Posted: 5:42 pm Friday, March 28th, 2014

Would Falcons have use for RB Chris Johnson? 

By Mark Bradley

Chris Johnson: Running to daylight ... and the A-T-L?

Chris Johnson: Running to daylight … and the A-T-L?

I am, as we know, a bit slow on the uptake, but here’s one I didn’t see coming and don’t quite understand. According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the expected-to-be-released-or-traded-by-the-Titans running back Chris Johnson could be bound for the Atlanta Falcons.

Why I didn’t see this coming: The Falcons bought a big-name running back — Steven Jackson — last year. At 28, Johnson is two years younger than Jackson and much more of an outside threat, but still … in a league where feature backs are being featured less and less, do you need two such guys? Especially on a team built around Matt Ryan throwing and Julio Jones and Roddy White catching?

I’m not saying Wyatt is wrong. The Falcons under Thomas Dimitroff have been known to try and add strength to strength. (They traded five picks for the right to draft Jones when they already had the Pro Bowler White, as you’ll recall.) And it could be — just thinking out loud here — that Johnson wouldn’t be added to complement Jackson but to replace him.

But here we return to the theme of this offseason, which is that the Falcons need to upgrade both lines. To date, they’ve added offensive linemen Jon Asamoah, who should start at right guard, and Gabe Carimi, who’s probably a backup at best. Is that improvement enough to warrant spending more money and cap space on another running back? (I know, I know. They could still grab an O-lineman or two in the draft.)

Again, I’m thinking aloud. I’ll admit I don’t know the answer to this one. Heck, I’m surprised even to be asking the question.

53 comments
RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

If the price is right this might not be a bad decision. Jackson didn't show much last year. Rodgers hasn't shown a lot since he's been here, Snelling retired, and since our head coach, Indian named "Stubborn Bull", refused to play Antoine Smith last year we don't know what we have there. A good RB may just be needed. O line and a pass rusher is first priority but again if the price is right.........   

wandagkern
wandagkern

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ColdSplash
ColdSplash

Oline...Oline...Oline....and oh yea ......some more Oline. Will you guys not ever learn? You fix this, and at this level, it truly does not matter who is at RB.

GeorgiaBugman
GeorgiaBugman

I think we should sign Johnson right after we sign Jackson.


You and Ledbetter should get some rehab.

MikeShirah
MikeShirah

Falcons are kind of like the Ga. Bulldogs, in that they get stars in their eyes over the skill position players way too much.. Without an OL that can pass black and open running lanes, it doesn't matter who you have running or passing.

DawgNole
DawgNole

MB: "But here we return to the theme of this offseason, which is that the Falcons need to upgrade both lines. To date, they’ve added offensive linemen Jon Asamoah, who should start at right guard, and Gabe Carimi, who’s probably a backup at best. Is that improvement enough to warrant spending more money and cap space on another running back?"

________________

To answer your question, NO, it's not improvement enough!

And that "theme of this offseason" is the same as it was--or should've been--last offseason, when it was clear to most that the team needed to upgrade its lines. So what did it do? NOTHING, as evidenced by 2013's disgraceful 4-12 record.

We can only hope for better this offseason, although so far that hope appears unrealistic.

There's a reason the franchise has NEVER won a championship.

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Will Johnson do any better if you don't get that Oline improved.........? I recall Johnson complaining about that in Tenn........

Wilbo
Wilbo

O~Line, O~Line, O~Line, D~Line, Linebackers. Bradley, you are such a confused little puppy. Dude, did you not watch the last 2 games of the playoffs season before last? Did you not watch last season. The Atlanta Falcons are a physically weak squad. Repeat after me. Ya ready?


"Put the beef up front. Put the beef up front. Put the beef up front!"


The object of you bromanse affection, Little Matty Ice is gonna be Little Matty Broken if he has to endure another season of people ready to knock the stew out of him before he can get set to throw, and no running back on Planet Earth can succeed if they don't have a few steps to hit speed before they have to tangle w individual dressed in different colored jerseys.


You're a sucker for flash, buddy boy. Flash hasn't gotten this team squat. They need power.


O~Line, O~Line, O~Line, D~Line, Linebackers. Let 'em open nice big holes, then let whoever is available run the ball. College kid, baby!

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

Draft Isaiah Crowell and be done with it.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Welcome to ATL CJ! Would love to see you in Atlanta!

JaySly
JaySly

ATL don't need these washed up attitude cases from other teams.  they need a better oline, dine and linebackers!

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Doesn't matter who runs for the Falcons if no one can block for the RB.

TommyLeeMaddox
TommyLeeMaddox

We've got that Vaughn kid and Antone Smith - they've run like crazy when Smith gave them one or two chances.  


The main problem is Smith won't play them!!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

If there is still $ available, it must be on either line!!!!!  This is the Falcons lone chance to address this problem that most of us have seen developing the last few years.  Not sexy but they must keep Ryan off his back and get some pass rush.

A running back would be nice because I just don't see J. Rodgers as a NFL player helping you win games, but not at the expense of the O & D lines.

