Febuary 24th, Atlanta Falcons' head coach Mike Smith addressed the Jacquizz Rodger's role in the run game under offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
“We thought he was only going to be a change of pace back,” Smith said, “We found out very quickly that even though he is short, he is not little. He can handle all three downs and he does a very good job for us returning kicks.”
With Michael Turner expected to be released for cap purposes and overall lack of production, it appears the shifty, 5-foot-6 Rodgers has gained his coaches confidence and is clearly a prime candidate to take over a role as the teams featured back.
If so, not only does this alleviate some of the pressure on Thomas Dimitroff financially but also throughout the draft process. Ultimately allowing him to focus on strengthening Atlanta's pass rush and adequately asses the talent in middle of the field if Tony Gonzalez sides with retirement.
That said, Rodgers has never registered more than 11 touches in his young NFL career and a workload that heavy could be a taxing adjustment when teams are keyed in on stuffing the run. With that, Jason Snelling, an extremely underutilized power-back, would be more than capable of assuming third-and-short situations when needed.
Snelling actually posted a solid year when given an adequate opportunity in 2009, rushing for 613 yards on 142 attempts. Posting four touchdowns on 10.3 attempts per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Solid numbers. Not to mention he's only broken 50 rushing attempts twice in his six year career. So he's just about the freshest set of legs your going to find on an NFL running back at 29 years old.
So while Rodgers and Snelling would be a far cry from leading the league in rushing, they could prove to be a suitable tandem in the backfield that's known for simply getting the job done. Especially if paired with a raw talent late in the draft or less-than-household name free agent.