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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Despite plenty of reports to the contrary, Rams running back Steven Jackson was a big part of the offensive game plan against Philadelphia last week.

    Going into the game, Jackson expected that his work load would be the same as it would had he participated in all of training camp and the preseason.

    But Jackson and the running game never got up off the ground as the Rams fell behind fast.

    “That’s what I came in thinking would happen Sunday,” Jackson said. “But the game kind of got away from us. We got down so early and not being able to move the ball at a consistent pace. That was all in my mindset coming in. I was looking forward to it. That’s when the offense and the team thrives, when we control the ball on the ground.”

    When he spoke to reporters Monday afternoon, offensive coordinator Al Saunders said he thought perhaps he might have gotten away from the run too quickly, even after the Rams fell behind by a pair of touchdowns in the first half.

    This week, don’t expect the Rams to abandon Jackson any time. Even if it’s not running, he will likely be the center piece of the offense and remains an option in the passing game for quarterback Marc Bulger.

    At this point, there’s no question in Jackson’s mind he can carry the load.

    “I definitely feel like my legs are under me,” Jackson said. “Week one was a good test not only an NFC East team that is pretty good but also letting me know where I’m at competing, timing and within the offense. I think despite the way things went Sunday there was some positives out of the negatives I can take away from it.”

    While Jackson’s numbers (40 yards rushing, 34 receiving) were nothing spectacular, he said he was happy with how he performed in some of the areas one would be concerned by if they didn’t get more than a couple of weeks to prepare for the regular season opener.

    “(I was making) my reads in the running game, I was hitting the hole. I wasn’t being indecisive on things I needed to do in that area and being able to pick up the blitz and do some of the basic things in football that you normally take care of in training camp,” Jackson said. “I was right on point.”

    The Rams and Jackson hope that translates to the field on Sunday.

    SIDE SHIFT: Defensive end Leonard Little sat out practice again Thursday and it seems more and more likely that he won’t play this weekend against the Giants because of a hamstring injury.

    Little says he isn’t 100 percent and there’s a chance the injury will keep him out this week and beyond.

    “No, I’m not 100 percent yet,” Little said. “Right now, I’m rehabbing it and trying to get back as quick as I can. The timetable on that, I don’t know, but I’m trying to get back as quick as I can. I may not even play at all. It’s going to be a matter of how I feel on Saturday. Right now, I’m just trying to get back into it a little bit.”

    With Little unlikely to take his usual spot at left defensive end, the Rams have had to do some shuffling. When Little left the opener against Philadelphia, James Hall replaced him in the lineup with rookie Chris Long staying on the right side.

    Hall was still productive at that spot but said it was different than his normal right side location.

    “Mechanically, it’s probably the biggest challenge especially for a guy that’s been on one side for most of his career,” Hall said. “It’s a lot different, (there are) a lot of adjustments you have got to make.”

    Hall said he is continuing to work at all positions across the line this week in practice but it’s expected that to start the game Long will slide to the left side with Hall on the right. Victor Adeyanju and Eric Moore also figure into the mix.

    LEONARD RETURNS: Running back Brian Leonard was disappointed he had to miss the season opener because of a shoulder injury. That injury limited him to the point where he couldn’t contribute on special teams and he was on the pre game inactive list.

    Although he is still wearing a large, cumbersome shoulder brace, Leonard says he is closer to being back at full strength and will play this weekend against the Giants.

    “It’s doing a lot better,” Leonard said. “I hope I will be active this week and ready to go to help these guys out on special teams and maybe a little bit on offense.”

    Leonard will likely have to wear a brace on his shoulder for the rest of the season though he hopes to move to one that isn’t quite as bothersome soon.

    “Shoulder braces are never fun,” Leonard said. “They are pretty tight and you don’t get much motion in them. It’s coming around pretty fast so I hope it’s back and ready to go.”

    Making a return to the lineup even more special for Leonard is the arrival of the Giants. Growing up in Gouverneur, N.Y., Leonard was a fan of the Giants and is excited about the opportunity to return to the field against his childhood favorites.

    “That was my team growing up but obviously I love the Rams now,” Leonard said. “Hopefully I can go out there and we can get this thing going.”

    INJURY REPORT: There was little change on the injury report Thursday as the players who missed Wednesday’s practice also sat out Thursday’s.

    Punter Donnie Jones (right knee), guard Jacob Bell (hamstring) and Little missed the workout. Those three are listed as did not participate. Bennett has been officially ruled out.

    Bell did some running on the side and seems more likely to play than Little. If Bell can’t go, Adam Goldberg is the likely replacement.

    Receiver Donnie Avery (knee) and running back Travis Minor (thigh) were limited participation.

    The only Giant of note on the report continues to be defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. He did not participate Wednesday but came back to practice Thursday as he continues to battle an ankle injury. Kiwanuka was listed as limited participation.

