Atlanta has three RB's on the depth chart in Turner, Norwood, and Snelling. Snelling showed the league and fans that he could hang with the big dogs filling in a vital role as Turner and Norwood went down last season. Snelling's best game came week 17 against Tampa Bay where he rushed for 157 yards but what people fail to notice is that Snelling's play helped Atlanta go to 9-7 when they were hit with injuries. The question that may arouse some speculation during this offseason is whether he should be the number two back or not.
Snelling and Norwood are two different backs first off. I like to believe that Snelling is a mini Turner but not as explosive out the backfield while Norwood is pure speed and a threat to take the football to the house if given the chance. At first, I wasn't too crazy about Snelling but as the season progressed, he showed he can do his job doing decent against run stopping teams like the New York Giants where he posted two touchdowns. For someone who was third on the depth chart to be thrusted in a starting position, I think he did a pretty decent job. The only thing that bothers me is if Snelling could be a consistent help to Turner throughout the season. There were some games where he was just shut down like for example against the Eagles and Atlanta needs someone to relieve Turner for a few downs as well as keeping to pressure on teams with a constant rushing attack.
Norwood has always been a favorite of mine and I love his speed to contrast with Turner's brutal rushing attack, almost like a one two punch. Norwood has good hands catching screens out of the backfield and turning on the burners to leave defenders in the dust but the thing that concerns me in his durability. I was curious but excited to see how he could handle starting for Atlanta last season but then the injury bug hit him as well. I think the coaches in Atlanta are thinking the same thing since they placed a second-round tender on him March 4. Even though he has the second round tag on him, I'm not sure if anyone wants to pursue him so Atlanta might luck out and be able to keep him and Snelling for at least another year.
Snelling or Norwood. Who should fill the number two spot on the depth chart? After some hard thinking, Atlanta should go with Snelling. We still don't know how Norwood will be after returning from his injury and Snelling should earn the spot because of his play last year. Yet, if he cannot relieve some of the stress off of Turner's back early in the season, it may be time to give Norwood a second chance.
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