Since Dirk Koetter was hired, there was speculation as to how running back Michael Turner would fit in the up-tempo offense. Turner, who is a power back, gets better the more he touches the ball. Under former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Turner often received 20+ carries a game. This season, he has averaged 14 carries per game. Against the Oakland Raiders yesterday, Turner had 11 carries for just 33 yards.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights Turner’s frustration:
“I’m not sure why it’s going like this,” Turner said. “It’s great to be 6-0 and everything. But we can’t just assume we’re always going to be able to get an interception or a last-minute field goal every time. At some point we’re going to have to run the ball. We’ve got to be able to knock it in [the endzone].”
The running back’s concern is legitimate. The Falcons’ rushing offense is ranked 25th in the league, averaging 86.5 yards per game. On the season, Turner has 357 yards and three touchdowns.
What’s disturbing, though, is Turner’s implied disconnection from the offense when asked about the confidence the team has in him:
“You would have to ask them that. That’s not something they would tell me. It’s their team, their scheme, their offense. I’m just here to try to help them win.”
Let’s hope the Falcons remember how to run block during the bye week.