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Why The Falcons Have An Effective Set Of Running Backs

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The Atlanta Falcons have not had such an effective running back rotation since the days of Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett. Bank on it.

That may seem to be an unusual thing to say, given that the components of this particular rotation are a 30-year-old Michael Turner, a diminuitive Jacquizz Rodgers and jack-of-all-trades Jason Snelling. That's not a murderer's row, but it ought to be an effective group.

Why? Because of the disparity between the three backs. Turner is a ridiculously hard to tackle head of steam who can get into open space and cause a ruckus, and is capable of putting a hurting on those foolish enough to tackle him. He's not a classic, short-yardage power type, but he's a damn load and a fine feature back.

Rodgers, on the other hand, offers a hard-to-find height, excellent lateral agility and a little pop. It's an interesting package for a shorter back, but Rodgers is jacked and can handle the change-of-pace role with aplomb. The lack of breakaway speed means he's no Jerious Norwood, but he should be more durable and has the pass-catching chops Turner does not.

And then there's Snelling. Decent as a runner, adept as a pass-catcher and useful as a blocker, he can be used wherever and whenever he's needed. That versatility will allow him to step in and give Turner and Bradie Ewing breathers when needed.

The only dimension missing from this rotation? A true home run hitter, also known as a guy with difference-making speed. The Falcons may keep a guy like Antone Smith around for that purpose, but he'll get relatively few carries, to say the least. Given the strength of the three-man rotation, they don't really need it. If they want to swing for the fences, they'll air it out.

What do you think of the Falcons' running backs?