In his first season in Atlanta after nine years in St. Louis, Steven Jackson is ready to get fewer carries. But Jackson thinks the carries he does get are going to lead to more wins.
Jackson says he’s ready for a lower quantity of carries but higher quality carries — meaning, he thinks the Falcons are going to have a lot of fourth-quarter leads, and they’re going to hand off to Jackson a lot to protect those leads.
“This offense has so many weapons that I’m going to get quality carries,” Jackson said. “I’m going to have opportunities — they may not be 25 carries a game, but they’re going to be quality carries that allow me to close out a game.”
That would be great news for Falcons coach Mike Smith, who said that in addition to Jackson running the ball, the Falcons will incorporate Jackson into their passing game as well.
“He’s a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield, does a good job with checkdown screens, and he’s a big guy,” Smith said. “When he gets his shoulders going north and south, he’s a tough guy to tackle. We plan on hopefully getting him in space quite a bit, with him catching the ball out of the backfield.”
As both a runner and a receiver, Jackson should be an upgrade over last year’s No. 1 running back, Michael Turner. The presence of Jackson makes an already good offense better.