It continues to be very clear the Falcons intend to use Steven Jackson as much more than just a running back who carries the ball. Although he's a talented runner, Jackson is equally good at catching passes. During practices the Falcons have positioned Jackson all over the line of scrimmage and at one point Tuesday during drills, the Falcons threw to Jackson on two straight plays on opposite sides of the field. After practice Jackson said he thinks the offense is designed to get him one-on-one with linebackers because of the heavy coverage opposing defenses are expected to use against Atlanta's receiving targets. Jackson's role in Atlanta gives the running back memories of his early days as a true dual-threat back: "It reminds me of my younger years in St. Louis when I was used more as a receiver out of the backfield. It allows me to use more tools in the shed that I have and possess. It allows me to work on things I haven't done in a number of years."
Jackson has a chance to be very successful in Atlanta's high-octane offense. Jackson will benefit from extra red zone touches -- Michael Turner had almost twice as many red zone carries as Jackson did in 2012. He'll also enjoy running against defenses that will have to respect Matt Ryan and the Falcons' potent passing game. He has a chance to be a three-down back -- the Falcons have praised his pass-catching in OTAs. S-Jax looks like a low-end RB1 in his new situation.