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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Wednesday, Dec. 03 2008
    Rams running back Steven Jackson caused a bit of a stir Sunday, telling
    reporters that he was still fresh during the fourth quarter of his team’s
    exasperating loss to the Dolphins.

    No, he wasn’t "gassed." No, his wounded thigh wasn’t bothering him.

    Jackson wondered why the Rams staff quit calling his number after he piled up
    110 yards rushing and receiving.

    Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby manned the post down the stretch. So,
    naturally, Rams coach Jim Haslett had to address the matter at his Monday news
    conference.

    “The plan was to get him about 15 to 18 touches and then try to go on third
    down with Darby and spell him with ‘Pitt’ when he needed a break,” Haslett told
    reporters. “That was kind of the plan.

    “I think he got 22 touches, so he kind of got a little bit more than we wanted.
    ... Then actually in the fourth quarter we were in nickel most of the time, so
    Darby took that stuff for protection.”

    And in the minds of the Rams coaches, Jackson WAS lagging, whether he believed
    it or not.

    “He got sore about the 30th play and started dragging a little bit, but his
    conditioning is actually fine, he did a great job on that, but you could tell
    he hadn’t played in a month and he was a little sore,” Haslett told reporters.

    Here’s the deal with Jackson: To this point in his career, he has talked a much
    bigger game than he has played.

    He hasn’t been able to stay healthy, missing eight games the last two seasons.
    He hasn’t met his own lofty, admirable goals for greatness.

    That shortfall is one of the big reasons why the Rams are 5-23 since 2006.

    Rather than complain about the dismal stadium music at The Ed or fret about the
    fleeting fan support from the Rams' not-so-faithful, Jackson should focus on
    finally reaching his full potential.

    To do that, he should:

    * Become a tempo-setter in off-season team workouts.

    * Actually participate in training camp while he is under contract.

    * Never tell the coaches he can play in a particular game when, in fact, he’s
    not quite up to it. He must earn the trust of the staff while understanding the
    difference between playing hurt and playing injured.

    * Learn how to pass block and master the team’s protection schemes. Then the
    coaching staff could use him on obvious passing downs.

    Jackson is a premier talent in the NFL. He is a power runner with breakaway
    speed and soft receiving hands.

    When he settles into games and runs mostly north and south, pounding line seams
    with zeal, he is one of the mightiest forces in the game. The Dolphins saw that
    Sunday when he blasted through their line time and again.

    Much of the criticism he takes in the forums and live chats here at
    STLtoday.com is unwarranted. He gets more from his blocks than almost anybody
    in the sport.

    But . . . Jackson still has a ways to go to become all he can be. His preseason
    contract impasse ruined his 2008 season, whether he will admit it or not.

    Common sense tells you that holdouts put players at greater risk for muscle
    pulls or strains. Individual workouts cannot get a man into football shape.

    Individual workouts cannot replicate the contact work players get during the
    preseason. The Rams were worried Jackson might pop something. Sure enough, he
    did.

    Jackson bristles whenever his ’08 conditioning issues are mentioned, but we all
    saw what happened this fall. Moving forward, Steven must better prepare for the
    16-game wars.

    If he wants to play in the fourth quarter, he must be in top shape. And if the
    Rams are behind in the fourth quarter, he better be able to read blitzes and
    actually block interlopers.

    It was interesting to watch Darby walk in off the street and immediately become
    a better protection back than Jackson is. How can that happen?

    In this corner of cyberspace, we spent lots of time discussing all the things
    the Rams organization must do to turn the program around. We note that change
    must start at the very top of the organization.

    We talk about how strong new leadership is needed to change the losing culture
    at Rams Park. But ultimately the players must make it happen.

    Veterans like Jackson – arguably the most valuable man in the entire
    organization – must make things better. He has to get on the field, stay on the
    field and excel at every assignment.

    Then he can talk all he wants, and St. Louis will love him.


