The Covington News - - Sports -

run the foot­ball and that I think is very, very im­por­tant,” Smith said. “That is some­thing we’ve stressed from day one when Thomas (Dim­itroff) and I were hired and we said we were go­ing to be a phys­i­cal foot­ball team.

“I think our guys had a good game plan,” Smith said. “Of­fen­sively we com­mit­ted our­selves to run­ning the foot­ball. We talked all week about that and that’s what we wanted to do. It’s re­ally en­joy­able as a coach to see a game plan ex­e­cuted that way.”

With the de­par­ture of War­rick Dunn, the Fal­cons looked to bol­ster their back­field by adding Turner. Even though he backed up ar­guably the league’s most dom­i­nant run­ning back, Turner showed on sev­eral oc­ca­sions he pos­sesses big play abil­ity. As a Charger, he recorded sev­eral long runs when given an op­por­tu­nity in­clud­ing touch­down scores of 74 and 83 yards. This year, Turner al­ready has a 66yard run for a touch­down and Sun­day he again showed ex­plo­sive­ness as he broke a 38-yard run over the left side dur­ing the Fal­cons’ first scor­ing drive.

Turner isn’t do­ing it all on his own. White, who caught a 70-yard touch­down pass from Ryan in the first quar­ter to give the Fal­cons an early 14-0 lead, is emerg­ing as a le­git­i­mate No. 1 re­ceiver.

“I think Roddy (White) has the skill set no doubt, to be an out­stand­ing re­ceiver in this league,” Smith said. “The thing Roddy has re­ally bought into is what Mike Mu­larkey and Terry Ro­biskie are sell­ing and that’s that we are go­ing to block with our wide re­ceivers. If we are go­ing to run the foot­ball, our re­ceivers are go­ing to have to block.”

On the play, White split the cor­ner and safety on a post route and Ryan showed off his arm as he hit his re­ceiver in stride.

“I thought Roddy played re­ally well,” Ryan said. “He made a cou­ple of crit­i­cal catches. The one in the red zone comes to mind where he went out­side and came back in. He took a pretty good shot on that one but that’s what your big time re­ceivers have to do.”

The of­fen­sive line opened up some big holes for both Turner and Je­ri­ous Nor­wood who fin­ished with 75 yards on 11 car­ries. In all, the Fal­cons rushed for 186 yards on 36 car­ries. Per­haps more im­por­tant though, Ryan had time to throw the ball and he didn’t have to pres­sure his throws too of­ten.

“On the touch­down pass, that was all him (White),” Ryan said. “I men­tioned the of­fen­sive line did a great job open­ing holes, but I don’t think I got hit all day. That’s a credit to those guys up front. They did a great job with pro­tec­tions. Todd McClure does a great job to get every­one on the same page and I thought he did such a great job to­day. He keeps every­one up there to­gether and they did a great job.”

The Fal­cons now sit in a vir­tual tie for the divi­sion lead and travel to Carolina Sun­day for a divi­sion match up with the Pan­thers. Smith said the team will look at the things it did well and look to shore up the ar­eas it needs to im­prove on be­fore Sun­day.

“I’m ex­cited about be­ing 21.” Smith said. “We have a lot of things we need to clean up across the board but we look for­ward to watch­ing the tape and it’s eas­ier to make cor­rec­tions with a win. Next Sun­day can’t get here quick enough.”

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