By Eric Schmidt

The time has come for the Atlanta Falcons to cut veteran RB Michael Turner after this season. After joining the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 as a free agent after backing up LaDainian Tomlinson with the San Diego Chargers, Turner posted a career high 1,699 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. His career has been on the decline in subsequent years and it’s time for the Falcons to part ways with Turner after this season.

Turner, soon to be 31, is a big back at 250 pounds, and he now appears to be old and slow. He lacks explosiveness and appears to be indecisive in the backfield before making his cuts. Due to make $5.5 million in 2013, the Falcons need to release Turner and head in a new direction for 2013.

Turner looked bad in limited pre-season play and still appears to be struggling this season. Heading into this season, the Falcons coaching staff stated that Turner would be limited on his carries this year in order to keep him fresh heading into post-season play. Turner has suffered a late season meltdown in recent years, but it’s appearing that his meltdown started early this year.

In six games this season, Turner has averaged 3.1 yards per carry of less. He has recorded just 2 100-yard games this season and has just five rushing touchdowns. Against the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago, the league’s worst defense, Turner averaged just 1.2 yards per carry.

With the addition of Dirk Koetter as the Falcons offensive coordinator, there appeared to be a emphasis on the running back screen game. I thought RB Jacquizz Rodgers would play a larger role this season, but he really hasn’t been much of a factor in the Falcons offense this season. He has recorded just 166 rushing yards and 233 yards through the air and one touchdown this season.

The Falcons jumped out to an 8-0 record this season before losing to the Saints last week. Atlanta was fortunate to come away with a slim victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon while QB Matt Ryan threw five interceptions. Atlanta has a tough three game divisional stretch with games coming up against the Buccaneers, Saints and Panthers in the next three weeks. If there is anything left in Turner’s tank, the Falcons are going to need it heading into this stretch.







Filed under: Atlanta Falcons, NFC South, NFL

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Readers Comments (7)

  1. avatar Bungle

    I was really hoping that the Falcons would draft Tauren Poole this season to play 2nd to MT but the Panthers got him and cut him. Maybe now they will look at him as a free agent. Who knows, Turner can’t run the middle at all anymore.

  2. avatar Stephen

    When we played Denver, we had the defense doing everything to confuse one of the best to ever play QB. Where did that go?
    Rodgers was in his perfect element against Cowboys and was very effective. Where did that go?
    Running Rodgers up the middle is insane, you have Turner getting stuffed under most of those plays, so why would you expect a horsefly to get through where a horse could not. Turner is not the problem. When we get a lead, we try to sit on it and then the other teams seem to come back, we need to keep our foot on the gas petal when we get a lead. When some say teams are running the score up, isn’t the goal to score points during a 60 minute contest. It is the job of the defense to stop the scoring, not the job of the offense to stop the scoring. Our biggest problem is that we are extremely predictable, 3 down and 1, gee, lets see, what will the Falcons do. Have a naked bootleg to get the QB away from the nearly two thousand pounds of meat that is waiting to meet at the center.

  3. avatar Navy Fighter Pilot

    I agree with you Stephen! I couldn’t agree with you more! Please coach Smith watch the films objectively and you’ll will see the Falcons are the most predictable team in the league! Keep you opponents wondering/guessing/off balanced and our team the Atlanta Falcons will be more consistant; meaning will have fewer close games!

  4. avatar Lee G Ski

    At a point in last Sunday’s game, folks in nose bleed section were commeting and wondering if Mike Malarkie was back
    running the show. Totally predictable.

  5. avatar Gary

    They need a new power running back and a new offecive line. Not that the “Burner” could hit the holes very fast but there were not many holes. You can tell the Falcons have given up on the run and everyone knows it. Put Snelling and Rogers back there and go with 2 tightend sets. Heck put a lineman in the backfield at fullback. Maybe with a head of steam that guy can block. Sure would surprise the other teams to see more than just passing formations.

  6. avatar ODIS

    I agree that Turner is garbage. He stutter steps to the line like a ballerina. Can’t even be counted on to get a 1/2 yard when needed. Then when he does look as though he is about to break for a long one, you can count on him tripping up on his ownself with no tacklers within 5 yards. The owner needs to cut him lose before they give him $5M next season. As a matter of fact, I would go up to him and tell him that he should give back half of his pay for this season. Because he has been garbage……………


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