Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith said last February that Jacquizz Rodgers had the ability to be a three-down back in the NFL.
Then the Falcons went out and signed Steven Jackson, only one of the game's most durable and productive three-down backs of the last decade.
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When he was sharing the workload with Michael Turner, Rodgers had a defined role as a change-of-pace back who stayed on the field in passing situations. Things are more hazy with Jackson, who, like Rodgers, possesses a versatile skill set. Jackson generally was good for about 40 receptions per season during his time with the St. Louis Rams. He had 90 catches during his bananas 2006 season.
"When I get in the game, I'm going to try to make my plays and try to get my number called more often," Rodgers said during last week's minicamp, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'll try to make every carry and every catch count."
Jackson turns 30 in July and has more than 10,000 yards on his ledger, numbers that tell us Rodgers is going to get some opportunities. It's a Super Bowl-or-bust season in Atlanta, and the Falcons want to try to keep Jackson fresh into February. Rodgers will play a big part toward that goal.