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    Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Jackson hopes for more carries

    BY BILL COATS
    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    If ever a game plan called for a busy workload for Rams running back Steven Jackson, it would seem to be Sunday's contest at Denver. Only the lowly Buffalo Bills have yielded more yards on the ground than the Broncos.

    Denver has been particularly vulnerable recently: In three of its last four games, it's been gashed by a 100-plus-yard rusher. On Monday night, San Diego journeyman Mike Tolbert rambled for a career-high 111 yards in a 35-14 Chargers victory that dropped the Broncos to 3-7.

    If that weren't reason enough, there also is this: Jackson is itching for action after getting just 11 carries in last Sunday's 34-17 loss to Atlanta.

    "I shouldn't feel this fresh," Jackson said. "I think over the years, we've seen that I play better as the game goes on."

    Since taking over for Marshall Faulk in 2005 as the club's marquee back, Jackson has had 11 or fewer carries in a game only five times. The Rams dropped all five, by a combined score of 134-59.

    "Sometimes the game dictates differently, or the defense dictates differently. But Steven's got to have the ball, no question," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

    Getting him the ball more is elementary, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur conceded.

    "Call more runs. I think it's just that simple," Shurmur said. "Obviously we know Steven's the focus of what we do. ... We're trying to get in the end zone and do it the best way possible, but Steven needs to be involved."

    Broncos coach Josh McDaniels figures that will be the case Sunday at Invesco Field.

    "Stopping the run is really the foundation of a 3-4 defense, and we've had our moments," McDaniels said. "We've played well against Tennessee and Chris Johnson (53 yards), Kansas City and Jamaal Charles (41), and off and on during the course of the year. …

    "(Jackson) is a great runner, great vision, got really good speed and power, and catches the football well out of the backfield, too. So we're going to need to do a great job of playing total team run defense."

    If the Rams can establish an effective ground game and chew up some clock in the process, it should benefit them defensively, too, by keeping Denver's dangerous passing attack on the sideline. Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton has thrown for 3,023 yards, the fourth-best total in the NFL; his favorite target, resurgent wideout Brandon Lloyd, has a league-high 1,046 receiving yards.

    "I expect (the Broncos) to concentrate on trying to take the run away from us and force us to throw it," Jackson said. "So I'm not going to disrespect the Denver defense and say we're going to come out there and have our way in the running game. We're going to have to work for every yard that we get. That's just how things are when we show up in town."

    grant hopes to start

    The revolving door at weakside linebacker remains in motion. Larry Grant, who started the first seven games there before giving way to Bryan Kehl for a game and then Chris Chamberlain for two, could return to the lineup Sunday.

    "It's been all over the place. But the coaches are doing what they feel is best for the team," Grant said. "Hopefully I get a chance this week to be able to show what I can do again."

    Spagnuolo explained that different defensive packages are more suited to one linebacker or another. Plus, he added, "I've always believed that the more guys involved in the game plan defensively, the better. It keeps everybody in tune, it keeps everybody fresh. I think it's a good thing."

    saffold, alexander ready

    Tackle Rodger Saffold (shoulder) and wide receiver Danario Alexander (knee) got through the week of practice without any apparent setbacks and should be ready to go vs. the Broncos.

    Whether Alexander lands on the 45-man active roster remains in question. "We hope we'll have him (but) I can't say that will happen," Spagnuolo said. "I've got to look at the 45, I've got to make sure he's healthy. … We'll decide on Sunday what we're going to do."

    Alexander was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. Saffold, punter Donnie Jones (calf) and wide receiver Laurent Robinson (toe) were probable.

    Ram-blings

    Spagnuolo was the Giants' defensive coordinator and Broncos coach Josh McDaniels was the Patriots' offensive coordinator when New York upended unbeaten New England 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII following the 2007 season. … The Rams' weekly captains are center Jason Brown and long-snapper Chris Massey.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    As the article points out, Denver does not appear to have a very strong run defense. They're allowing 4.4 yards per carry on average, and their 143.5 yards per game allowed is second worst in the league. The 15 rushing touchdowns they've allowed thus far actually is the worst in the league. There's really no excuse for the Rams to not be able to get something going on the ground against these guys.

