Looking at Turner's 2011 stats, what reason do you have for dumping him at the beginning of 2012? A hunch that he might not be a fit to Dirk Koetter's offense?
If you were a GM in 2012, would you have traded for Michael Turner?
The reason I had is that despite improvement in terms of his production, the eye in the sky doesn't lie. So IMO, the only reason to reasonably expect him to bounce back in 2012 was if the OL was significantly better. Had the Falcons picked up Carl Nicks that off-season, that may have given them a shot.
I think the Falcons would have been better suited cutting bait, picking up a similar back like the Law Firm for cheaper $$$ and hoping that worked out for them if not draft a RB high. Had they stayed put in Round 3 and taken Bernard Pierce rather than trade out to get Lamar Holmes, that could've been a possibility. Or at least asked Turner to take a pay cut and be paid according to his ability. Hindsight is 20/20, and what they would have done after dumping Turner is hard to say. But in the case of seeing the walls fall off Turner, that wasn't hindsight that saw that coming if you were paying attention to my posts back in September 2011: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16198&start=0
I know if he continues to produce there is a fat chance in Hades that he'll be gone next year, but his play so far this year reminds me of the '07 Jamal Lewis year where Lewis had 1300 yards with his first year with the Browns and on the surface had a good year, but then Lewis was basically a no show the next two years.
And as was the case with Dunn in '07, I think the wheels will completely fall off next year in 2012 for Turner, if they don't by the time this year finishes.
He's a shell of his former self, and don't let his 34 fantasy points or 214 rushing yards or 6.9 YPC fool you into thinking he's anything more than a below average starting NFL running back.
I think he has become purely an extension of the blocking he receives up front. IMO, that was not the case in previous years, and when a RB reaches that point where he's bringing very little "extra" to the table besides what the 5-6 guys in front of him are bringing, then he's reached the point where he should no longer be a starting RB.
But given he's been on a steady decline the past 3 seasons, he's going to be below that benchmark next year, and by then it's only going to be too late. We're going to be an offense then that wants to run the ball, that can't run the ball.
And if the Falcons go into 2012 thinking that Turner is going to produce at his current level or the previous one, then that will be a biggest mistake that Dimitroff has made to date.
if the Falcons think that they can continue to use him as the No. 1 workhorse back beyond this year, they'll be making the exact same mistake that the Browns made in 2008 when they kept Jamal Lewis after a 1300-yard, 4.4 YPC season. The wheels always eventually fall off for all RBs sooner or later, and it seemingly comes out of nowhere because no one seems to read between the lines.
Look, you could take the stance that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then when it comes to my devastatingly accurate assessment of Turner back then.
But IMHO, you had to be blind to not see that one coming.
Look, the fact that TD missed on Robinson and Ray Edwards IMO are forgivable mistakes. Robinson was overpaid (that was pretty easy to see), but the fact that he was so ineffective for most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons caught everybody by surprise. It was no secret that Edwards was a role of the dice, but the Falcons didn't give him a huge contract like they did with Robinson and thus didn't have long-lasting ramifications (I've argued in the past and still maintain that Robinson's contract is the #1 reason why Grimes is no longer a Falcon). The reason why the Falcons had to
make those moves, is largely due to the misses at the top of the 2007 draft: Jamaal Anderson and Chris Houston. Had those players worked out better, the Falcons hand would have never been forced to try and secure DE & CB in free agency. So I'm not that
mad at TD for those moves not working.
But missing on Turner, that IMO is/was unforgivable. Their lack of movement at the RB position last off-season epitomized that complacent attitude that I kept repeating ad nauseum last spring/summer.
And that miss on Turner IMO is the #1 reason why both Abraham and Clabo are gone, because they don't want to make the same mistake of cutting bait a year too late
Let's hope that doesn't come back to bite them in the ass.