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Atlanta Falcons using Steven Jackson 'all over the line'

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said last month that adding running back Steven Jackson to the mix "makes us that much tougher to defend."

After Michael Turner fizzled out in short-yardage situations two postseasons in a row, Jackson gives the Falcons a proven grinder, but they view him as more than a runner.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has "positioned Jackson all over the line of scrimmage" in practice, using him as a focal point of the air attack, the Falcons' official website reported. Jackson confirmed the plan is to get him one-on-one with linebackers on passing downs.

"It reminds me of my younger years (with the St. Louis Rams) when I was used more as a receiver out of the backfield," Jackson said. "It allows me to use more tools in the shed that I have and possess. It allows me to work on things I haven't done in a number of years."

Jackson would have helped the Falcons down the stretch last season, especially in a tight NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Gonzalez also said the Falcons hope to be the "perfect type of offense" in 2013. That's premature, but Jackson is a distinct upgrade over Turner and appears to have plenty of gas left in the tank.

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