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    As the article points out, Denver does not appear to have a very strong run defense. They're allowing 4.4 yards per carry on average, and their 143.5 yards per game allowed is second worst in the league. The 15 rushing touchdowns they've allowed thus far actually is the worst in the league. There's really no excuse for the Rams to not be able to get something going on the ground against these guys.
    Agreed. No excuse with one of the best backs in the league who is rested and hungry after only 11 carries last week. The last time the Rams played against a run defense this statistically bad in Tampa, Jackson had a very strong game. I look for him to run wild if given the opportunity.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Let's hope Shurmer calls a solid game today.

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    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Our running game looks anemic. No wonder Jackson isn't getting the ball much.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Jackson got 30 carries today, for 72 yards, averaged out to about 2.5 YPC.

    I didn't watch much of the game, but it doesn't sound like Jackson is the same anymore.


    I know our run blocking is poor, especially in the interior. Anyone want to share what happened in the game?

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I know our run blocking is poor, especially in the interior.
    That about summed it up. When Jackson tried to run on one goal line play, Goldberg was pancaked by a LB, a LINEBACKER! It may be time to give some other inside OL's some reps.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I know our run blocking is poor, especially in the interior. Anyone want to share what happened in the game?
    What you said here, run blocking is poor. There seemed to be one hole the entire game, and that is when Darby walked in for a TD. Other than that, Jackson was hitting a pile of bodies at the line everytime.

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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Yeah, I'm more than a little concerned about Jackson's sudden drop off the last few games. Is he hurt? Beat up? Is the line's run blocking really that bad? Are the runs being called that predictable early in the game? I don't know what the answer is, but it's an element of our game that needs to be both addressed and cleaned up.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by SavageRam View Post
    That about summed it up. When Jackson tried to run on one goal line play, Goldberg was pancaked by a LB, a LINEBACKER! It may be time to give some other inside OL's some reps.
    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    What you said here, run blocking is poor. There seemed to be one hole the entire game, and that is when Darby walked in for a TD. Other than that, Jackson was hitting a pile of bodies at the line everytime.

    I do think that our interior line needs to be upgraded, especially Goldberg. He's the weakest link of our offensive line. Jacob Bell is also a bit under-strength too. In other games, I have seen him get blown up by much smaller players, and let's not even talk about the bigger defensive tackles.


    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    Yeah, I'm more than a little concerned about Jackson's sudden drop off the last few games. Is he hurt? Beat up? Is the line's run blocking really that bad? Are the runs being called that predictable early in the game? I don't know what the answer is, but it's an element of our game that needs to be both addressed and cleaned up.
    I think it is below average. I also think Jackson hasn't been playing the same as he used to. He's being brought down a lot easier, and he just isn't as fast anymore.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Maybe Jackson should have hoped for more support up front, because he got almost none today.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Maybe Jackson should have hoped for more support up front, because he got almost none today.
    Our O-linemen need to hit the weight room!

    I've been told that muscle is heavier than fat!

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Our O-linemen need to hit the weight room!

    I've been told that muscle is heavier than fat!

    LOL...

    I don't know, but I think a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of lead.

    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    I'd hoped that SJ would be less hampered by the hand problem in this game but that didn't seem to be the case. I think he is having to expend a lot of time & energy on ball security which makes him look hesitant & lacking in explosiveness. It's actually pretty remarkable that he hasn't fumbled.

    Add the MIA Karney & shaky Goldberg and I think you have some extenuating circumstances for SJ's lack of oomph. Kudos, though, to Shurmur for sticking with the run game this time which, as so many have noted, opened up stuff for Sam & the flyboys.

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    Re: Jackson Hopes For More Carries

    After rewatching the Denver game, it's was obvious to me that Jackson's vision was as poor as the blocking. There were some holes, he was just not seeing them. It's very odd in that he rarely runs to the left, and that's where some of the holes were that he missed. There were two opportunities that would have likely yielded 20+ yard runs if he saw them ...

    He also looks a tad slower than normal, particularly getting outside. Rewatching, there were one of two he broke off tackle and it looked like it was going to be a nice gain, only to be denied by a swarming LB ....

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