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W. Dunn update?


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Dunn is a savvy, tough, veteran locker room type guy. Petrino giving him a vote of confidence after his recovery is really no surprise considering how well respected he is by the players, organization, and fans. How would it look if Petrino benched the 3 time Pro-Bowler and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner due to injury? Not so good.


That said, Dunn has enjoyed reaping the benefits of a run game completely suited to his skill set the last 3 years (Reeves & Wade Phillips were his HCs '02/'03). The zone blocking allowed him to rely on his quickness and vet savvy in the run game DESPITE his size... five years in ATL, five years with 4+ypc, three 1100+ rushing seasons, and, for reasons only known to Greg Knapp, little to no involvement in the pass game.


Rewind to his 5 years in Tampa in a traditional power run game where his size was more of a liability... two seasons below 3.5ypc, one 1100+ rushing, four seasons with 400+ rec yds and 40+ receptions.


Dunn will be around but it won't be because he's rattling off more 1100+ yard rushing seasons. It will be because he can step in on 3rd down or spell the main RB, provide reliable pass protection, catch a lot of balls, AND be a positive influence on the team.

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Sounds like it's pass protection that's holding Norwood back . . . from Pro Football Weekly:



Aug. 31, 2007


Dunn to start at RB over Norwood


After missing the first few weeks of training camp while he recovered from offseason back surgery to fix a herniated disc, RB Warrick Dunn is expected to open the regular season as the Falcons’ starter. We hear head coach Bobby Petrino feels more comfortable with the 11-year veteran, who is coming off his third straight 1,000-yard season, in the starting backfield over second-year RB Jerious Norwood because Dunn is a better pass blocker and is quicker to pick up blitzes. Our sources believe Norwood, with his game-breaking speed and more size than Dunn, is still the better fit in Petrino’s system over the long term. In fact, we hear Petrino won’t hesitate to insert Norwood into the starting lineup later this season if he improves his recognition on the field and becomes a better blocker. Even though he won’t be starting early on, Norwood should get plenty of reps off the bench.

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Sounds like it's pass protection that's holding Norwood back . . . from Pro Football Weekly:

AJC has reported that since last week.

I think it's a bit overblown as Norwood looked good in pass protection vs. the Bengals.

Eventually the RB has to do something other than pass protect consistenly. At Dunn's size, he'll have a difficult time with that outside of the ZBS.


Again, Petrino wasn't going to demote Dunn due to injury.

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