When the Falcons signed Steven Jackson as a free agent, the hope was that he’d be able to provide them with the kind of consistent threat out of the backfield that they were lacking with Michael Turner in the lead role in 2012.
Like just about everything else in Atlanta, things haven’t worked out that way. Jackson missed four games with a hamstring injury and he has picked up 74 yards on 33 carries in the three games since his return, suggesting that Jackson may not have much left in the tank whether he’s healthy or not. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn’t thinking that way and said Tuesday that he wants to give Jackson the ball more in the coming weeks.
“My opinion is Steven Jackson is a workhorse running back and we haven’t been able to work him. I mean, I think Steven is one of those guys that gets better the more he touches it,” Koetter said, via ESPN.com. “We’re not running it successfully enough to get him enough carries. If he’s carrying in multiple times, he’s going to need to come out and then that’s going to lead to [Jacquizz Rodgers] and Jason [Snelling] getting more carries, too. But unfortunately, because we’re not doing anything successfully right now and we’re getting behind on the scoreboard, [the running game] sometimes gets away from us.”
On top of any injury or aging issues that Jackson might be experiencing and the scoreboard problems Koetter mentions, there’s also the issue of a struggling offensive line for the Falcons to deal with when it comes to heavier usage of Jackson. In a perfect world, all of those things would go away and allow the Falcons to ride Jackson to victory, but the unavoidable message of this season is that the Falcons are not living in a perfect world.