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.