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Mike Smith On S-Jax And Running Backs


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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000337723/article/mike-smith-throws-support-behind-steven-jackson

In 2013, Steven Jackson compiled the lowest rushing total of his career and broke his personal streak of eight straight 1,000-yard seasons.

The 31-year-old back missed four games due to injury, compiling just 543 yards on 157 carries and six touchdowns in an effete Falcons rushing attack. But coach Mike Smith has faith Jackson will bounce back in 2014.

"Unfortunately, Steven was injured last year and we didn't really get a chance to see what he was capable of doing until the last four or five games," Smith said this week at the NFL Annual Meeting, per ESPN.com. "But you've got to have a big back when you have to get the two or three yards. Especially late in the season, you've got to be able to run the football."

Jackson signed a three-year, $12 million contract last season, which in today's running back market is a king's ransom.

Smith believes Jackson is capable of being his pounding runner, but admitted the position necessitates a rotation.

"The running back position is going through a transition in terms of its value," Smith said. "It's more of a position where you want to have two or three running backs running the ball. It's probably the most punishing position on the field. You look at it as a position that you want to have a first-down runner, a change of pace runner, there's different body types and there's different skill sets."

The shifty Jacquizz Rodgers provides the change of pace Smith is looking for but, with no other depth at the position and the possibility that Jackson -- with 2,553 career carries on his legs -- never returns to form, the Falcons are primed to take a running back in the middle rounds of May's 2014 NFL Draft.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" offers a full recap of the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, then proposes player moves that won't happen (but probably should).

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HOLY **** can we PLEASE give A. Smith some more **** touches? All he does is score 50+ yard touchdowns when he touches the ball maybe it is time we gave him a few more regular carries per game espcially now that Snelling has retired?

Sjax, Quiz and Smith would be a good regular RB rotation. Smith needs 5+ touches a game at least.

If for some reason Smith does not work out after a few games fine but holy crap this front office needs to be smacked around for ignoring a guy that kept scoring by himself last year in our run game.

Edited by MAD597
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HOLY **** can we PLEASE give A. Smith some more **** touches? All he does is score 50+ yard touchdowns when he touches the ball maybe it is time we gave him a few more regular carries per game espcially now that Snelling has retired?

Sjax, Quiz and Smith would be a good regular RB rotation. Smith needs 5+ touches a game at least.

If for some reason Smith does not work out after a few games fine but holy crap this front office needs to be smacked around for ignoring a guy that kept scoring by himself last year in our run game.

I'm right there with you bro. I can't figure out why there is still no talk about A. Smith after what he did last year when he got touches.

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No mention of RB age? Once they get to the NFL, running backs are using dog years.

Sure, given his contract, keep Jackson, and see what he can do behind a NFL caliber line. We still need his replacement right now, and ideally, Snelling's replacement. I know we have other, more pressing needs, but I'd love to see Bishop Sankey and James Wilder Jr., respectively, for those needs... and Hewitt to replace Ewing.

I see the 'speed back' as very optional, given those touches should be had in the passing game, anyway. Devin Hester can get some of those on reverses or something. Antone Smith had a couple of nice carries, but it only took him 5 carries to get injured. That, if I need to say it, is not durable enough.

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S-Jax has been nicked and dinged almost every season the last few years and props to him for playing through injuries, but I dont trust that he can play healthy all season.

I dont trust Quizz can carry the load. I dont trust that Antone Smith can be more than a 10 plays a game back as exciting as he is. So I am all for getting one RB in the 4th-6th. Theres lots of depth at the position. We can probably pick up 2-3 talented UDFA's as well and stash one on the practice squad this season.

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Read this article this morning, and all it made me think was "the compensatory 4th rounder, looks like it's going to be the RB of the future." I also am not ok with going into the season with a 30+ y/o running back that had the wheels ran off of him in his previous job, so hopefully TD gets a drafted rb or finds lighting in a bottle with a UDFA like worrilow.

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I was and still am against Stephen Jackson as our running back. TD talked all last season about how he wanted to get younger and blah, blah, blah then goes and cuts Turner. And followed that up with bringing in a guy who is half a year younger but has more carries on his legs and has an injury history. SMH Biggest contradiction i have ever seen. We really need to cut bait with him. June 1st cut anyone?

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There appears to be a lot of depth in this draft, without a lot of top end talent, which works for us, given our needs. I think that's a good strategy, Magic, though I might try to get one of the top 'do it all' backs as early as the 3rd or our regular 4th, depending on how the draft falls.

Obviously, everyone likes how Mason runs, but I think we'll be looking for someone more multi-dimentional in the passing and pass protecting aspects.

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I was and still am against Stephen Jackson as our running back. TD talked all last season about how he wanted to get younger and blah, blah, blah then goes and cuts Turner. And followed that up with bringing in a guy who is half a year younger but has more carries on his legs and has an injury history. SMH Biggest contradiction i have ever seen. We really need to cut bait with him. June 1st cut anyone?

I don't have a problem with cutting him, but I want his replacement on the roster first.

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Jackson had 6 rushing TDs but Turner had 10 the year before. We don't need a burner we need someone who can score for us inside the 20. Jackson has never been a touchdown scorer. In 9 years in Stl he had 56 rushing TDs. During his 5 years in Atlanta Turner had 60.

Those 4 scores could be the difference between 3-4 wins.

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Nantucket on?

Using Iphone and Autocorrect fd it all up.

Half of Sjax's problem last year was our oline. Isn't that the excuse we use for Matt Ryan? Fix our interior oline and watch how our running game improves.

Agreed, can't wait to see how things go with the additions we have made during the offseason.

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Jackson had 6 rushing TDs but Turner had 10 the year before. We don't need a burner we need someone who can score for us inside the 20. Jackson has never been a touchdown scorer. In 9 years in Stl he had 56 rushing TDs. During his 5 years in Atlanta Turner had 60.

Those 4 scores could be the difference between 3-4 wins.

You should watch a little Terrance West video. Dude is a TD machiine

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You should watch a little Terrance West video. Dude is a TD machiine

I also like Lorenzin Taliaferro, as far as small school guys go. 6'0" 230lbs, runs a 4.58, and has a little wiggle, and gets short yards. Has also been a durable work horse. 1729 yards rushing, 27TDs as a Sr.

Could probably be had with a 7th rd comp pick.

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Half of Sjax's problem last year was our oline. Isn't that the excuse we use for Matt Ryan? Fix our interior oline and watch how our running game improves.

Or give the ball a few times to the guy that had 2 50+ yard TD runs behind the same Oline in 3 carries!!!!

I do not wan to waste another draft pick or FA signing on RB till A Smith gets a real chance in the lineup. Same goes with Vaughn who looked good last pre season. MANY times RB's have come out of nowhere when they were simply given a chance to play.

Edited by MAD597
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Ok, but what do we do when he's injured again after 5 carries?

Put Vaughn in the lineup and give him a shot. A Smith is hardly injury prone he just never gets a chance to play in the offense.

RB is a position where quite often players emerge out of nowhere. We got 2 guys on our roster that at least needs some type of shot in the lineup before we waste anymore time and resources on RB.

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