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Behind the Facemask: Michael Turner


Falcons Vice President of Football Communications Reggie Roberts spotlights a player each week in a series of on-the-spot, off-beat questions in a weekly segment featured on called "Behind the Facemask."

This week's featured player is Falcons two-time Pro Bowl running back Michael Turner.

Turner led the NFC in rushing last season with 1,371 yards and tied Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson for the NFL lead with 12 rushing touchdowns. The Falcons are 17-2 when Turner rushes for over 100 yards and Turner and the rest of his Falcons teammates will roll in Soldier Field on Sunday for a 1 p.m., showdown with the Chicago Bears.

We caught up with Turner, a Chicago native, after Thursday's practice to discuss fashion, his NFL career aspirations, and what drives him to be one of the top running backs in all of professional football.

Reggie Roberts: So what's up, big fella?

Michael Turner: I'm good. I can't complain. I am working hard and getting ready to go home to get ready to play the Bears.

RR: That's right. You are from Chicago.

MT: Yeah, I from Chicago, and I'm looking forward to going home and playing in Soldier Field for the first time.

RR: You've been in the National Football League for eight years and you've never played in Solider Field?

MT: Sunday will be the first time I've ever played at Soldier Field. I've purchased 50 tickets for friends and family, and I'm looking forward to it.

RR: Guys who are from the city of Chicago are known as hard-nosed, tough guys. Would that be an accurate description of you with regards to how you play the game?

MT: Yeah. I play hard. Blue-collar is how I would describe my game. I am a guy who will do anything to get the job done to help my team win.

RR: Who has the best sense of humor on the team?

MT: Roddy White is funny, but I like joking around with Willie Moe (Falcons SS William Moore). He's a really serious guy, but he's a really funny guy once you get to know him. I have a lot of funny arguments with Roddy, as well.

RR: Who is the best dressed guy in the running backs room?

MT: Me, of course. I am the smoothest, best dressed guy in the running backs room. It's subtle. You have to have an eye for good taste and fashion if you are checking me out.

RR: How many suits do you own?

MT: I've got about 50 suits. I am also a big shoe guy and I think I have about 100 pairs of shoes counting sneakers, dress shoes and casual shoes.

RR: Did you travel any place cool this summer?

MT: I went to the Dominican Republic and to Puerto Rico over the summer.

RR: What was your offseason like?

MT: It was cool, but I was really concerned with getting healthy because I had off-season (groin) surgery. I was working with new rehabilitation people since we couldn't come to the complex because of the lockout, and that was different because I wasn't working with our trainers, doctors and rehabilitation people.

RR: What's on your bucket list of things to do?

MT: I want to eventually take one of those really long plane rides and do one of those tours of Italy. I'm going to start with Italy and check out how I feel after that long plane ride. If I feel good, I'll just continue on from there, but a lot of it is going to hinge on how I feel after that long plane ride.

RR: Are you a movie guy?

MT: Absolutely. I love movies. It sort of depends on what kind of mood I'm in, but I like all of Eddie Murphy's movies. I also like the gangster movies — Scarface, Good Fellas — and I also like the dramas that deal with people's lives. I have the movie "The Town" (starring Ben Affleck) coming in next week on Netflix, and I am really looking forward to seeing that.

RR: What's your favorite stadium to play in other than the Georgia Dome?

MT: The Superdome in New Orleans because they always have a good crowd and those fans really know their football.

RR: What's on your IPod?

MT: "Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane. I've got a lot of the old-school stuff on my IPod as well as the Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley. I am also trying to get some country music on there, too. I'm talking to guys like Mud Duck (Falcons center Todd McClure) and Matt (Falcons QB Matt Ryan) about who the best country artists are. Matt's been a little helpful, but he just has no idea why I'm asking and I'm not going to tell him.

RR: How do you want this game to remember you?

MT: I have talked openly to the press about not wanting to be one of those guys who's a one-hit wonder. To me, that's black mark on somebody's career. It's negative, and I don't ever want those kinds of labels associated to me. I want to be remembered as a running back that left his mark on this game. I did get a late start to my career as far as becoming a starting running back in this League, but I feel like I'll catch up. The press sometimes makes a big deal with regards to how much I carry the ball, and I tell them that it's no big deal. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help my team win. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I feel good; I feel healthy, and I want to touch the ball as much as I can so I can get a feel for the game.

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