Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RB Rotation under Fire Anderson Wants Ball

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RB Rotation under Fire Anderson Wants Ball

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons' best offensive player is unhappy

about being used in a running back rotation, and the situation

may come to a head at some point.

Jamal Anderson doesn't want to share time with rookie Byron

Hanspard and, occasionally, veteran Harold Green. But that's how

coach Dan Reeves has used his backs through the first five

games.

"You want to be able to get into a rhythm," Anderson said. "Any

back does. Rotating running backs would be like rotating

quarterbacks."

Responded coach Dan Reeves, "I'll play who I think need thinks

to be in there at the time. I'm going to try to get the best

people in that I possibly can. That isn't going to change. You

start doing it, you'll get in there."

A 1,000-yard rusher last year in the run-and-shoot, and the man

picked to lead the NFL in rushing this year by Sports

Illustrated, Anderson comes off his best game of the season in

Sunday's 29-21 loss to Denver. He ran for 45 yards and caught

three passes for 68 yards, including a 47-yard screen pass for a

touchdown that earned him praise from ESPN's Chris Berman.

For the season, though, Anderson has struggled with a sprained

ankle sustained in the season opener against Detroit and has

gained only 195 yards on 75 attempts for a 2.6-yard average.

Hanspard, the Doak Walker Award winner last year at Texas Tech

as the nation's top running back, has run for only 155 yards on

21 carries. But his 77yard run against Oakland and 57-yarder

against Denver rank as the firstand eighth-longest rushes in

franchise history.

Former South Carolina standout Green has managed only 11 yards

on 24 carries, but he is a competent veteran and Reeves likes

using him in passing situations.

Because of Hanspard's bigplay potential and Green's experience,

Reeves will probably continue using all three backs. That won't

sit well with Anderson, who is finally getting healthy and spent

much of the first half of the Denver game sulking on the bench.

"I think the situation with our rotation is we did it because

of my ankle," Anderson said. …

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