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Veteran Runninback Warrick Dunn as change of pace option?

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by tunahelper, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. tunahelper

    tunahelper Well-Known Member

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    http://www.ajc.com/falcons/content/sports/falcons/stories/2008/01/30/dunn_0131.html


    By STEVE WYCHE
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 01/30/08
    Phoenix — Falcons tailback Warrick Dunn accepted the inaugural Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP award Thursday, cherishing yet another honor for his lengthy and heartfelt community service. If only his hard work on the football field could land him some similar hardware.
    In the twilight of his career and maybe the end of his time with the Falcons, Dunn lamented on being part of the Super Bowl activities but not part of the Super Bowl. After 11 seasons — the most recent being the most taxing on his soul and mind — Dunn wants one chance to play for the ultimate prize.

    "Hopefully, the right situation comes along and I get an opportunity to play in a game this big," Dunn said.
    At 33, coming off a mentally and statistically rough season (227 carries, 720 yards, 4 TDs), Dunn's opportunity might not come with the Falcons. Atlanta recently hired Mike Smith from Jacksonville as its new head coach and Mike Mularkey as its offensive coordinator, and change, possibly radical change, is coming.
    Smith and Mularkey said they want to establish a powerful, physical running game, something the Falcons don't have the personnel for at the moment. That could change and change quickly, but some players would have to be cut to create salary-cap room for the Falcons to go shopping in free agency.
    The diminutive Dunn could be at the front of the line. His base salary for 2008 — his final year of his contract — is $4 million. At his age, he's not the type of player teams tend to build their futures around, either.
    "Hopefully, that all gets worked out and I'm in Atlanta playing to win a division, getting to the playoffs and making a run for the Super Bowl," Dunn said. "Nothing is guaranteed. I'm going to meet with the head coach, but they still have to sit down and meet, figure things out on which direction they want to go. I should know my future, my fate, in February. That's the month we all find out who's going to be cut and who's going to stick around."
    If Dunn is released, he said landing with former coach Tony Dungy in Indianapolis or going back to Tampa Bay, which drafted him out of Florida State in 1997, would not be a bad way to finish out his career.
    "If I wasn't a Falcon, and I went back to Tampa or played for coach Dungy, it would be something that's full circle," said Dunn, who played for the Buccaneers from 1997 to 2001 under Dungy. "It's not what I'm hoping for and wishing for, but you never know."
    Dunn said he has spent the past few weeks decompressing mentally and physically. He's also ready to start working out to prove that he can still play. Mularkey said Dunn can still play. Whether he will play for the Falcons is something Mularkey said he wouldn't talk about because he and the staff haven't made full evaluations on personnel.
    "The first word that comes to mind is 'competitor'," said Mularkey, who recently was hired after spending the past two seasons with the Dolphins as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, respectively. "He competes every Sunday from start to finish. It's obvious by his body language. He's a leader on the field.
    "On tape I can see if he's a dog. See if it's important to him. See if he's injured. I still see that he wants it, even where he is in his career."
    Dunn became the 22nd player in NFL history to rush for more than 10,000 yards last season. Other than that, he wants no memory of what occurred, starting with quarterback Michael Vick's lengthy investigation and eventual imprisonment on federal dogfighting charges to coach Bobby Petrino forcing him into a misfit system them quitting with three games left in the season.
    "I'm not going back to look at any game film, anything," Dunn said. "It was one of those seasons that you wish you could erase it out of your memory. I want to be able to have amnesia."
  2. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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  3. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    Ditto.
  4. Fletch

    Fletch To The Moon

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    Warrick has been a nice RB throughout his career. But it has been a very long career for Dunn. Let's get some fresher and younger legs via the draft.
  5. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    Don't think he's the guy, but I do think a veteran is going to be brought in, in addition to a young player.

    I think Tatum Bell is going to be the guy though.
  6. Big Country

    Big Country Rolling Thunder

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    No freaking way!

    That would be a terrible idea...

    We don't need a fruit fly size RB
  7. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Active Member

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    Do you have some "inside ifo", or is this an informed hunch?
  8. BlueStar II

    BlueStar II New Member

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    I would prefer we brought in some younger legs than his.
  9. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    Definitely. I think guys like D Ward, Moore, for example could play for several more years rather than just 1 more year.
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    The tank is empty - no way.
  11. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    Get your draft/pad on:D
  12. ddh33

    ddh33 Active Member

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    It's just a hunch.

    Tatum Bell was a guy the team had plenty of interest in once upon a time - might have been the pick over Julius. I think he's going to be looking for a Hamlin type of opportunity to prove himself. He's a homerun threat with his speed, and he's a nice, cheap way to replace Julius.

    There are plenty of other vets who make sense too. After all, you're looking for a backup to hedge your bet who can help you out by sparing Barber.

    And no matter who that player is, I still think Dallas drafts a RB to groom and help out on special teams too.
  13. hipfake08

    hipfake08 Well-Known Member

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    Training camp sign and bonus for making team - low.
    Vet Minimum and bonus on yards or pro bowl but that is it.

    For Bell - Pass on Dunn.
  14. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't the point be to bring in a better back than Julius Jones? Tatum has excellent speed, but not much else. Julius was not slow. Tatum has little wiggle especially in the hole. Julius has out rushed Tatum by almost 1000 yards since both came into the league in 2004. And Tatum is frail. If Julius is looked as a back with injury issues then Tatum is worse. He also fumbles more than Julius.
  15. windward

    windward NFL Historian

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    Dunn is done.

    Pardon the pun.

    Somebody help me....
  16. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    Championship!
  17. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    To many RB's in this draft.
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    That was fun.
  19. windward

    windward NFL Historian

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    Oh, I'm all about fun.
  20. theebs

    theebs Believe!!!!

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    i think Dallas needs a veteran back as a third guy.

    i am not real sure i want warrick dunn as the guy.

    I would like us to sign a veteran who has played for one of our coaches though and dunn has played for peete I believe in tampa.

    I am curious how the running back situation will unfold in oakland, guys that have played for peete recently.

    I think we need a vet and another rookie at that position to assist barber.

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