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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson feeling like a free man

    He didn't always see eye-to-eye with Martz
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS - There have been times over the past two seasons when St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson felt like he was locked up in former coach Mike Martz's doghouse.

    "At times, I kind of felt that way," Jackson said. "For whatever reason it was, I don't know. It doesn't help having the guy who took him to the top still around the locker room. It is whatever it is. Me and Marshall (Faulk), we get along great, and for whatever reason, I wasn't getting my appropriate touches."

    Jackson rushed for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He had 254 carries for the season, but he had 20 or more carries in only three games. He had only two games with 20 or more rushing attempts during his rookie season in 2004.

    Jackson took his complaint about being underutilized to the media after getting only 11 carries in a 24-9 loss to the Washington Redskins on Dec. 4.

    "No, I haven't, but you can," Jackson said when asked if he had talked to any of the Rams' coaches about his lack of carries. "Give me the ball."

    On Wednesday, Jackson, who is taking part in the Rams' offseason conditioning program, said he met with Martz in attempt to clear the air.

    "You don't want to be in the doghouse with the head coach, especially when that's the guy who is calling plays," Jackson said. "You don't want to get in the doghouse with a guy like Coach Martz.

    "At the same time, as a professional, you ask him, 'If there is a problem, can we solve it and get on with it.' We did sit down and state forth what the problems was, and then move on. But, at times, when we were in the heat of battle in games, I wasn't getting my touches."

    Jackson said he expects to be handed the ball more often next season under new coach Scott Linehan.

    "The front office had a chance to hire a guy that they wanted to bring in," Jackson said of Linehan. "I think everyone is talking about making me the focal point.

    "Two years ago when I was drafted that's what the plan was. We knew eventually that the team was going to be geared around me, and now it finally seems to be coming to the forefront. Now I have to show up on Sunday. That's not a hard thing to do."

    Jackson said he's confident that he won't be collecting dust next season after seeing how Linehan rode running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown last season as the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

    Brown had 207 carries for 907 yards, while Williams had a 168 carries for 743 yards.

    "The way he used Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, and the running backs from Minnesota before that, he's shown that he likes to run," Jackson said. "I'm pretty sure I'll get a lot of touches. I'm expecting a lot more touches than I've been getting the last couple of years. I think we'll have more balance."

    Jackson said the hip-pointer and bruised sternum that bothered him late last season -- he missed the team's regular-season finale against Dallas -- have healed.

    "The hip is fine, the sternum is fine -- all those minor little bangs that I had at the end of the season have healed up pretty well," Jackson said. "No surgeries."

    Jackson said he was working hard in the weight room so he would have no problem carrying a heavier load.

    "That's my background," Jackson said. "I don't shy away from work. I look at this as a new beginning. I feel like I have a chance to start over in my career. If he uses me in the way he used Ronnie and Ricky, I feel like this can be my breakout year."


  2. #2
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    how about this.

    Jackson,
    Shut the heck up and do what your paid to do.


  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Yeah, I like the fact that he wants the ball, but he's no diplomat. He needs to let his play do the talking this year. If he does that, he'll be able to do all the talking he wants later.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Just Do It. [Does SJ wear Nike shoes?]

  5. #5
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    If he uses me in the way he used Ronnie and Ricky, I feel like this can be my breakout year."
    SJ, I'm not sure you know what your asking here. Do you realize the most attempts a single Linehan RB has got in a year is 255?

    Last year, you got 254.

    If you truly looked into how Linehan handles his RBs, you will note he splits his carries between backs more than you want.
    "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
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Ok, to the kids defense....

    1. He seemed unstoppable in college running up the middle.
    2. The Rams offensive scheme was about as bad as the defense last year. No way should Jackson try it outside unless he bounces out there. Stay between the tackles Linehan and Jackson will produce.
    3. A running back not wanting the ball is like me not wanting BBQ. It's just not going to happen.

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Ok, to the kids defense....

    1. He seemed unstoppable in college running up the middle.
    2. The Rams offensive scheme was about as bad as the defense last year. No way should Jackson try it outside unless he bounces out there. Stay between the tackles Linehan and Jackson will produce.
    3. A running back not wanting the ball is like me not wanting BBQ. It's just not going to happen.
    True on all counts. But if Linehan gives Jackson the 25+ carries a game, it will be the first time in Linehan's career that he's given a back that many touches.
    "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

  8. #8
    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    he's in the third year of a five year contract...

    he's got no more excuses...

    i think deangelo williams is a better back...

  9. #9
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    If you truly looked into how Linehan handles his RBs, you will note he splits his carries between backs more than you want.
    I do wonder how much of that is preferred method and how much of it is circumstance. Ricky's return to Miami was a unique situation, and Minnesota has had the combination of Michael Bennett injuries and Onterrio Smith drug violations to deal with. You're right, though. As long as Marshall Faulk is on the roster, Linehan will undoubtedly want to see him on the field, and we just acquired Tony Fisher as a third down type back. So even if the play-calling and blocking gives us a better running game, it won't necessarily mean that SJ sees more touches.

  10. #10
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Hey here is a concept for you; Martz just does not like to run the ball. I heard yesterday on ESPN that SJ, will get 25-30 touches a game, so we will see what he can do. I will go on the record and say if he stays healthy he has a great year. But that’s a big if, I just wonder if he is going to be one of those guys that’s always nicked up, I hope not!

  11. #11
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    Hey here is a concept for you; Martz just does not like to run the ball. I heard yesterday on ESPN that SJ, will get 25-30 touches a game, so we will see what he can do. I will go on the record and say if he stays healthy he has a great year. But thatís a big if, I just wonder if he is going to be one of those guys thatís always nicked up, I hope not!
    I agree I think though with a new coach that isn't going to be so easy on the training they will come out more fit and not be so easyily injured

  12. #12
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    All this Jackson talk got me to thinking about something Jason posted last year after he went to the Minnesota game. It's a pretty interesting observation, especially with the current Jackson discussions:

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    - S. Jackson I believe has NO respect from any team mates. No one talked or looked at him the entire game. Even in the huddles he was a lone eagle. During commercial breaks he is standing outside the circle looking into the crowd.

  13. #13
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    All this talk is also contingent on what the Rams do to address their offensive line woes, which hasn't happened yet.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
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    Re: Jackson feeling like a free man

    "At times, I kind of felt that way," Jackson said. "For whatever reason it was, I don't know. It doesn't help having the guy who took him to the top still around the locker room.
    Sounds disrespectful to Faulk.

    The front office had a chance to hire a guy that they wanted to bring in," Jackson said of Linehan. "I think everyone is talking about making me the focal point.

    "Two years ago when I was drafted that's what the plan was. We knew eventually that the team was going to be geared around me, and now it finally seems to be coming to the forefront. Now I have to show up on Sunday. That's not a hard thing to do."
    Very arrogant dont like it at all. Whats next annoying end zone dances. I strongly supported him last season but he needs to shut his damn yap and just play ball.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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