

This will not be the case in 2009 and I am projecting 300 touches Max

for Turner or less.

Now also keep in mind that Norwood has been with us a few seasons

under the same situation as Turner in SD.

Have you noticed that Norwoods body has Bulked up?

The clear evidence of this was late last season after he had recovered from

some nagging injuries Norwood used some brute force to bust free a few times.

Set the Course of Action for 58.5 degrees of Runatude.

In other words 58.5% of our plays in 09 will be running the ball.

Clock Controll

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I hope he breaks the "curse" and I also hope that he won't carry the ball 376 times next season again. That kind of wear and tear isn't good especially when you have 2 very good backs on the roster behind him.

I think Matt begin to develops his stride as a passer....oh yeah that girl in ur sig looks like a dude IMO...

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JEDI !!! Man You are ROTTEN to the CORE !

But back on point here.

The 370 thing does not hold water and this is why.

But first keep in mind that the heavy work load was to

benefit Ryan.

Turner had 3 or 4 years in San Diego with very little usage.

During this time his body was reaching a peak in physical

maturity for a Pro Football Player.

In short, This was a perfect scenario for an NFL Running Back

because he was ready to Take It.

This will not be the case in 2009 and I am projecting 300 touches Max

for Turner or less.

Now also keep in mind that Norwood has been with us a few seasons

under the same situation as Turner in SD.

Have you noticed that Norwoods body has Bulked up?

The clear evidence of this was late last season after he had recovered from

some nagging injuries Norwood used some brute force to bust free a few times.

Set the Course of Action for 58.5 degrees of Runatude.

In other words 58.5% of our plays in 09 will be running the ball.

Clock Controll

yeah I noticed that too, he really seemed to fall forward when ever he got hit which is nothing like in madden B)

also I would like to see more Snelling more too, especially in some screens.

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The problem with the 370 carries study is that its a statistical quirk- if they had set the limit at 365 or 375, the effect disappears. The guys that put the study together admitted they played around with numbers to get something to stand out. In other words its meaningless statistical games.

It's bad methodology and FO certainly overstates their case, but there's still something to be said for not overworking a back. Personally, what bothers me isn't so much overusing Turner, it's underusing Norwood - he's a playmaker who deserves a lot more touches.

xkcd sucks btw

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