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  1. #1
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    Cool Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season

    Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/13/2004





    MACOMB, Ill. - They're not casting his bust just yet in Canton, Ohio. But there was a reason Steven Jackson was the first running back selected in the 2004 draft. And he provided some clues with a strong performance in Thursday's exhibition game against Chicago.

    Even though the Rams lost 13-10 in overtime, Jackson didn't disappoint. He carried 15 times for 73 yards, averaging 4.9 yards a carry. Throw in his four catches for 18 yards, and Jackson had 91 yards from scrimmage - the top total by any player on either team.

    "I'm extremely pleased with my effort, and the things that the offensive line created for me to do," Jackson said.

    Nineteen "touches" - the 15 carries, plus the four catches - is a substantial workload for anybody during the preseason when rosters are bloated with third- and fourth-stringers.

    "I kind of looked forward to it," Jackson said. "I knew Marshall (Faulk) wasn't going to go. Lamar (Gordon) is down right now, so I kind of knew I was going to be taking a heavy load.

    "I know that I had a couple miscues that I need to clean up. For the most part I felt pretty comfortable, and more relaxed than I have the whole camp."

    Jackson might have approached 100 yards rushing had he not stumbled to the ground on his longest gain of the night - an 18-yard carry in the third quarter that could have gone much farther.

    "It shows that your legs are a little tired from camp," Jackson said. "But I've got to freshen up. I've got to run through that. Who knows? That could've been the play that helped win the game."

    Jackson could be in for a heavy workload Aug. 23 in Kansas City, the Rams' next preseason game. Gordon will be sidelined for about three more weeks after ankle surgery. Arlen Harris' status is uncertain after Harris suffered a concussion after just four carries against Chicago. That leaves Marshall Faulk and ... Dusty McGrorty as the only other running back possibilities. McGrorty, an undrafted free agent, did not get any carries against Chicago.

    As for Faulk, coach Mike Martz is considering playing him against the Chiefs, but normally likes to wait until the third preseason game before using Faulk in August.

    Bulger's night

    Did quarterback Marc Bulger get enough work against the Bears?

    "It's never enough," Bulger said. "But that's what you expect coming into the first preseason game. We got a good combination of red zone (work), drop-back passes, play-action passes, some runs. For the first game, I think we were happy to get that much accomplished."

    Bulger was in for only the Rams' first series - a 12-play, 64-yard drive culminating in a 33-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins.

    Bulger completed three of six passes for 57 yards, with Isaac Bruce catching two of those balls for 43 yards. Entering his 11th NFL season, Bruce looks as frisky as ever.

    "Isaac can do special things," Bulger said. "He gets in and out of routes so quick. If you get him going during a drive, there's none better in the league."

    Mr. August he's not

    Thursday's loss was the eighth in the Rams' last nine preseason games, dating back to the start of the 2002 exhibition season. Under Martz, the Rams are 6-12 overall in the preseason.





  2. #2
    JellyOpal is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season

    First of all, the record of wins during the REAL season is much more important than during the preseason. I think we can all agree to that. The Rams are one team that doesn't put any emphasis on winning during the preseason. We just use those games as a means to get ready for the season and take a look at new players.

    I was very pleased to see how well Jackson fit in right out of the gate. Our recruiters have done a good job aiming our draft intentions at guys that make can make a smooth transition from college to pro. Archuleta and Tinoisamoa are two examples. Let's hope this trend continues.

  3. #3
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    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season

    As for Faulk, coach Mike Martz is considering playing him against the Chiefs, but normally likes to wait until the third preseason game before using Faulk in August.
    I wouldn't mind seeing Faulk in for a series or two. The Rams have 11 days of rest before the next game, though, so hopefully Harris will be back. Hell, why not run Goodspeed a few times?

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    Jackson could be in for a heavy workload Aug. 23 in Kansas City, the Rams' next preseason game.
    Considering the Giants running backs averaged over seven yards a carry against Kansas City last night, I'm very excited to see how Jackson, and even Faulk if they put him in for a series or two, will do against them.
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  5. #5
    evil disco man's Avatar
    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Jackson lives up to his draft slot in opener of the exhibition season

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Considering the Giants running backs averaged over seven yards a carry against Kansas City last night, I'm very excited to see how Jackson, and even Faulk if they put him in for a series or two, will do against them.
    I agree. Ron Dayne himself had over 100 yards on only 11 carries. That's Ron Dayne, people. Yeah, this guy:

    Ron freakin' Dayne.
    So far it looks like good ol' Gunther Cunningham hasn't done much to shore up that defense.

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