Jackson glad to carry heavy load
He's just 68 yards shy of 1,000 yards for the season
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - Though he's only 68 yards away, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson doesn't think rushing for 1,000 yards means as much anymore.
"In this day and age, 1,000 yards is not what it used to be," Jackson said. "I do want to pass 1,000 yards this week, but I have a number in mind that I want to reach by Week 17."
Asked what that number was, Jackson said, "When I hit it, I'll let you know."
Jackson said the benchmark for running backs has become more like 1,200 yards instead of 1,000 yards. There were 18 running backs, including Jackson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season.
"I would say 1,200 is a very productive year for a running back, especially with a long season and trying to stay healthy," Jackson said. "A lot of guys are playing nicked up."
Jackson said he feels fine physically after getting 281 touches (218 rushing attempts and 63 receptions) in 11 games.
"I feel pretty well," Jackson said. "I feel a lot better than I did the last two years."
Jackson said watching Rams backup running back Steven Davis, who has rushed for 1,300 or more yards four times in his career, has taught him how to be a more effective runner.
Davis runs low to ground even though at 6-foot, 230 pounds he has nearly the same body type as the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Jackson.
"You see little backs get low, and you think that's because they are a small back," Jackson said. "Seeing a guy around my own size be able to get so low, I understand what he is saying. He showed me that a big back can get his shoulder pads down."
Jackson, who needs to average 103 yards from scrimmage over his last five games to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage for the season, also has proven that he can be an effective pass catcher.
His 63 receptions (for 553 yards) ties him with wide receiver Torry Holt for the team lead in catches.
"I'm a big back so people naturally assume that I'm a downhill runner," Jackson said. "Hit the pile and move it for two or three yards. It has been good for me this year to be able to show and display my receiving ability."
Jackson said he doesn't foresee any change in offensive philosophy with offensive coordinator Greg Olson calling the plays instead of coach Scott Linehan.
"I think both of them do want to run the ball, they do want to be 50-50," Jackson said.
Jackson said the Rams remained committed to the run last Sunday in a 20-17 win over the San Francisco *****.
"Sometimes you have take the good with the bad," Jackson said. "You have to take that 2-yard run because that same play two quarters later or even two plays later can be big for you. You have to commit to the run and stick with it. Once you're successful in the running game, I think more guys look forward to it."
Jackson expects the Arizona Cardinals' defense to be focused on stopping the run with strong safety Adrian Wilson up close to the line of scrimmage when they play the Rams at noon Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
"Hit him low and hit him hard," Jackson said of how you counter Wilson. "A guy like that, he's the (heart) of their defense and he's definitely a playmaker. You have to account for them."'
Jackson also expects to the Cardinals to blitz a lot in an effort to break quarterback Marc Bulger's rhythm.
"I expect a lot of pressure," Jackson said. "Arizona is a team that likes to put a lot of pressure on their opponent. A lot of teams feel like we don't protect Marc well enough. It's going to be a very interesting matchup.
"If we catch them in the right look, maybe we can make them pay for it."
Adam Timmerman sat out practice Thursday due to sore ribs, but Linehan said he expects the veteran right guard to be available against the Cardinals.
Timmerman, who has a streak of 169 consecutive games that would be broken if he doesn't suit up for the Cardinals, was bothered by his ribs last week, too.
"It never improved last week, and it got very painful and he couldn't do much without having the kind of treatment that you can do for a game," Linehan said of Timmerman's ribs. "Until it starts getting better, we're going to have to give him one practice a week off.
"I don't foresee it being a problem for him to be ready to go on Sunday."
• Torry Holt is the top vote-getter among wide receivers in the NFC in fan voting on NFL.com for the 2007 Pro Bowl. Holt has gotten 375,494 votes with two weeks remaining in the balloting.
Fan voting counts for one-third of the final criteria for being selected to the Pro Bowl, while voting by players and coaches counts the other two-thirds.
Re: Jackson glad to carry heavy load
Holt getting some respect, as he should. Looking at the ballots, if Bulger and Jackson continue their respective production levels, they both look to have a very good chance at making the pro bowl. Time to go cast some votes!
Torry Holt is the top vote-getter among wide receivers in the NFC in fan voting on NFL.com for the 2007 Pro Bowl. Holt has gotten 375,494 votes with two weeks remaining in the balloting.
Re: Jackson glad to carry heavy load
As long as Bulger stays healthy he should get in by default. Brees would probably start, but after that it should be Bulger. I think since the QBs are so weak this year in the NFC that Vick might even make it, but since his "2 finger" episode his popularity has dropped.
Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
I can't even think of who should make it at QB besides Brees and Bulger.....
Hass??? Might have been out too long? Could make a late push
Leinart - no
Smith - no
Kitna??? has good yardage but other than that, meh.
B Jonhson - no
Grossman - no
Favre - no
Delhomme - possibly
Gradkowski - no
Romo - If he keeps playing at this level he should make it
Eli Manning - he's been stinking it up lately
Vick - gets in by popularity vote only, if he makes it at all.
As for RBs there are a few, Jackson, Gore, Westbrook, Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor, Barber (only has 1 TD though) so it's a toss up depending on the rest of the season.