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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    The cost of time for Jackson

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Aug. 13 2008
    MEQUON, Wis. Unless he unexpectedly parachutes into Wisconsin today, running
    back Steven Jackson will go 0-for-Concordia. And 0-for-Nashville, as well.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, Jackson's contract holdout had reached 19 days, easily
    the longest holdout in the 14-season history of the "St. Louis" Rams. By NFL
    definition, a holdout occurs when a player under contract skips training camp
    or practice.

    By that definition, Jackson is only the third holdout since the Rams moved to
    St. Louis in 1995.

    Interestingly, the two others also were running backs. Jerome Bettis skipped
    the first two weeks of camp in 1995, and was fined $4,000 per day per league
    rule.

    Bettis never did get the contract extension he sought and was traded to
    Pittsburgh during the 1996 draft after just one season in St. Louis.

    In 1999, Marshall Faulk missed the first 12 days of camp, and was not fined.
    Rams management basically winked and looked the other way at Faulk's absence.
    They had traded for him three months earlier with the promise they would rework
    his contract.

    Given Faulk's history of knee problems, team management didn't mind him missing
    part of Dick Vermeil's 33-day training camp that year at Western Illinois
    University.

    Rest assured, the Rams' aren't winking at Jackson's absence. He has missed 22
    practices, as well as the exhibition opener against Tennessee.

    Under the collective bargaining agreement, the price of missing work has gone
    up since the Bettis holdout. At $15,166 a day, Jackson's fines now total
    $287,204.

    Although nothing close to a breakthrough has occurred, the Post-Dispatch has
    learned that there have been low-key talks in the last day or two between Rams
    president of football operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt and Jackson's
    agent, Eugene Parker.

    That's the first indication of any dialogue between the parties since the first
    day of training camp July 25.

    On that day, Parker informed the Rams that Jackson would not be attending camp,
    and the Rams countered by saying there would be no negotiations until Jackson
    reported.

    The Rams' last known offer was seven years for about $50 million, with about
    one-third of the $50 million believed to be in guaranteed money.

    TICKING CLOCK

    As of Tuesday, the Rams were finished with two-a-days for training camp.

    After one practice today, the team breaks camp and returns to St. Louis on
    Thursday. Once back at Rams Park, the team will have at most only a dozen
    practices before the regular-season opener, Sept. 7 in Philadelphia.

    Is that enough time to get Jackson ready? You can lift all the weights and run
    all the sprints in the world, but the only way to get into "football shape'' is
    by practicing football.

    Even a young player such as Jackson, 25, will need awhile to get up to speed.

    "Oh yeah, it'll take him a few weeks," former Rams coach Dick Vermeil said
    Monday during his visit to camp. "I don't know what they'll do. But I would bet
    they'll temper his play early, and he won't be a 30-carry guy on opening day
    if he's back by then."

    Coach Scott Linehan, ever the optimist, isn't ready to concede that his
    opening-day game plan needs to be altered because of Jackson's holdout.

    "I don't think it'll be tough for him," Linehan said. "We've got to adjust our
    preparation once he gets in. Sooner than later obviously would be better. ...
    We do have a plan for it. And that plan will be ever-changing based on when he
    does come in."

    For his part, Vermeil is a firm believer that players who hold out are more
    likely to be injured.

    "Carl Peterson did a study for the Kansas City Chiefs," Vermeil said. "He's one
    of the most experienced presidents-general managers in the National Football
    League.

    "He's been there since 1989, and he's done studies as to holdouts. Not only in
    Kansas City, but all through the league. He says there's a much higher
    correlation or a chance of getting injured after holding out, regardless of
    position."

    PROS AND CONS

    In terms of running backs, there are a couple of high-profile instances of
    injured holdouts in the recent past:

    After rushing for 1,435 yards for the NFC champion Green Bay Packers in 1997,
    Dorsey Levens held out then suffered a broken leg in the '98 regular-season
    opener.

    In 1998, Jamal Anderson led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl with 1,846
    yards rushing. After a holdout in '99, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate
    ligament in his right knee in Game 2 of the regular season and missed the rest
    of the year.

    There are also some notable examples of backs who prospered during their
    holdout years.

    In 1993, Dallas star Emmitt Smith missed the first two games of the regular
    season in a lengthy holdout before signing a new deal.

    Smith still led the NFL in rushing, with 1,486 yards, and the Cowboys repeated
    as Super Bowl champs.

    After his holdout in '99, Faulk topped 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards
    receiving for the Greatest Show on Turf.

    The Rams went on to defeat Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV.

    "We had a lot of injuries last year and we had everybody in camp," Linehan
    said. "A lot of that's (bad) luck in a lot of ways. I think as long as
    (Jackson's) training and we do a good job of training him, getting him ready.
    ...To be honest with you, that really isn't a concern."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Aug. 13 2008
    MEQUON, Wis.

    Although nothing close to a breakthrough has occurred, the Post-Dispatch has
    learned that there have been low-key talks in the last day or two between Rams
    president of football operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt and Jackson's
    agent, Eugene Parker.

    That's the first indication of any dialogue between the parties since the first
    day of training camp July 25.
    Well at least that's something. The silence is killing me.

    Steven Jackson needs to push his agent to get this done.

    Hopefully this escalates to a full conversation and the deal is finalized.

    I am however concerned about AvengerRam. I hope he's been working out (2 a days?) I'm sure he's lurking these boards thus keeping his eyes and mind in shape. What about his wrists, fingers and more importantly finger tips? The lack of action could really be a problem. I would hate to see him comeback only to suffer blistering or worse.

  3. #3
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: The cost of time for Jackson

    I'm far more concerned about his word count. Will he be able to keep up those 100+ word posts?

    On a serious note, I have a bad feeling about Jackson's year this year.

  4. #4
    Ramer's Avatar
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    Re: The cost of time for Jackson

    I know the silence is killing me as well. I just want to hear something.

  5. #5
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The cost of time for Jackson

    "Carl Peterson did a study for the Kansas City Chiefs," Vermeil said. "He's one
    of the most experienced presidents-general managers in the National Football
    League.

    "He's been there since 1989, and he's done studies as to holdouts. Not only in
    Kansas City, but all through the league. He says there's a much higher
    correlation or a chance of getting injured after holding out, regardless of
    position."
    Peterson would know; that's exactly what happened to the Chiefs and Larry Johnson last year. After his holdout, he sputtered for 3 weeks of the regular season, then went out for the year after the 8th game.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: The cost of time for Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Peterson would know; that's exactly what happened to the Chiefs and Larry Johnson last year. After his holdout, he sputtered for 3 weeks of the regular season, then went out for the year after the 8th game.
    I know there are those who think SJ will be able to return to form without a hitch, but I have a knot in the pit of my stomach that when he returns, he will be injured shortly thereafter.

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