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Mike Smith: Jacquizz Rodgers can play all three downs

Talk of running back Michael Turner’s imminent departure from the Falcons is in the air and coach Mike Smith isn’t doing anything to point in a different direction.

Smith was asked about Jacquizz Rodgers at the combine this week and his answers made it clear that Rodgers isn’t just seen as a complement to the older running back any longer. Rodgers may be at the extreme end of the shorter side of the spectrum at 5-foot-6, but Smith believes that he can do everything that the Falcons need in the backfield.

“We thought he was only going to be a change of pace back,” Smith said, via the team’s website. “We found out very quickly that even though he is short, he is not little. He can handle all three downs and he does a very good job for us returning kicks.”

Rodgers’ best work came on passing downs and that will likely continue to be the best role for him when the 2013 season gets underway. Whether the Falcons opt for a free agent (Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports Shonn Greene is expected to be on their list) or the draft, they’ll likely be looking to pick up a player who allows them to avoid shoveling too much more onto Rodgers’ plate in the year to come.

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12 Responses to “Mike Smith: Jacquizz Rodgers can play all three downs”
  1. tyler4richardson says: Feb 24, 2013 12:21 PM

    I don’t doubt it. He is still the type of player who will be most effective in a dual back system with a big bruiser. Shonn Greene and Jaquizz would be a nice looking young backfield.

  2. lightcleric says: Feb 24, 2013 12:25 PM

    If they thought he was a 3-down back they would have used him like a 3-down back this year. It was painfully obvious how ineffective Michael Turner was yet Jacquizz only got 94 carries all year.

  3. mannyicey says: Feb 24, 2013 12:54 PM

    While Rodgers is a good running back, Mike Smith is bringing the hype. Rodgers is too small to break tackles coming from his side and I’ve seen that time and time again. He has good feet and a natural lower center of gravity, so he can truck someone that uses bad technique, but he’s not a bruiser back.

    So he needs a complement. Even though Turner’s probably not the answer because of his lack of blocking skills in protection, you can still find someone that can go. I mean, imagine if Turner could block? They could have had both of them coming out of the backfield on the same play.

  4. mrlaloosh says: Feb 24, 2013 1:01 PM

    Cheap imitation of Darren Sproles. Only not nearly as good.

  5. daknight93 says: Feb 24, 2013 1:02 PM

    If he is a 3 down back, why didn’t Coach Smitty use him last year as the featured back..this guy is not a 3 down back, but a complimentary back to a much bigger back…he is too small to take that kind of pounding for 4 quarters..he can’t break a defense down the entire game…that’s a cold hard fact, Falcons need a new running back to pair with Rodgers.

  6. cletusvandam says: Feb 24, 2013 1:14 PM

    M. Turner wasn’t very good last year but why S Greene? Have they not watched ANY film on this guy? They are dumping one 3 yard per carry back that can’t catch for another. Glad I’m not a Falcons fan.

  7. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Feb 24, 2013 1:50 PM

    Shonn Greene will not be the one that solves any teams RB problems.

    I would draft a later round guy and sign someone like Jonathan Dwyer. Unless Steven Jackson gets cut, the falcons could probably get him at a discount.

  8. bunjy96 says: Feb 24, 2013 2:54 PM

    I think Blount might be available

  9. 4thqtrsaint says: Feb 24, 2013 3:22 PM

    Not surprising… Mike Smith has been copying the Saints at every chance. Might as well have a poor man’s Sproles while you’re at it.

  10. bmorefalcon says: Feb 24, 2013 4:20 PM

    I would like to thank the Saints fans who troll Falcons articles talking trash.

    It is a gentle reminder that, no matter how bad my day is, at least my team did not put up the most disappointing season imaginable.

    The 2012 Saints; worst defense in the history of football. Yeah, I would be mad and lashing out too.

  11. hunterjj69 says: Feb 24, 2013 4:34 PM

    Get chris ivory sinces hes a FA and steven jackson is the same as turner, hes about to be 30 too i think,
    and maybe draft tavon austin or marquees goodwin in the 2nd round, if hes still there, and maybe draft lattimore in the 4th, or leveon bell from michigan since hes a big bruiser,

  12. atlsimpson says: Feb 26, 2013 11:38 PM

    We don’t need wide outs. We need tony back, and a defensive end. Hopefully we get Moore back too. Steven Jackson would have a ball in atlanta behind a good offensive line. Rodgers wouldn’t be used any different than he would last year, he isn’t handling three downs yet in koetters offense.

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