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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    I think a lot of people are thinking what I am thinking right now. But its hard to say it out loud. We've already been through the trauma of battling over whether to retain an aging superstar or go with a promising youngster at QB, so its hard to contemplate going down this road again.

    So I'm going to say it, and I think a few will join me.

    STEVEN JACKSON SHOULD BE THE RAMS' STARTING RUNNING BACK RIGHT NOW!

    In part, its just the inevitability of time, age and injuries that can never fully heal. Marshall Faulk is not the back he used to be. He's not as quick, he doesn't have that explosion. He never will again.

    This is not to say that Faulk does not have a role on this team. He could be the best 3rd down back in the league. A Preston Pearson. A Joe Washington. A Lydell Mitchell. But he's not an every down back who can pound out the yards and eat the clock. And that... my friends... is the only thing that will save this Ram team.

    The passing game still works. They're piling up the yards and Holt and Bruce are as good a WR tandem as there is in the league.

    But the defense is a mess. Free agency, injuries, and... perhaps... the wrong scheme, has made it ineffective.

    When you have a defense like this, you can't afford quick drives (particularly when, as has been the case in the first 3 weeks, the team is not scoring enough TDs). The Rams need to adopt more of a ball control offense to protect its weak defense (and, to some extent, to slow down the blitz on passing downs).

    In the first three games, Jackson has 12 carries for 75 yards. This follows a preseason where he was the most productive back in the league. He's ready. He can carry the load.

    And... most importantly... as an every down runner... I think that right now he's better than Marshall Faulk.

    The time has come for Jackson to become the feature back.

    I am... now and hereafter...

    .... a Jacksonite.


  2. #2
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    I disagree but a balance of the two is needed. A la Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster.

  3. #3
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    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Av, I don't know how you can make the determination that Faulk can't be an every down back. When given the opportunity to carry any type of load, against Arizona, he had 22 carries for 128 yards. The 12 carries against Atlanta and the 12 against N.O. don't tell us anything. Maybe we should wait a few more games before we make any knee-jerk reactions and relegate him to situational status.

    That being said, for Jackson to get only two carries is rediculous. He also needs to be given more of an opportunity.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Its not even that I believe that Faulk can't succeed. Its just that, from what I've seen, as a pure runner, Faulk is slower and less powerful than Jackson.


    I stand by my analysis.

  5. #5
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Maybe slower, maybe, maybe less powerful, but still more versatile, more experienced, more savy, better leadership and still able to produce when given the opportunity. Time may prove you right Av, but I think it would be unwise to change anything on the depth chart at this point. My guess is Martz would agree.

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    I don't expect Martz to make a change. But I believe 2 things:

    1. This team can't win consistently without running the ball; and

    2. Right now, Jackson is a better runner than Faulk.

  7. #7
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    If we start Jackson they will key on him just like they do with Faulk. Nothing will change. Believe what you want but teams are keying on Faulk because he is so dangerous. Jackson would not fair any better at this point.

  8. #8
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Agree completely with 1., obviously don't agree with 2. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  9. #9
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Great post Av!

    I'm sure it wasn't easy and I doubt you came to this declaration lightly. I am not going to argue with you on this at all. I noticed the same during week one and said so in the chat room. I think you are correct about running the ball to keep the defense off the field as long as possible. Jackson looks to be the best pure hard nosed RB for the job. He has that burst, those fresh young legs - that time, miles and injuries have taken away from the future HOF - Marshall Faulk.



    :ramlogo:

  10. #10
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    You're kidding about benching Falulk I hope. I know that you aren't, being a Rams fan and focusing on the wrong thing, but there's always hope. The o-line is the problem not Faulk. Faulk may not be what he used to be but the o-line is terrible.

    In addition to that, what other feature back in the league is expected to produce on only 12 carries a game? Martz's scheme when it comes to the running game is becoming VERY predictible for defenses to defend and like the whole qb situation the last couple of years if Faulk sits, he will just be a scapegoat. Until the o-line and coaching change and/or improve don't expect a running game out of the Rams.

    I find it offensive to even suggest that Faulk is the problem running behind the joke of a line that Martz has put together at this point. Two guys out of retirement that weren't particularly great in the first place, an out of shape and older Pace as well as the injuries to Wohlabaugh and Turley put the Rams behind the 8 ball before the season even started. Add to that, Martz's refusal to develop a running game. Nothing's changed. The Rams move the ball well between the 20's (which the defense is now giving up by design to avoid giving up any big plays) and then stall in the red zone.

    Obviously the offense is the lesser of three evils right now but it all starts with the coaching. The penalties, philosophy and play calling are all more detrimental to the Rams right now than the players on the field. Why in the world the special teams are still a problem is beyond me. We've been through 3 or 4 coaches in that area and they are virtually the same every year. The personnel is constantly changing so I have to assume it's coaching. The unit coaches keep changing so the only constant is Martz. I don't know what it is that he is or isn't doing but it needs to change.

    Same thing with the defense. The Rams are worse off than last year but in the same boat that they're usually in. The Rams haven't been able to stop the rush for quite some time, evidenced once again by Aaron Stecker topping the century mark today. Obviously the defense needs to get better but I also don't think it's realistic to ask them to lead the league in turnovers like they did last year, to keep the team in the game.

    My "fix" for the situation would be to move Martz back to the booth. This isn't a knee-jerk, I hate Martz comment either. I don't want to get rid of Martz I just don't want him in total control. He is a great weapon to have but he is more of a Colonel when the Rams need a General that can bring the TEAM together, not just the offense.

    This, of course, will never happen. Pride is too much of a factor at this point and if there's one guy I would never expect to swallow his pride for the good of the team it's Martz. I don't know who I would bring in...actually, as crazy as it sounds my dream lineup of potentially available coaches would be Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt. Put Jimmy at head coach, Dave as D coordinator and Martz at O coordinator and the Rams would be better right away in my opinion.

    I guess I'll stop now since I've gone over the preferred 2 line post that some say I should stick to.

  11. #11
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    Faulk isn't the same. He's lost the speed that intimidated LB's. He dosen't run with the same abandon that he did three years ago. To his defense, why should he think he still could? His body has taken a beating in his career.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    The truth is, it is as much the defense, as it is Faulk's slowing down, that makes me feel the way I do.


    If the defense was more solid, the Rams could run their pass-happy offense and still succeed. But right now, the team needs to control the ball and the clock, and I think Jackson is the man for the job.

  13. #13
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    I seem to remember winning a superbowl season passing the ball.

    The fact is we dont need to run the ball. Yes I love to see the run and I would like to see more of that but the facts speak for themselves. Everytime we try, we fail. And dont point to the arizona game, that was a fluke. In two games now, we have tried to run. It just has not happened. I agree with Avenger in that I definetly think Faulk has lost a step and does not hit the hole but jinks around. Jackson would be an upgrade at this p;oint but also take into account our O Line is not getting the job done.


  14. #14
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    I think the wind and rain has blown away all your common sense Avenger...To bad would couldn't have picked Sean Taylor in the draft..now that would have helped us where we need it...

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: I hereby declare myself -- The First Jacksonite

    In 6-8 weeks, you'll all be joining me and conveniently forgetting that I said it here first. You'll see.

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