Fun-filled discussion post for
our unemployed readers the early birds.
Michael Turner's underwhelming preseason is not a secret. And he didn't wow anybody in week one either. Turner had just eleven carries, managing only thirty-two yards. But before you blame Turner, consider what Mike Smith had to say about it.
Coach Mike Smith acknowledged that Atlanta's ground game needs to be more productive. "We've got to be able to run it more effectively and more efficiently," he said. "We have to stay on our blocks. We missed some blocks and we missed some cuts. It was a group effort."
Do I honestly think Turner is done? No. Sure, he isn't the back he once was - but it's not a sharp decline. It's more like a steady, slow decline. He still has plenty of value. Even so, if we can't run block, then he won't produce. If he doesn't produce, then it will affect our balance.
Sure, our week one pass blocking was - as the cool kids say - off the heezy! Great. Not enough in this league. If there's no balance, then you will lose. Maybe not last week, and maybe not this week, but sooner or later, it will happen. Then it will keep happening.
I'm not trying to diminish expectations. We looked solid last week, there's no denying that. Matt Ryan impressed like whoa last Sunday. I really hope that continues. But we need to demonstrate balance; we need to show we can still pound the rock. Of course, Jacquizz Rodgers is the wild card here. He didn't exactly impress in week one either. And that's OK, as long as things change going forward. Seven carries for twenty-two yards won't even blow my grandmother away, and she's like 4'9 and ninety-eight pounds.