That effort will continue into training camp as Jackson prepares for a lead role in his first season as a Falcon. The rest of the veteran Falcons offensive players will likely be involved in that effort as will the team’s coaching staff, but there will be a limit to how much the Falcons push Jackson before the regular season gets underway.
“Steven’s got a gazillion carries in his career,” Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said, via the team’s website. “Coach Smith will determine how many carries he gets, but I don’t believe Steven Jackson needs a bunch of touches in the preseason. You can only run inside zone, outside zone so many times. He doesn’t need to go out there and prove himself. Preseason is live tackling and getting your running backs beat up in the preseason, I don’t see the benefit. Coach Smith will determine how many carries he gets.”
Even with Jackson still working to pick up the offense, there’s nothing surprising about the Falcons’ approach. A player with his experience knows how to get himself ready for the start of the season and the team has much more to lose than gain from exposing Jackson to defenses during the summer.