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Dirk Koetter: Michael Turner didn’t have a chance on majority of runs

Michael Turner, Curtis Lofton, Jabari Greer, Cameron Jordan, Jonathan Vilma AP

After Sunday’s 31-27 loss to the Saints, Falcons center Todd McClure took issue with the idea that poor blocking was the sole place to point blame for the team’s lackluster showing in short yardage near the New Orleans end zone.

“It is in every aspect of it,” McClure said. “But we get the ball on the one, we are expected to get it in. I just get frustrated sometimes the past couple years. There’s more to it than just lining up and blocking the guys wherever they line up. And that’s it. I can’t talk about it anymore.”

One imagines that two of the things that McClure refers to when he says “there’s more to it” are the running back and the play calling. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is the guy calling the plays and he doesn’t think that Michael Turner was to blame for the team’s inability to punch the ball into the end zone. He also doesn’t think that it would have made any difference if the team went with Jacquizz Rodgers in those situations because whoever was running the ball wouldn’t have had a chance.

“We only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is,” Koetter said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When you look at the tape on the majority of Mike Turner’s runs in the game the other day, he had no chance. We had free runners at the point of attack.”

Koetter wasn’t pointing the finger solely at the offensive line as he cited multiple reasons, including coaching, for the team’s failure to produce in short yardage. He didn’t mention Turner specifically, although it isn’t hard to notice that he isn’t the same back that he was a few years ago.

Pointing fingers isn’t going to fix the problem all by itself, though, especially when there seem to be no shortage of places to point them in Atlanta.

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13 Responses to “Dirk Koetter: Michael Turner didn’t have a chance on majority of runs”
  1. iceshocker says: Nov 13, 2012 7:17 PM

    feels like people are trying to come up with anything to make the falcons seem bad.

    Aren’t they going to lose in the first round of the playoffs? Why are people acting so scared of them then?

  2. giantsfanlewis says: Nov 13, 2012 7:26 PM

    Wow I’m a giants fan and I just have to say your making something out of nothing. Your acting like matty ice ran a dog fighting ring or something when all that happened was the falcons played a bad game in a trap game against a bad saints team. Last year the superbowl winners got beat twice by the worst team in the nfc east. It happens.

  3. gbpbacker84 says: Nov 13, 2012 7:38 PM

    This is essentially the same Falcon team that got absolutely murked in the playoffs the last 2 years. I hope they get the 1 seed because I’d much rather play there in the Playoffs than San Fran.

  4. pftstory says: Nov 13, 2012 8:04 PM

    Its not the same team..The style of play is different. The coaching is different. The D is playing better. Are they a SB team. Maybe not yet. But maybe yes.
    I figure their off-season move this year is to replace Turner. Though of course that is no grand prediction.
    Problem I see Turner cant change direction and takes too many steps to get to top speed. So the hole has to be there. They are lesser backs than Turner, but not slouches. But Snelling and Rodgers at least have a shot of changing directions if the hole is not there. All Turner can do is ram or fall into where the hole should have been.

  5. jkaflagg says: Nov 13, 2012 8:07 PM

    Unfortunately, you could see the problems way back in preseason when the first team offense was on the field – Turner no longer hits the hole decisively and does not break as many tackles as in the past; Rodgers and Snelling are useful in the passing game but have little impact running the ball due the inability of the line to get any movement up front…..People are talking like these problems are just coming to light, but in reality they go back to last year, when the short yardage failures against the Saints and Giants sabotaged the season.

    No doubt teams will continue to exploit these problems the rest of the season; as the saying goes, by this time of the year “you are who you are” ….the Falcons will probably go only as far as Matt Ryan’s passing will take them, and then Thomas Dimitroff needs to find a couple of new running backs to carry the mail, in addition to upgrading the OL…..

  6. kinguga says: Nov 13, 2012 8:29 PM

    All of this is setting the Falcons up for the “nobody believed in us” thing in the playoffs. There isn’t a team in the NFL that is more due to have a playoff run than Atlanta.

  7. mlenenski says: Nov 13, 2012 10:00 PM

    Mike Smith should ask Mike Dikta would do.

    He’d say Falcons just need to get a new “Fridge”

    That would be too easy.

    Falcons too dumb to fix it, won’t win a playoff game without a short yardage specialist.

  8. grendelg says: Nov 13, 2012 10:18 PM

    Let me get this straight… The Falcons were the last undefeated team and lost to their best division rival on the road and there’s “no shortage of places to point them (fingers) in Atlanta”? Seriously?

    You make it sound like they’re the Chiefs and just had their first lead in a game this week.

  9. ricksaints says: Nov 13, 2012 10:43 PM

    And the unravelling begins…

  10. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 13, 2012 11:21 PM

    Anyone who watched that game would agree that Turner had nowhere to go. Virtually the instant he got the rock, he was being swarmed by black jerseys.

    Not pointing fingers at coaching, linemen, play-calling or whatever —– but definitely am saying it wasn’t Turner’s fault for his light production against the Saints.

  11. larryjames836 says: Nov 14, 2012 1:53 AM

    Atlanta Falcons done ran Micheal Turner’s til he can’t run anymore he use to be a quick runner. But they done worsen him down, now the Falcons looking for the old Micheal Turner to return. Yes Micheal Turner runs but not like he use to.

  12. rickscherger says: Nov 14, 2012 9:54 AM

    Have to agree with wannabeabanker. What holes? Every time Turner touches the ball he has three defensive players in the backfield with him. No, he isnt as fast as he once was but against Dallas in the second quarter last week, when the line did open holes Turner was quite effective. Watch the tape. Either blocking scheme or poor blocking is the reason the Falcons have had trouble running the ball. Too many ‘experts’ are down on Turner. There is more to it than that

  13. sb44champs says: Nov 14, 2012 10:07 AM

    ialwayswantedtobeabanker says:
    Nov 13, 2012 11:21 PM
    Anyone who watched that game would agree that Turner had nowhere to go. Virtually the instant he got the rock, he was being swarmed by black jerseys.

    Not pointing fingers at coaching, linemen, play-calling or whatever —– but definitely am saying it wasn’t Turner’s fault for his light production against the Saints.
    =========================
    One must at least give the Saints’ D credit for consistently distruption into the backfield on short-yardage plays… Been doing it for the last few games minus the game against Broncos..

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