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  1. #1
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    Jackson Ready for Bengals ...

    http://www.stlouisrams.com/article/66022/
    Jackson Ready for Bengals
    Friday, December 7, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner

    Senior Writer

    In the days leading up to the 2004 NFL Draft, there was no doubt among most teams who the first running back chosen in the draft would be. Steven Jackson was a 6’2, 230 pound battering ram with the speed to run past any defender and the power to run over them.

    Clearly, Jackson had the complete package, at least to most teams. Unfortunately for Jackson , nary a team identified a running back as its top need in the draft. No running backs were taken in the first 23 picks, but the Bengals – who earlier swapped first rounders with Denver to acquire cornerback Deltha O’Neal – had made it clear that finding a backup for Rudi Johnson was a top priority.

    Cincinnati not only wanted a backup, but also a third down back with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Jackson seemed the perfect fit. Sure enough, Jackson was the 24th pick in the draft…to the Rams.

    “I do remember that day,” Jackson said. “We knew the Bengals were in the market for a running back. They had a chance, but they decided to trade down.”

    Indeed, Cincinnati shipped the 24th pick to the Rams in exchange for their 26th selection and a fourth-round choice. The Rams, even with future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk in the fold, saw that the future was coming sooner than later.

    With that in mind, St. Louis grabbed Jackson and began working him into the mix in the backfield. The Bengals, meanwhile, still opted for a running back in Michigan ’s Chris Perry.

    After the draft, Cincinnati claimed it had Perry rated as the best runner on the board. The Bengals had downgraded Jackson because of concerns about a lingering knee injury and believed Perry was a better receiver.

    Jackson believes it didn’t hurt Perry’s cause that he was playing his college ball so close to the Queen City .

    “They’re right there (near Michigan),” Jackson said. “They get a lot of Michigan games. They’re accustomed to knowing what he can do. They’re probably familiar with seeing a lot of him live compared to me on the west coast (at Oregon State).”

    By now, as the Rams and Bengals prepare to play for the first time since that fateful day, it’s clear which side got the better end of the deal. In fact, Cincinnati has gotten more from tackle Stacey Andrews (the player it used the fourth-rounder on) than Perry.

    In four seasons, Jackson has rushed for 3,875 yards and 29 touchdowns. Perry has played in just 22 games with 337 yards and no touchdowns.
    As for the receiving comparison, Perry caught 63 passes for 403 yards with a pair of scores. Jackson proved his receiving skills last year and has 178 catches for 1,511 yards and five touchdowns.

    For Jackson , this week’s game won’t have any added meaning except for the chance to visit with his friends and fellow Oregon State alums Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

    “I don’t hold anything against them,” Jackson said. “It worked out for the best. Who knows, I might not be playing. Rudi Johnson is playing lights out ball. It’s just another game.”

    Of course, there’s no need for Jackson to make a statement to prove the Bengals wrong for passing on him. The numbers speak for themselves.

    CHILL IN?: Lost in the ever-expanding love and respect for middle linebacker Will Witherspoon (who has earned all of the accolades he’s getting), is the fact that Witherspoon isn’t the only linebacker enjoying his best NFL season.

    Brandon Chillar has long been overlooked in his role as the strong side linebacker. Chillar isn’t as flashy or athletic as a Witherspoon or Pisa Tinoisamoa and his quiet nature makes him one of the more unassuming players on the defense.

    In this, the final year of his contract, Chillar’s play is doing all of his talking. Chillar is fifth on the team in tackles with 67 and has a pair of sacks. In fact, with Tinoisamoa out for the season, Chillar has proved his versatility, sliding in on nickel situations and working as a pass rusher in others on his way to seven quarterback pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

    Considering his youth and flexibility, Chillar has become a priority for the Rams to bring back into the fold on a long term basis.

    “He’s really our only true unrestricted free agent,” coach Scott Linehan said. “There are some guys that are on one year deals, but he’s a young player whose contract is coming up. We haven’t had any discussions that way, but I would love to have Brandon back. It’s easier said than done; I understand that. He’s really having a real strong season for us. We’ve asked him to do a number of things. Now he’s playing a little bit more on third down. I’m always hopeful to keep guys around. I think that’s the best way to go.”

    INJURY REPORT: The final injury report for the Rams comes with little in the way of surprises.

    Cornerback Eric Bassey (knee) and tackle Rob Petitti (concussion) are out. Brandon Gorin will start in place of Petitti at right tackle.

    Quarterback Gus Frerotte (shoulder) is doubtful and won’t be active for Sunday’s game.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger (concussion) is questionable after limited participation on Friday (see related story for more).

    Receiver Brandon Williams (ankle) is questionable and did not participate Friday. He isn’t likely to play and Marques Hagans would handle return duties in his place.

    Linebacker Will Witherspoon (groin) was limited, but is probable. Defensive end James Hall (ankle), running back Brian Leonard (knee) and center Brett Romberg (ankle) are all probable and likely to play.

    RAM BITS: The Bengals will be without tackle Willie Anderson because of a knee injury. Safety Madieu Williams (back) is questionable…Darius Vinnett was officially promoted from the practice squad to take the place of Tye Hill, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week. Quarterback Todd Bouman is replacing Dante Hall on the roster after Hall was also placed on I.R.


  2. #2
    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Bengals ...

    wasn't STEVEN JACKSON predicted to go with the DALLAS Cowboys

  3. #3
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Bengals ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rams 24/7 View Post
    wasn't STEVEN JACKSON predicted to go with the DALLAS Cowboys
    I could be mistaken, but my recollection is that Dallas was projected by draft pundits to select Steven Jackson. Dallas passed on SJ and elected to go with Julius Jones, a bit later on the Rams traded up a notch to grab him ... We've traded up for worse ... It would be nice if we could lock him up withour blowing the doors off the bank. Stay tuned ...

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    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Bengals ...

    Jackson bettter be ready. I think we'll see a large dose of him tomorrow.

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