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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson remains confident

    Offense to make running back its focal point
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat
    ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson was quick to shoot down the notion that there's extra pressure on him heading into the 2006 season.

    In fact, Jackson said he's feeling no pressure even though new coach Scott Linehan has made no secret about his plans to make the third-year running back the focal point of the Rams' offense.

    "There's no pressure," Jackson said. "We're making a big deal out of nothing. I was a 1,000-yard back, and I'm going to continue being a 1,000-yard back. I know the things that we're going to do upfront are key. I'm not a guy that can make 11 guys miss. There's only one back who did that, and that's Barry Sanders. That's not what I do. I control the ballgame and I move the chains. I don't feel any pressure, and I'm enjoying the relaxation around the park."

    Jackson said he was excited that the Rams' season opener has arrived. They'll play the Denver Broncos at noon Sunday at the Edward Jones.

    "Now you actually get to see what we have been putting together since March," Jackson said.

    Jackson enters his third season in the NFL brimming with confidence. He rushed for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and he's hoping to accomplish bigger things under Linehan's offense.

    "I'm very confident," Jackson said. "I'm a confident person. All I have do is show my offensive line that I'm willing to work and run hard, and I think we'll feed off each other."

    Jackson said he hasn't changed much since his rookie season in 2004, other than being a little older and little wiser.

    "My maturity level has grown," Jackson said. "I don't think I have really changed anything. I think the back that I was and that I am, Coach Linehan loves, and he's doing a great job of asking me and seeing what I'm comfortable with in the run calls. He's just not going to call it one way and make me do the things that he wants to do. It's a relationship where we're able to communicate. He needs me in certain areas, and of course, I need him. I think it's a great relationship with how we're bonding."

    Jackson demanded, "Give me the ball," last season. Under Linehan, he'll get it.

    "I think that's the key to us winning," Jackson said of expecting a balanced offensive attack against the Broncos. "Not only having the defense put pressure (on the Broncos) and cause confusion and turnovers, I think we have to be balanced on offense. I believe we have the talent to do so in both passing and running. We have to keep the defense guessing, and not allow them to make us guess."

    Jackson said the Broncos' speedy linebacking corps of Al Wilson, D.J. Wilson and Ian Gold will pose a stiff challenge for the Rams' running game.

    "We just have to run at them," Jackson said. "We can't run side to side and expect them to overrun things. I think we have to try to run play-action and get them to bite on some runs and try to capitalize on the chances we get. With (strong safety) John Lynch and those guys, they're going to bring some pressure and they're going to tackle. It's a game that's going to be a chess match. I think it's a great way to start off because there's a lot of uncertainty of what this team is going to do. If we come out with a 'W,' there will be no more if the Rams are for real. We are for real."

    Jackson said the signing of running back Stephen Davis provides veteran leadership not just for him and the other running backs, but the entire offense.

    "I think Stephen Davis was a pickup in veteran leadership that we needed in the backfield, but also on offense as well," Jackson said. "He's a guy that's proven and provides insurance if, God forbid, something was to happen."

    Jackson said Davis' arrival wasn't going to push him to work any harder.

    "I don't need Stephen Davis to push me," Jackson said. "As a rookie I came in backing up a great guy. I don't think him being picked up is going to force me to do something I haven't been doing already."

    The Rams underwent a changing of the guard at running back last year, but that move is official this year. Jackson no longer has the long shadow of Marshall Faulk hanging over him.

    Faulk still has a locker near Jackson's locker at Rams Park, but Faulk's stall is empty since he's busy working as an analyst for the NFL Network.

    Even Faulk's chair, one of two black high-back office models (wide receiver Isaac Bruce has the other one) among the wooden stools in the Rams' locker room, now sits in front of Jackson's locker.

    "It just moved a couple of spots to the left," Jackson said.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    Don't get me wrong I have alot of respect for John Lynch but wouldn't you love to see SJ steam roll him just once ??

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Jackson
    "I'm very confident," Jackson said. "I'm a confident person. All I have do is show my offensive line that I'm willing to work and run hard, and I think we'll feed off each other."
    I like what I'm hearing here. These guys have got to believe in each other and if they do, good things will happen.

  4. #4
    Bar-bq's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Offense to make running back its focal point
    I'm not a guy that can make 11 guys miss. There's only one back who did that, and that's Barry Sanders.
    Marshall Faulk, anyone?

  5. #5
    RamsFan16's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    Thats the first thing came to mind. But I might think that he didn't say Faulk because then there'd be more questions asked of him and Faulk.
    RamsFan16

  6. #6
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    As much as I love Marshall, he was no Barry Sanders.

  7. #7
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZagRam View Post
    As much as I love Marshall, he was no Barry Sanders.
    And Barry Sanders was no Marshall Faulk. Different runners with different styles and strengths.

  8. #8
    Guam rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson remains confident

    He wants the rock!!! give it to him. rams undefeated in games with 100 yard rushers.

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