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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Thursday, Feb. 17 2005

    Washington Irving once wrote that there was a certain relief in change, even if
    from bad to worse. In the dog days of pro football's long off-season, old Mr.
    Irving's words always are put to a stern test whenever NFL coaches and general
    managers begin "spring cleaning" with the not-so-gentle art of salary-cap
    massaging and depth chart restructuring.

    All over the NFL, the vicious cycle of easing out the old and ushering in the
    new has begun. In some dramatic cases, we are seeing some old (Drew Bledsoe)
    and familiar (Jeff Garcia), and high-salaried names being shown to the exit
    ramp.

    On Wednesday, a mighty wind of change blew out of Rams Park. It wasn't exactly
    a surprise that Mike Martz has decided that 21-year-old rookie tailback Steven
    Jackson will displace 31-year-old future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk in the
    starting lineup next season. The only surprise is that he chose to announce it
    in the middle of February.

    When you make a move like this so early in the offseason, it is usually done
    for any number of understated reasons. Most likely, it could be because the
    Rams are preparing to set the groundwork for reworking Faulk's contract to a
    more cap-friendly number befitting his new status. The Rams probably are
    looking to trim his salary to the $2 million-a-year range, in much the same
    manner that the Pittsburgh Steelers reworked Jerome Bettis' deal last year.

    But they also could be doing this now to give Faulk (and maybe themselves) time
    to think about the direction their relationship will go.

    Is Marshall really willing to play out the last year (years?) of his marvelous
    career in a limited role behind Jackson? It certainly worked out well for
    Bettis last season. He took a huge pay cut to stay with the Steelers, yet by
    the end of the season, he had returned to the starting lineup, rushed for over
    100 yards in seven consecutive contests. Now, the 12-year veteran is pondering
    whether to retire or seek a lucrative free-agent deal after proving there was
    still some gas left in his tank.

    Or maybe Faulk would prefer to finish his career on another team like Emmitt
    Smith did, and be a featured back for someone looking for a living legend and a
    strong locker room presence.

    Somehow, I think we'll probably get the answer to this riddle rather soon,
    because in his first offseason flurry of interviews, Martz is letting us know
    that this offseason promises to be as eventful as we've seen in recent years.

    And considering what has happened around here during the past few winters and
    springs, that's saying a mouthful.

    By making this announcement about his running backs in February (even though it
    lacks the impact of making it in the last week of August), Martz is making a
    strong statement. Here we are on February 18, more than two months from the
    college draft - and five months before training camp - and Martz is sending out
    signals that he's going to shake things up in the aftermath of last season's
    inconsistent 9-9 season.

    He's letting us know that there won't be any offseason controversy with his
    running backs like he had a few years ago with his quarterbacks. But he also is
    letting us know how he's going to shake up that highly ineffective - and
    dramatically undersized - defense. I think it's a stroke of genius to shift
    Pisa Tinoisamoa from linebacker to strong safety. At 6-1, 230, he might be
    undersized as a linebacker, but this is the first step in letting us know that
    Martz wants his defense to big bigger and more physical.

    The next liberating changes ought to come in two weeks (March 2) with the start
    of free agency and the trading period, when Martz ought to be shopping for some
    bigger, meaner veteran help on the offensive line, linebacker and free safety.

    But because we are on the subject of the winds of change, let me remind you of
    the certain imperfections and uncertainty of this change. In his "Tales of a
    Traveller," Washington Irving once compared change's emancipating, but flawed
    qualities to a ride in a bumpy stagecoach. Sometimes the only comfort change
    provides is "to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."

    Let's hope that's not what's going on with the Rams.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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  2. #2
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    Washington Irving once compared change's emancipating, but flawed qualities to a ride in a bumpy stagecoach. Sometimes the only comfort change provides is "to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."
    What a thought. Change, is it good? is it bad? is it just different? Will we get different results? Who knows.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    It's a great change that most Rams fans should have been calling for all last season. The big question will still remain, how long can Jackson stay healthy.
    DJRamFan
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  4. #4
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    I believe change is good. We need it right now. Marshall has too much class to do anything to hurt his team, he will do our team just fine, no doubt there. We do need some shake, rattle and roll going on with our stagnant guys right now. Some changes are good and Iím glad they are starting this early so everyone can fall into their respective places/positions come the 2005-2006 RAMS year season!!! :ramlogo:

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    Geddy Lee once said this about change:

    ...changes arenít permanent,
    But change is.

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    I realy hope that Marshall reworks his contract. I think he is a great leader and hopefully will return with the Rams. I have always assumed Faulk would finish with the Rams and move into the position of RB coach lets hope that happens.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

  7. #7
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    Jackson is still in the learning stages, Faulk will be playing alot more than people think. It's just a title anyway. Starter in the NFL means you play the first play of the game. No biggie!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  8. #8
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    Im sure Faulk will rework his contract, and I can't wait for these changes, this is going to be a explosive Off-season...I can feel it!!!!


    steve :ramlogo:

  9. #9
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    This team needs some kinda change. And it better be for the better!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  10. #10
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    i think faulk will renew his contract. and change has been kinda good for us i mean bugler has done basically everything we have had asked him except of winning the superbowl. but how long will jackson stay healthy? is the real question.

  11. #11
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    Re: Installing Jackson now sets stage for more changes

    How long will he stay healthy? Why is this the big question? Because he banged up his knees in his first year, and had sore ribs for a few games? The guy is 21 years old.

    TWENTY ONE YEARS OLD!!!!

    Your body is a healing machine at that age. I don't believe his minor injuries this year are any sign of an injury prone player. Just happenstance.

    If he was the starter, he probably would have played through most of those, but no reason to put him in dinged up when you've got 2 starting caliber guys.

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