Whiznot
Whiznot

Another dumb column addressing the wrong issue. Build a foundation before anything else.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Steven Jackson proved last year he has nothing left in the tank. Even "the Burner" was better the prior season and he was over the hill also. This team needs a real running back in the worst way.

seminoleking
seminoleking

gave this some thought. this is about concerns over jackson's durability. johnson is insurance against that......

DawgNole
DawgNole

joshsmithhangover: ". . .  Spend your money on the lines.  I don't understand why that is so difficult to understand!"

_______________________

CO-SIGN!

Why do we keep entertaining thoughts of signing RBs and WRs when the team's most glaring deficiencies clearly CONTINUE to lie in both lines? 

This (weakness in the lines) was the case a year ago as well. NOTHING was done to address the issue, and we all saw the results (4-12).

Amazing, considering the team's dismal postseason history, that Falcons management continues to make the same bumbling personnel moves--year after year after year.

warfalcon
warfalcon

Competition-competition-competition makes for better players. get it.


LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MicahBowers
MicahBowers

Johnson, Would be a Huge Factor in atlanta , However i Dont think Giving up Jackson is the answer, the man never got a chance to shine, when injuries hit him hard at the beginning of the year. Also he started to show himself toward the end of the season.  

My Answer is: Aquire Johnson somehow, without losing Jackson, Create a rotating run game ( Jackson can work the FB position as well)  if one becomes injury plagued you have a back-up. Atlanta needs to aquire the players now. They have a superbowl caliber pass offense and with a newly constructive protective OL and run stopping DL. This team is prime to be a threat.  That 13-3 season not to long ago, was not a joke. 


Rise Up!

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady


Switch 240 lb. Steven Jackson to Fullback.

countryboyy
countryboyy

well  its a good idea  need someone to get the job done if they can afford him  because steve jackson is finished  but he may  prove me wrong i feel chris has still got a little more left in him 

gfw
gfw

I've always liked Johnson, but don't know how much he has left in those legs.  In the kind of back he is, younger is usually better.  Still, I don't mind having him on board for a modest sum.  But to answer your question, "NO...we have not done enough to shore up our lines."  Dimitroff has a long way to go to restore our confidence in his ability to assemble a team that will be competitive in our division (much less our conference).

JSSN
JSSN

Hello New England Patriots!!!

Esquire
Esquire

Mark, I would really like to see Steven Jackson have a chance to let his horse run unbridled before we decide to not give him a real chance.  

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

I still don't know why Snelling retired.  He was healthy and performed well the few chances he got.  Maybe Coach Smith could give Antone Smith a chance.  He averaged 30 yards per carry last season.  Not bad.

ProfessorD
ProfessorD

This doesn't make sense.  Draft a motivated running back from a smaller school and let them go.  Running backs have short shelf lives and you don't need to spend a ton on them in today's NFL.  Get the McKinnon kid from Georgia Southern and he will give you all you need for 5 years, then draft someone else to do the same thing.


Spend your money on the lines.  I don't understand why that is so difficult to understand!

ftputt
ftputt

Only if it makes sense with the salary cap and all.  Cutting SJ does what?  And then signing CJ does what?


Assuming they are drafting a FS and TE.  They could always pick up a RB in the 3rd or 4th round who could probably play as well.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I think the Falcons would have more use from WR DeSean Jackson.

BirdBeak
BirdBeak

@Wilbo Total agreement with you Bro! If the holes are big enough even an average back can look great. OL and DL with every pick!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie  

ATL pro sports teams have generated many logical questions like yours over the past half-century--but very few legitimate answers.

Dawggie
Dawggie

@TreeRollins Agreed.  As the big, bruising-type RBs age, they retain their speed and size, but just cannot avoid the nagging injuries, that keep them off the playing field.   

JSSN
JSSN

@AlwaysReady  

You know better, he's more like Jerome Bettis or Christian Okoye, they weren't quality lead blockers.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@countryboyy  

I thought Jackson ran hard once he got past that injury. Would like to see what he could do in an injury-free season--admittedly a pipe dream, in light of his well-documented propensity for injuries.

JaySly
JaySly

@BigCrimson75 atl a big gang town---desean will bring street cred to the city---atl need to sign him

Esquire
Esquire

@BigCrimson75


Apparently there seems to be information about Jackson's gang connections that led to his being released

BirdBeak
BirdBeak

@Dawggie @TreeRollins Since the OL was so horrible last year not sure any running back could have gained yards. Jackson didn't get an opportunity to show if he has anything left. This year will tell.

GeorgiaBugman
GeorgiaBugman

@RobertSchnatmeier @PeachtreeBart

Can't agree with that. He was still out on kick coverage so don't think that is the REAL reason he was not used. I have asked ATL sports talking heads to get an answer why Smith didn't use Smith but continue to hear deafening silence. Guy had a 29ypc average on 5 touches and that's all you give him????? Either there is something not being disclosed or this coaching staff are idiots...prolly idiots.