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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Jackson has an impact in a hurry ..

    BY JIM THOMAS Wednesday, August 25, 2010 12:10 am


    As if anyone needed reminding, Steven Jackson makes a big difference in the Rams' backfield.

    "Are you kidding me?" quarterback A.J. Feeley joked when asked about Jackson's impact. "Having that guy in the backfield definitely takes the load off. You can tell those linebackers, they have to honor him on all the play fakes. ... Any time you motion to give him the ball, they're going to respect that. As a quarterback that makes it definitely easier."

    The proof was in the numbers Saturday in Cleveland. Making his preseason debut, Jackson gained 20 yards on four carries, averaging 5 yards per carry. The rest of the Rams running game? AWOL. Including a few quarterback scrambles by Sam Bradford and Keith Null, the rest of the Rams rushed for 37 yards on 29 carries, or 1.3 yards a carry.

    The mere presence of Jackson in the huddle provided a lift for the offense, particularly the offensive line. And when you can mix the run and pass like the Rams did in their opening drive against the Browns, it keeps defenses off balance.

    "Pretty good first drive," left guard Jacob Bell said. "We keep Steven in the game, I think we can keep doing that. He's a heck of a player. It was good to have everybody out there and get the first team out there for the first time."

    Not only did the Cleveland game mark Jackson's first action of the preseason, it was the first time the starting unit on the offensive line was in a game together. The result was a 10-play, 65-yard touchdown drive on a night when the Rams gained only 107 yards the rest of the night — once Jackson and Feeley left the game.

    "That first drive was pretty efficient," Jackson said. "We were able to move the ball on the ground as well as in the air. And it really felt good just to be out there once again."

    The highlight for Jackson was his very first touch, when he gained 11 yards running off left guard, getting some yards after contact along the way.

    "To get the first one (for) 11 yards ... but fall for some extra yards at the end shows that the back strength is there," Jackson said. "We want to continue to grind out the yards like we always have."

    Late in the rehab process following back surgery in April to repair a herniated disc, Jackson said he doubled his normal weight-training regimen.

    "During the month of July, I kind of ratcheted up the weight training portion of it," Jackson said. "I was lifting twice a day, morning and evening. Then I would do my conditioning in between the two weight exercises. Years previous, I would run twice and lift once."

    In part, the idea was to build up the muscle around the back injury, but there was more to Jackson's altered routine than just pumping more iron.

    "I changed my diet," he said. "More healthy proteins in my diet, and cut back on the carbs so I can just build up that good, good protein and build the muscle up that I think I need for the season."

    The true test won't come until Sept. 12, when the Rams open the regular season against Arizona. But Jackson will get another taste of playing time Thursday when the Rams take on New England in their third game of the preseason.

    So how much will Jackson play?

    "Three quarters," he said with a straight face.

    Come again?

    "No, four quarters," Jackson said, laughing.

    Just kidding. Coach Steve Spagnuolo indicated after Tuesday's practice that if Jackson gets more work against the Patriots, it won't be much more.

    "A little more," Spagnuolo said. "Haven't really talked too much about it. It may be the same. We'll see how long the first series goes (against New England) and then we'll make a decision."

    Until then, the first snapshot of Jackson in 2010, limited as it was in Cleveland Browns Stadium, was very encouraging to Spagnuolo and the rest of the Rams.

    "That's the kind of boost our team will need," Spagnuolo said. "That's who he is. We know he's one of our best players on our football team, and to have him out there, I think the offensive line feels better about it, I think the quarterbacks do, I mean everybody does. ... When you can hand the ball off to a good back, it makes a difference."


  2. #2
    dgr828's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson has an impact in a hurry ..

    Loved seeing Jackson making the offense go, last week against the Browns.
    Along with Sam, the spotlight may shine more brightly on the Rams and it appears Jackson could have a special season. Maybe his famous predictions of a few seasons ago can finally come to a realization.

    Steven has no contract disstractions, Surgery was done in the off season so he was ready and availible for this years camp and he's showing great veteran leadership and his skill performance, in limit action, during the preseason, is a thing of beauty to watch.

    SEE JAX RUN! GO JAX GO!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Trevor's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson has an impact in a hurry ..

    So the team works harder with Jackson in the huddle...

  4. #4
    ramfan56's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson has an impact in a hurry ..

    Lets do it for Mr. Jackson!

  5. #5
    sjacksonrules's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson has an impact in a hurry ..

    I can't wait to see what bradford can do with sjax in the backfield tonight. I think that its held him back that sjax hasn't been in there while he has. I mean you gotta realize that steven did lead the team in receptions last year and of course rushing yards. So that is a big deal him not being in the game.

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