    Cornerback R.W. McQuarters (calf) did not participate.


  2. #2
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    "Little says he isn’t 100 percent and there’s a chance the injury will keep him out this week and beyond."

    Man thats all we need, I hope Haslett will be able to have some kind of scheme that can get us some pass rush. If Manning get all day with 6-5 Burress oh boy.
    :ramlogo:

  3. #3
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Our star player can't be out! Say it ain't so Donnie Jones, say it ain't so.

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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Despite plenty of reports to the contrary, Rams running back Steven Jackson was a big part of the offensive game plan against Philadelphia last week.

    Going into the game, Jackson expected that his work load would be the same as it would had he participated in all of training camp and the preseason.

    But Jackson and the running game never got up off the ground as the Rams fell behind fast.

    “That’s what I came in thinking would happen Sunday,” Jackson said. “But the game kind of got away from us. We got down so early and not being able to move the ball at a consistent pace. That was all in my mindset coming in. I was looking forward to it. That’s when the offense and the team thrives, when we control the ball on the ground.”

    When he spoke to reporters Monday afternoon, offensive coordinator Al Saunders said he thought perhaps he might have gotten away from the run too quickly, even after the Rams fell behind by a pair of touchdowns in the first half.

    This week, don’t expect the Rams to abandon Jackson any time. Even if it’s not running, he will likely be the center piece of the offense and remains an option in the passing game for quarterback Marc Bulger.

    At this point, there’s no question in Jackson’s mind he can carry the load.
    I also thought we got away from the running game to soon. Our first two plays of the game were 5 & 6 yard runs by Jackson. If it was a case of not over working Jackson then they should have given Pittman the fill-in carries.

    We need to consider this against the Giants and try to wear down their defensive players.

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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I also thought we got away from the running game to soon. Our first two plays of the game were 5 & 6 yard runs by Jackson. If it was a case of not over working Jackson then they should have given Pittman the fill-in carries.

    We need to consider this against the Giants and try to wear down their defensive players.
    I noticed the same thing. For the life of me I don't understand that when something is working why don't we stick with it until, at least, the defense begins to stop it. It looked to me that Saunders drank a hefty glass of Martz kool aid during the game. And Bulger has the bruises and welts to prove it.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  6. #6
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Test out that secondary early. If that's where the weakness is then we need to exploit. Of course we had to deviate from the run earlier than expected. It wasnt because we were ineffective, its because we were down in the 1st by 2TD'S. If we get them on their heals, we'll make it a game.

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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    So really on a team that has very few great players on the roster IMO. We have a D that I would only consider maybe 6 of the players Carriker, Long, Little, Ryan, WW, OJ actual bonafide starters now we have to go without one of them. I'm beginning to think we need a complete overhaul of the team here. Maybe Marshalls comments about not paying for Jackson when we won't get to use him were spot on. Even though he is a top 3 back, He is just not going to get top 3 back opportunity with us. And we have more holes to fill then any other team in the league I think, which includes HC.

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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    I believe Steven Jackson needs to be the focal point of our offense. Getting back to that 1500 yard season of a few years ago. A sub par offensive line will run block better than it ever will pass block and with a healthy running game we may see defenses bringing eight man coverages and moving the safeties closer to the line. This will give Marc Bulger a better chance to get the ball out to Torry Holt, who in phi. was double covered most of the game.

    Defensively, Haslett has gotta come up with a way of getting some sort of pressure on the quarterback because if we give any team the chance the throw they will torch us.

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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    So really on a team that has very few great players on the roster IMO. We have a D that I would only consider maybe 6 of the players Carriker, Long, Little, Ryan, WW, OJ actual bonafide starters now we have to go without one of them. I'm beginning to think we need a complete overhaul of the team here. Maybe Marshalls comments about not paying for Jackson when we won't get to use him were spot on. Even though he is a top 3 back, He is just not going to get top 3 back opportunity with us. And we have more holes to fill then any other team in the league I think, which includes HC.
    If it is true what you think about our D starters than I woulder how much of the blame can we really give Haslett.
    Last edited by eldfan; -09-13-2008 at 11:58 PM.
    :ramlogo:

  10. #10
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Well for some other info on Jackson....

    "When Jackson gets atleast 22 carries, the Rams are 14-4."
    Per NFL.com

    I know for a fact that this isn't always the case. However, this kind of shows that when Jackson gets rolling, the team performs better. He is our motivation and giving him the work load could lead to positive things happening for us.

  11. #11
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    Re: Jackson Ready for Full Work Load

    Jackson could'nt save a guppy in a fish bowl(5 gallon) with a net.Bulger could'nt walk and chew gum @ the same time. The money spent on these 2 could have got several real players.Oh but they have great #'s...... not when it counts they don't.Bulger will be traded and Jackson 3rd string and Warner will still be kickin ass!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jackson ready for the load? maybe ready to shovel $h!t............ I hope they win sunday.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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