With Jason Snelling out of the lineup following a Friday arrest, fourth-string tailback Antone Smith caught Smith's eye with runs of 50 and 38 yards deep in the fourth quarter of Sunday's blowout loss to the Buccaneers.
"I thought Antone showed some explosiveness when he got the ball in his hands," coach Mike Smith said, via the Falcons' official website. "I think it's going to be imperative that we try to get him incorporated into our offense. You saw his speed and his ability to make people miss. He's a guy that should and deserves some touches by what he did on Sunday afternoon."
Smith's sudden ascension based on a pair of garbage-time runs against a defense easing off the gas pedal speaks to the Falcons' desperate need for signs of life in the running game.
Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Snelling have averaged a combined 3.51 yards on 170 carries behind an offensive line full of draft picks that have failed to develop into even league-average starters.
Don't look for Smith to overtake an underwhelming Jackson or even Rodgers in the pecking order. He's an ordinary talent lacking explosiveness. His head coach's excitement over the most limited of sample sizes simply speaks to the need to blow up the entire ground attack and start over next offseason.