Q&A: Steven Jackson
Q&A: Steven Jackson
Senior Fantasy Writer
Tell Dave your opinion
Sept 4 2006
Here are some fast facts for you about Rams RB Steven Jackson:
• In five career games with 20-plus carries, Jackson has averaged 130.6 yards per game (5.4 yards per carry) and scored five touchdowns. All five games were St. Louis wins.
• In two of those five games, Jackson rushed for more than 145 yards, including a 179-yard output against the defensive-minded Jaguars.
• Between rushing and receiving, Jackson totaled over 100 yards in seven games last season.
• Jackson caught two or more passes in all but three games last season, with three five-catch games and a six-catch effort.
And now, some fast facts about new Rams head coach Scott Linehan:
• In 2005, the Dolphins went 7-0 when their running backs had 30 or more carries. Linehan was their offensive coordinator. The Dolphins went from 31st in the league to 12th, and both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams averaged 4.4 yards per carry. They combined for 1,650 yards.
• In two of Linehan's three years in Minnesota as their offensive boss, the Vikings offense ranked first and fourth in the NFL in rushing.
• In all four seasons as an NFL offensive guru, Linehan's running backs who had at least 100 carries over a season averaged over 4.0 yards per carry. That includes backs like Onterrio Smith, Moe Williams and Michael Bennett.
So let's see ... take a guy who is great at winning games when he runs the ball and have him coached by a guy with a track record of producing great running backs, and you have a match made in Fantasy Football heaven.
We had the chance to talk pigskin with Jackson after St. Louis' preseason schedule was finished. Fantasy owners should enjoy this quick Q&A which talks not only about Jackson's expectations for the season, but for his teammates as well.
Q;Rams head coach Scott Linehan has an awesome history of making his running game develop into one of the best in the league. What has he told you about how he will use you in the offense?
Jackson: We really haven't had that sitdown one-on-one about how he's going to use me, but he has addressed the running game far more than we did in the past. He believes in a balanced offense and the run setting up the pass. With the wide receiver threats that we have, I think we have a chance to be an explosive offense.
Q;One of the things that stood out to me this preseason has been the play of your offensive line. In the first game, they manhandled the Colts. Where have they improved from last season?
Jackson: As a running game, I think we all understand what each other is going to be thinking and where the ball is expected to go. With the guys doing the things they have to do up front, they can count on me to make the appropriate cuts. It all works together cohesively. This year we've sat down together as a running back group and an offensive line group in one meeting and discuss running plays and look at film. I think that's helped us out a lot so far.
Q;That's new for you? The O-line and running back teams meeting together?
Jackson: Yeah, in previous years we all met one-on-one, and I think it kind of left some things in confusion.
Q;Then let me ask you this: How does coach Linehan's offense compare to coach Mike Martz's offense?
Jackson: You know what? Coach Linehan has a little bit of coach Martz's offense in it, but I think we have a little bit of a West Coast in the passing game as well. I know Marc (Bulger) is going to more quick throws and three-step drops than he has in the past.
Q;The Rams recently signed Stephen Davis. Your thoughts on getting a veteran runner to help you and Tony Fisher with the workload?
Jackson: I don't really know him personally, but of course I am familiar of what he's done throughout the years. I think he gives us great depth and it gives us the opportunity to give us that complete backfield of wearing defenses out. And I can also use him like I used Marshall (Faulk), as a reference guide. I think it's great for us.
Q;Do you forsee Davis taking some of your goal-line reps?
Jackson: It's not something I'm worried about. Maybe coming in with the organization, that may be the thought process of it. You never know what the head coach is thinking. But once you get into the flow of a game, if I'm having a great game, I don't see why they would pull me.
Q;How important is it for a running back to have a dependable group of receivers like Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Kevin Curtis working alongside you in the offense?
Jackson: That's big. A defense can't just put eight guys in the box and safeties can't cheat and watch the quarterback. It helps us (force them to) play honest. Then, get me past that defensive line, and once that happens I believe it's off to the races.
Q;What do you know about Fantasy Football?
Jackson: I know a little bit. Fans and family members have asked about my health and how I'm going to be used. I know touchdowns are the biggest thing in Fantasy Football. I get a lot of fans telling me about how I do for their teams. Sometimes I'll help a guy win a game, sometimes I'll help a guy lose a game (laughs). There's a lot of pressure on you, but I think Fantasy Football is good for the NFL, it allows people to follow their favorite athletes and keep up with the game.
Q;Are you familiar with the following you have in Fantasy and that you're somebody's top pick in every league this year?
Jackson: No, I'm not. That's quite shocking to me because I don't think I've even scraped my potential yet. So that's humbling in itself to know that people can see my talent.
Q;Your touchdowns will not only mean a lot to the Rams and Fantasy players everywhere but to some others as well. Could you talk about what you're planning on doing for the Steven Jackson Foundation this season?
Jackson: This year, the Steven Jackson Foundation and my other sponsors are going to donate $1,000 for every touchdown I score toward children of illiteracy and education. I truly believe in education and as a country, I think America is falling behind the rest of the world in education. I don't think we're zeroing in on education like we used to. My parents always used to harp on education, and I think with the media focusing on athletes and entertainers and the big money we tend to make, it takes kids away from their focus on education and makes them want to be an athlete or a movie star.
Q;Now Fantasy Football players love a good sleeper. Who would be someone on the Rams you'd recommend as a sleeper?
Jackson: I'd say Kevin Curtis. I think he showed what he can do a little bit last year with some key plays, especially in the Texans game -- he won that one for us. He's a guy that is very explosive but hides in the shadows of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce -- and that's not anything against him, it's just that we have great receivers on this team. I'd pick him for sure.
Re: Q&A: Steven Jackson
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