  2. #2
    makersncoke's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Many good points in this, Jax is now this organizations franchise player, he is paid as such and should in turn give the team and the fans what he is being paid for, that's a high level of performance. I hope he learned from this year that you can't take time off and expect to be ready to go when the season starts.
    As far as him saying nothing was wrong on Sun, it was obvious that he was dragging his leg after a couple of plays in the fourth quarter, Haz made the right decision to pull him from the game.
    Last but not least, the first guy I would send packing in the offseason is the Rams strength and conditioning coach, any team that has had as many injuries as this team has had over the last 2 years is obviously not in game shape.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Well, Jackson hopefully will be back in 2009.
    Unfortunately, that always happens when you get a big, big contract!
    You end up getting hurt about all the time.
    Happy New Year 2015!

  4. #4
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    I kind of like this Darby kid.

    “The plan was to get him about 15 to 18 touches and then try to go on third
    down with Darby and spell him with ‘Pitt’ when he needed a break,” Haslett told
    reporters. “That was kind of the plan.

    “I think he got 22 touches, so he kind of got a little bit more than we wanted.
    ... Then actually in the fourth quarter we were in nickel most of the time, so
    Darby took that stuff for protection.”

    Learn how to pass block and master the team’s protection schemes. Then the
    coaching staff could use him on obvious passing downs.

    Am i the only one who would rather see a little more Darby & a little less Pittman? I mean Pittman has been workman like, nothing spectacular but not horrible either. Darby has been our best back in protection,has shown an ability to catch the ball well out of the backfield and been decent when he has gotten the chance to carry the ball(excluding the fumbles in his first game)
    I know Haslett was steamed about the fumbles and he didnt return in that game, but i would like to see him carry the ball more in the last 4 games and see what we got with this kid.

  5. #5
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    I'm sorry, the Rams fans love Jackson. We know that he is our best player on the squad hands down. Withouth him, we play like crap. It's been proven and he showed that when he is on the field, he's a better player.

    We have defenses fearing Jackson and have to respect the fact that he's on the field. Having Darby on the field will allow defenses to focus more on Bulger.

    Jackson has been talking alot, no doubt. If he plays hard for the next four games, I will be happy.

    Lets hope next year when we have a new line and possibly new offensive scheme, Jackson will be a premier back.

  6. #6
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Haslett
    Then actually in the fourth quarter we were in nickel most of the time, so Darby took that stuff for protection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Gordon
    If he wants to play in the fourth quarter, he must be in top shape. And if the Rams are behind in the fourth quarter, he better be able to read blitzes and actually block interlopers.
    I don't agree with the decision tactically to keep him out, but I can understand if Haslett and his coaching staff thought Jackson was hurting a little and perhaps ineffective going into the fourth quarter, but this stuff about needing Darby for protection doesn't make any sense since the Rams trailed by only 1 point for most of the quarter and didn't need to get pass happy.

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Sometimes I think that the PD writers wake up in the morning, can't think of anything to write, and just flip a coin to decide whether to write another "Jackson talks too much" or "Bulger is struggling" article.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Sometimes I think that the PD writers wake up in the morning, can't think of anything to write, and just flip a coin to decide whether to write another "Jackson talks too much" or "Bulger is struggling" article.
    I agree, seems like the media is trying to create a riff between Jackson and Haslett.

  9. #9
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Sometimes I think that the PD writers wake up in the morning, can't think of anything to write, and just flip a coin to decide whether to write another "Jackson talks too much" or "Bulger is struggling" article.
    Maybe they could mix it up a little, "Bulger is Struggling with Jackson," or "Jackson Talks with Bulger Too Much."
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Lots of talk, few results from Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    I'm sorry, the Rams fans love Jackson. We know that he is our best player on the squad hands down. Withouth him, we play like crap. It's been proven and he showed that when he is on the field, he's a better player.

    We have defenses fearing Jackson and have to respect the fact that he's on the field. Having Darby on the field will allow defenses to focus more on Bulger.

    Jackson has been talking alot, no doubt. If he plays hard for the next four games, I will be happy.

    Lets hope next year when we have a new line and possibly new offensive scheme, Jackson will be a premier back.

    In no way was i suggesting they sit Jackson for Darby. I would just rather see Darby over Pittman when Jackson needs a rest,and i agree S-Jack is our best player and our future depends on him.

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