Mike Smith: We didn’t see what Steven Jackson was capable of doing

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Heading into last season, plenty of people thought the addition of running back Steven Jackson would be just what the doctor ordered for the Falcons offense.

Like every other positive prognostication for Atlanta’s season, that one went by the wayside before we reached the halfway point of the season. Jackson hurt his hamstring, missed four games and struggled to find much running room behind a lacking offensive line on the way to ranking last in the NFL in rushing.

Jackson turns 31 in July and coach Mike Smith was asked at a Thursday press conference if the team needs to be looking at a running back in the draft. Smith noted the obvious need for improvement in the run game, but it sounds like he that he thinks Jackson still has something left in the tank.

“Well, we were the 32nd team in the league in terms of rushing this year. It’s definitely an area that we have to improve on,” Smith said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Steven Jackson, it was unfortunate that he was injured in the second game of the season. I don’t think we really got to see what Steven is capable of doing until the last three or four games. I think he scored all six of his touchdowns in those last four games. We have to improve our running game and it starts with winning the line of scrimmage. That is an area that will be an emphasis point for us.”

Jackson is set to make $3 million next season and the Falcons wouldn’t realize much cap savings by cutting him, so there’s no financial gain to moving in a different direction. Picking up a young back with potential to complement Jackson now and possibly replace him later makes sense, but fixing the line is likely a better priority given how much the 2013 unit struggled in all phases.

15 responses to “Mike Smith: We didn’t see what Steven Jackson was capable of doing

  1. this is why u come into the league at 21 if u are a rb if u can
    ur career is so short less for a rb then any other position player

    im gonna teach my kid to kick the ball u can last 20 yrs

  2. Mike Smith talks only in coach speak, but he is right on this one…..Jackson pretty much missed half the season with injuries, then struggled to find holes behind the worst OL in the league…..Unless they find an Albert Morris lying around, no problem giving him another shot, it’s not like he’s blocking anyone at the position ( and please don’t say Jacquizz Rogers)……

  3. Anyone who thinks he has nothing left in the tank is just making some generalization because he’s over 30. Did u actually watch him play before or after he got hurt? The play he injured his quad he broke a huge run and bowled over the entire defense to score. That whole game he looked great, like really great. He got hurt sat out and when he came back he looked like a beast. Watch the film people and stop making assumptions because if his age.

  4. This whole team had injury problems this past year! SJax was out for 5 weeks, Roddy was banged up all but the final couple weeks, Julio missed over half the yr, by about week 5 almost the entire oline & defensive starters were either rookies or career backup due to injury! Now thats no excuse for a bad season but it made it a bad season! The only 2 good things to come from this yr were Harry Douglas breaking out & Paul Worrilow gettin a shot to play and proving he was well worth the roster spot! Now SJax is getting older but I feel with a healthy & capable oline that he can still produce good numbers! Maybe not pro bowl caliaber yrs but if we can get 800-1000 yds and 10 tds Ill be happy! Especially since the Falcons are turning into a pasa first team! Matty Ice gets alot of criticism but hes actually a good QB and now has a playoff win under his belt! And with a healthy Roddy, Julio & Harry Douglas thats a very dangerous WR corp! Hopefully we can upgrade the defense and oline in the draft and I look forward to a bounce back season!

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