Originally created 11/27/03

Duckett Falcon's starting running back



Flowery Branch-AP Warrick Dunn's season-ending injury opened a door for T-J Duckett to start at running back in the Atlanta Falcons' last five games.

Though eager to prove he's ready to be the feature running back, Duckett takes no satisfaction in a promotion by default.

Duckett said today -- quote -- "I just wish the circumstances were different. Warrick's a great guy. He's the captain of our offense, and we're definitely a better team with him on the field."

Duckett will make his sixth start this year and ninth overall when Atlanta (2-9) plays Sunday at Houston (4-7).

The Falcons lost their leading rusher and second-leading receiver when Dunn tore a ligament in his left foot last week against Tennessee. Dunn entered with 340 combined yards rushing in two previous games, but he managed just 14 on 14 carries in a 38-to-31 loss to the Titans.

Atlanta finished with just 25 net yards -- the fifth-worst performance in team history -- an effort that Duckett, who accounted for eight yards on just four carries, considered unacceptable.

Duckett said -- quote -- "We have to step up and make plays. We really have to make plays and keep forcing the issue against them, keep pressing and not let them bring it to us and take it to them."