Caleb touched on this in yesterday's Saturday Six-Pack, but hey. Yoink!
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Jacquizz Rodgers missed out on voluntary player-only workouts because he was finishing his degree. He also missed out on getting a playbook. That's led to a bit of an unfortunate situation, given that the mighty mite back has literally had no exposure to his new team.
That doesn't mean he hasn't been preparing on his own, at least:
“You have to know your protections and who you are blocking,” Rodgers said. “Once you figure that out, about the pass protections, with everything else you can rely on your natural ability. You get the ball and try to make a play with it.”
After finishing his class work, Rodgers returned to his hometown of Richmond, Texas, to prepare for more football.
“All I have been doing is running, putting on a little weight — muscle weight,” Rodgers said. “I’m just getting stronger and faster.”
While it's great to hear he's augmenting his already prodigious natural ability through the magic of working out, Rodgers is no longer a great bet to contribute immediately. The Falcons will have to deal with that reality somehow, and it's likely going to involve them re-signing one of their two free agent backs (Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood) or perhaps keeping Gartrell Johnson on the roster so they can ease Rodgers in.
It comes down to the simple fact that learning to pick up protection schemes at the NFL level has proven to be enormously complicated for many rookie backs. Rodgers is a bright kid, but with minimal practice, he may not have a good enough grasp on protection for the Falcons to entrust him with a significant number of snaps. That's not to say he won't be called upon to rumble down the field now and then, but he's a clear #3 option until he's learned his blocking assignments.
Do you agree?