Cosell Talks Michael TurnerFriday, June 29, 2012
Falcons running back Michael Turner hit the wrong side of 30 in February, and he's ranked in the top two in the NFL in rushing attempts in three of the past four seasons. There is some feeling that he's a player in decline, and yards-per-carry statistics would seem to bear that out.
I asked Cosell to specifically analyze Turner as a running back in 2011. Not over the course of his career.
"Michael Turner has always been a certain kind of runner," Cosell stated. "He's a very strong runner because he has incredibly powerful (butt) and legs. And so he's always been able to run through tackles. He has quicker feet than I think a lot of people gave him credit for. I think that last year, I wouldn't say there was a major dropoff in Michael Turner. You know, he's never truly been a long speed guy.
"But like I said, that's not really relevant to the way he runs. I think he's always had very good patience, very good vision. They've run power quite a bit. And I think he's been able to pick and choose his hole."
Despite his increasing age and workload history, Cosell disputed the idea that Turner has become ineffective.
"I think he's always been a good example of the old expression, 'It's not speed to the hole, it's speed through the hole,'" Cosell said. "I think he's always been very good at that. And he's very hard to bring down unless you solidly get a hold of him. So he's been able to run through arm tackles.
"He's a guy that -- and this is what you want from your back -- he's a guy that when there's three yards to get, he gets six. Just because he's got physicality to him, he's got strength, he's got natural power, he falls forward, he moves the pile. You don't see him going backwards."
Next up: Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.