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Jackson isn't worried about not getting the ball
He had just seven carries against Panthers
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - Running back Steven Jackson isn't complaining about getting only seven carries in the St. Louis Rams' 15-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.
Jackson spouted "Give me the ball" last season when he felt like he was being underutilized
"I am very satisfied with what I've been able to contribute to the offense thus far," Jackson said. "I'm never at peace. I always play with that edge and that chip, which is what I think allows me to come out and play so aggressively.
"This week, hopefully we'll get things turned back around and put those big numbers up in the running game."
Jackson gave credit to the Panthers for holding the Rams to 31 rushing yards.
"Like I said Sunday after the game, it's hats off to the defensive coordinator and their defense for being on top of our tendencies, things we like to do in specific downs, and formations," Jackson said. "They were on top of their game on Sunday."
Jackson said he expects the San Francisco *****' defense to provide a challenge for the Rams at noon Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
"Very good, very stout," Jackson said of the *****' defense, which has allowed only 30 points over three games. "They are solid tacklers. You expect that. A solid defensive group. No true standout, but they play well together."
Jackson still ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing with 811 yards and fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,293.
Jackson also is gaining recognition for his pass receiving skills. He has 26 receptions over his last three games.
"I noticed that when I saw Julius Peppers spying me," Jackson said. "I noticed that I am getting a lot more attention in the passing game than I have been.
"It's just a challenge for me to work on my downfield moves and separate myself as a receiver."
Jackson said the Rams' top priority against the ***** is doing a better job of protecting quarterback Marc Bulger, who was sacked seven times by the Panthers.
"If your line is kind of banged up right now, the first thing is protecting Marc, and we didn't do that on Sunday," Jackson said. " I expect for us to help protect Marc by running the ball."
Nolan: Bryant won't be suspended
San Francisco coach Mike Nolan said he won't suspend wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who was arrested and charged with drunken driving, reckless driving and resisting arrest.
Bryant was allegedly driving his 1995 orange Lamborghini more than 100 mph on a California freeway on Sunday night. After being pulled over, Bryant became verbally combative, and police officers had to use leather straps to restrain him enough to get him in their car.
"No, I will not," Nolan said when asked if he'd suspend Bryant during a conference call with St. Louis media. "I'll let the judicial process do its deal because that's the way it should be.
"It wasn't something he did within this building to this team and all that. It's certainly a distraction and it becomes one that affects our football team. We've dealt with that today, and hopefully it won't distract us today."
Bryant, who leads the ***** with 546 receiving yards, could face disciplinary action by the NFL pending the outcome of his court case.
"I have had discussion with him as well as our team, and everybody knows where it stands," Nolan said. "In all fairness to Antonio, I'll let the judicial process decide whether he is guilty or not."
The Rams' game against the ***** is officially sold out, meaning that it will be televised locally on KTVI Channel 2.
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rams needed to sell out the game by noon Wednesday to get the television blackout lifted.
• Fullback Paul Smith sat out the Rams' practice on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury.
He's listed as questionable on the Rams' injury report for the game against the *****, but Rams coach Scott Linehan didn't sound too optimistic that the seven-year NFL veteran would be available on Sunday.
"Paul Smith is questionable at best, I would say, at this point," Linehan said. "We'll look at him by Friday to determine if he'll be up or down."
Re: Jackson isn't worried about not getting the ball
Steven Jackson must have taken the "how to speak to the press" class recently. He certainly is saying all the right things now.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]