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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Should the Rams be worried about Steven Jackson?
    by VanRam on Nov 18, 2010

    Don't be alarmed, yet, but St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson is having a rougher season than observers might have imagined.

    Jackson has started in all 9 of the Rams' game this season. Through that time, he has 192 carries for 757 yards and 3 TDs. As a receiver, he has 25 catches for 236 yards and 0 TDs. Not bad numbers. However, he's averaging 3.9 yards per carry, the lowest total of his career. In 2008, he averaged 4.1 YPC, rushing for over a 1,000 yards in 11 starts.

    Calculating Jackson's totals over a complete season, he's on pace for 1,345 yards, which would be his third highest total, less than last year's 1,400+ yards. More of a red flag for the Rams front office is Jackson's pace for total carries. Extrapolating his average attempts per game, 21.3, out over the rest of the season, Jackson is on pace for 341 attempts. That would be his second highest total. He had 346 carries in 2006, and then missed 4 games the next season with injury issues.

    He's on pace for 45 receptions (third highest total), 419 yards (second highest), and has an average YPC of 9.4, a number consistent with his best YPC totals through the years.

    That Jackson's rushing numbers have slowed from expectations as well as historical norms should concern fans and the team alike. In part, you can blame some weaknesses in run blocking this season, though Jackson's had to contend with lesser offensive lines than this one. FB Mike Karney is also having a down season, likely slowed by age and the physical nature of what he does. A renewed emphasis on the pass has changed the nature of the offense that used to only feature Jackson, but it's not as though Sam Bradford's passes are taking reps from Jackson.

    The biggest concern is with Jackson himself and natural decline of players in his position who feature that physical style of running. Of course, he's been a one man show for the Rams offense over the years, which has accumulated in extra wear and tear. Injuries have kept Jackson off the field only once this season, when he left early with a groin injury in the Rams week 3 win over Washington. However, that groin injury bothered him for a few games following that one. He's had to contend with a broken hand since then as well. Neither injury has kept him on the bench, but they both raise big red flags about Jackson's health in the weeks ahead, not to mention the next season.

    The most concerning sign of all might be the noticeable lack of lengthy runs Jackson has this season. He has just 4 runs of 20 yards or more. He had 12 in 15 games last season. Using more advanced stats, the Rams running game, i.e. Jackson, has an open field yardage number (runs 10 yards beyond the LOS) of just 0.54, the 23rd lowest in the league. Last season, that number was 0.88, the 11th ranked in the league.

    It's premature to call it the end of Steven Jackson. What it does say is that there's a legitimate concern about his health for the rest of the season and, more so, next season. It's clear that GM Billy Devaney has to find a backup for Jackson; really, he needs to find a guy who can take away about 100-120 carries, making Jackson more effective and extended his career.


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    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    This is the last thing I'm worried about...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    I didn't want to bring it up, but I've noticed Jackson is not quite the same this year. He's noticably slower and goes down easier than in previous years. He's still a great RB, but we definitely need to find a suitable replacement this off-season and turn our backfield into a dual threat while extending his career a few more years hopefully.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    If #1 WR is the top priority in the offseason backup RB needs to be a close second. Noel Devine is a good prospect that might last to the second round IMO.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    This is the last thing I'm worried about...
    This is actually one of the more important things I'm worried about.

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    thatguy is offline Registered User
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Jackson has lost a step but not so much that I wouldn't consider him one of the best back in the NFL. He doesn't really have that mauler down the field guard to run behind and I think that is something that he really needs. I don't think the front office needs to worry about drafting his replacement they just need someone who can open up opportunities for Jackson. It is just that right now the interior line can't open up holes for Jackson to run through

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Good post . We do need a back up who can take the load off of jax

  8. #8
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Jackson hasn't lost a thing. The nature of this years offense has made a difference in the defensive setups against us ...

    We are throwing more short passes than ever. Consequently, the defense can always have 8 in the box, even on passing downs ...

    It's hard to block 8 with 5 or 6, no matter who you are playing against. There just aren't as many holes to run through ...

  9. #9
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    Jackson has lost a step but not so much that I wouldn't consider him one of the best back in the NFL. He doesn't really have that mauler down the field guard to run behind and I think that is something that he really needs. I don't think the front office needs to worry about drafting his replacement they just need someone who can open up opportunities for Jackson. It is just that right now the interior line can't open up holes for Jackson to run through
    I don't think he's any easier to bring down this year, but he does appear to have "lost a step." However, a groin pull is a big problem for any running back, and Steven has toughed it out as best he could. This is very possibly the reason he appears to be a step slower. I'm hoping he regains his burst in the near future as he gets healthier. Time will tell ..

  10. #10
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Since when was a VanRam blog worth reposting? He's just rehashing the same things that someone here posts every week. We all know we need a solid backup, although Darby has done decent, if Jackson were to miss a few games, no way he fills that role as the premier back.

    Jackson has been going down a bit easier as he plays through the broken finger. Sure it's not in his primary carrying hand, but he can't switch the ball to the opposite hand, or use it to stiff arm players, like he could before and it's effecting how he finishes runs.

    I've watched every game this season multiple times, and people can say whatever they want about how much better our line is this year, but they are not doing a good job of opening running lanes for Jackson. Is this because they are doing a poor job? No, it's because like infiniti said, you can't block 7 or 8 guys with 5 or 6. We have no receiving threat and until that changes ackson will have to earn every yard the hard way. The Rams are a LOT like the Falcons, minus Roddy White. Get us someone even close to him and Jackson leads the league in rushing I guarantee. The Falcons pass threat makes Turner look better than he really is IMO.

    Oh and last thing about Jackson's alleged over use in the pass game. Until this last game he was on pace to have his worst season in terms of catches and receiving yards, with only his rookie season behind playing backup to Faulk being worse. His 8 catches in one game made up for that, but it has hardly been the norm this season.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    I have a hard time believing a player is having a down year when they're on pace to breach 1,400 yards rushing.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    I've been saying it since last season....We need a solid back-up behind Jackson. Someone that we would confidence in if Jackson had to miss a game or two.

    The wheels on the "beast" go round and......wait that's "bus".

    Nevermind!

    GO RAMS!

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Jackson is still doing amazing things, but I don't see the explosive burst he's always had. Who knows why for sure, but I do think at some point in the near future, the Rams need another back that can compliment him and create a two-back attack. Power backs that take a lot of hits like Jackson can only perform at a high level for so long.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
    Since when was a VanRam blog worth reposting?
    Ahem, I posted this because I thought it might stimulate some discussion and it apparently has!
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -11-19-2010 at 05:21 PM.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Jackson is still doing amazing things, but I don't see the explosive burst he's always had. Who knows why for sure, but I do think at some point in the near future, the Rams need another back that can compliment him and create a two-back attack. Power backs that take a lot of hits like Jackson can only perform at a high level for so long.



    Ahem, I posted this because I thought it might stimulate some discussion and it apparently has!
    Mike ,I agree he does take alot of hits but like I was telling one guy while watching a game is that Jackson initiates contact alot in which he delivers more of a hit than he gets and I think he will be able to last this season and a few more after this one.

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    Re: Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    If #1 WR is the top priority in the offseason backup RB needs to be a close second. Noel Devine is a good prospect that might last to the second round IMO.
    Is he a power-type RB? If we want to draft our successor in RB, it has to be a guy who has Steven Jackson's same style of running to which he can mentor to give him the better edge of development. Aside from drafting a RB, a #1 WR can also take tons of work off S-Jax.

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