RB Michael Turner To Catch More Passes?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

That flash zipping around the fields at the Falcons' training camp is the down-sized Michael Turner.

After an injury-marred 2009 season, Turner has spent a great deal of time in the training room re-sculpting his body and decreasing his body fat.

He appears to be much faster running to the edge and busting through the holes at the line of scrimmage.

"I'm feeling great," Turner said. "I'm just trying to get that pop back, that explosiveness that I was getting in the middle of last year. This year I want to start off with it."

The Falcons are looking to expand Turner's game and get him more involved in the passing attack. He has only 22 career receptions, but he wants to be more of a threat coming out of the backfield.

"You have to work all year round to improve all facets of your game," Turner said. "It's not like I went out and caught 100 balls a day or anything."

However, during organized team activities, Turner and the running backs stayed afterward to work on catching passes.

"Michael just hasn't had the opportunity throughout his entire career to catch passes, but he does have good hands," Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

If he can catch passes, that would make him a viable option on third downs.

"We want to make sure that we have a very good rotation with our running backs," Smith said. "More and more people are going to the running back position-by-committee approach where you have your featured back and you have your third-down back. It would be nice to have Michael in there in some of those third-down situations."

Fantasy Impact: 

Turner's stock drops in PPR leagues, so if he's going to catch more passes, it's going to make him more valuable to fantasy owners across the board. Still, it's hard to see Turner making a major impact in the passing game. The main thing is that he's in good shape and should be a solid selection on draft day, though it would be better to land him in the second round than the first.

Filed Under: 2010, Preseason

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