A year ago running back Michael Turner found his 5-foot-10 frame enveloped by reporters and peppered with questions.
Entering the fourth day of Russell Falcons Training Camp, the Pro Bowler hadn’t seen the lens of a post-practice camera.
And he’s loving every minute of it.
“It’s giving credit to the kind of guys we have on this team,” Turner said Tuesday, giving a nod to the addition of a Pro Bowl tight end, emergence of a superstar quarterback and the story lines streaming out of a young defense.
“It’s not a one-man show, it’s a team thing. They’re getting all the press now; it’s all right with me. I just come to work every day.”
Turner rushed for 1,699 yards and a franchise-record 17 touchdowns last season — his first as a full-time starter. Prior to 2008, he was the primary backup to All-Pro LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego.
With a full year under his belt, Turner is confident in his preparation technique.
“It’s more of a mental thing, now,” he said. “Now I know what it’s like to go through a whole season as a starting running back and taking all those hits. I’m going to prepare the same. I had a good season last year and I hope I can do better this year.”
Turner carried the ball 376 times in 2008 (305 more times than the previous year and 296 more times than his previous career high). The lofty numbers create concern among commentators about durability, but Turner has no fear.
He says he doesn’t count his carries and will be ready when his name is called.
If taking a break from questions helps rest the legs, the team should be in good shape.