Mike Smith addressed the media today, and as always, he gave us bunches of cryptic coachspeak we can overanalyze. I found his comments about Jacquizz Rodgers particularly interesting.
Q: What were your thoughts on Jacquizz Rodgers and what do you see his role being the next couple of years?
A: Jacquizz did a very nice job for us . . . [W]e thought he was only going to be a change of pace back. 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. We were very transparent back in March of last year in terms of how we were going to put together our offense. That we were not going to have a featured back. That we were going to have carries dispersed amongst a number of guys and I think Jacquizz took advantage of his opportunities this year in terms of production he did a nice job.
Short but not little. I think that summarizes Rodgers perfectly. He's not little, just ask any of the linebackers who struggled taking him down this season.
I'm not sure Smith could be any clearer with his opinion about what Rodgers can and cannot do. He can be a three down back, which means he can be a feature back. If that's their intention, and it would seem that it is, one wonders how they will go about filling Michael Turner's roster spot.
I wouldn't particularly mind if the Falcons drafted a running back in the early rounds, but this makes me strongly doubt that they will. It makes me believe they don't see running back as a particularly pressing need, believing that some combination of Jason Snelling and Rodgers can get the job done. If anything, I'd expect them to sign an affordable free agent running back or take a running back in the later rounds.
For what it's worth, I realize I could be totally off in my interpretation of what Smith said.