Why Jacquizz Rodgers Will See A Larger Role In 2012

There's a familiar refrain with the Atlanta Falcons which dates all the way back to the days of Warrick Dunn. That refrain goes something like this.

We're gonna get Jerious Norwood/Jason Snelling/Antone Smith/Jacquizz Rodgers more involved in this offense. This guy gives us a different dimension to what Warrick Dunn/T.J. Duckett/Michael Turner gives us. I think he could be a real weapon for us.

That's never actually happened. Norwood was a weapon, and you could argue that limiting his carries was smart given his fragility later on in his career. Still, a guy who averaged close to six yards a carry in his first three seasons with the Falcons got less than 300 carries over that span.

The story didn't change with Rodgers in 2011. Rodgers was a less effective player than Norwood—he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry—but he was a quality receivers (21 catches for 188 yards) and it's pretty tough to judge a guy's performance based on 57 carries. That's an average of less than four totes a game.

There's been plenty of speculation about Michael Turner's future with these Falcons, which is only natural considering he's turning 30 and his performance has fallen off a cliff at the end of the last two seasons. I respect that we're going to have a debate about how much of that is due to line and play calling, because we should have that debate. But Turner, for all his awesome line-pounding and yard-rumbling magic, is not a pass-catching weapon. Rodgers and Snelling are.

I think the pattern that began with Norwood way back in 2006 will finally be broken this season. New coordinator Dirk Koetter likes screens and Mike Smith is unmistakeably high on Rodgers. If Smith truly believes Jacquizz is a potential three-down back, he and Koetter owe it to themselves to give him more than 100 carries and see if he really is. If Turner comes back—and I believe he will—the Falcons need to keep him fresh for the stretch run this season.

The Falcons need to become more versatile on offense, something everyone in the organization finally seems to recognize. That's why I believe 2012 will be Rodgers' year to make his case.

Do you agree?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker