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Thread: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

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    Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    Rams' Jackson says he's back to '100 percent'

    BY JIM THOMAS
    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Steven Jackson took the handoff from Sam Bradford, dashed off left tackle behind excellent blocking and didn't stop until he had crossed the goal line 47 yards later untouched. Touchdown, Rams. What a way to start the season.

    The opening day crowd responded with more than just loud applause. There was that tingly sort of electricity in the air, something rarely felt in the Edward Jones Dome in recent years. After the near miss for a playoff berth in 2010, a frenetic free agency period and an unbeaten preseason, Jackson's lightning bolt against Philadelphia heralded the dawning of a new era of Rams football. The dark cloud that had hovered over Rams Park for years was finally lifted.

    Or maybe not.

    Jackson slowed as he approached the end zone. While the Rams' defense was on the field for the next series, Jackson rode a stationary bike on the sidelines. And on his second carry of the day, with a hole big enough to score another touchdown, Jackson limped his way to a 9-yard gain.

    He was done for the day, and done for most of the next month with a pulled quadriceps muscle. Cadillac Williams replaced Jackson the rest of the way against Philly and performed admirably with 91 yards rushing. No disrespect to Williams, but a healthy Jackson might have run for 191.

    That was the game plan that day, to pound away at the undersized Eagles front seven and take advantage of their inexperienced linebacker corps. Maybe the Rams upset Philadelphia with a healthy, rambling Jackson. Maybe that gives them a jolt of confidence, boosting them to a surprisingly fast start against a daunting early-season schedule. We'll never know.

    "You've just got to move forward," Jackson said Thursday. "I do think it would've been truly special, but for whatever reason it was a test for me to go through. And hopefully myself and this team come out on the better end of the test, and we learn something from it."

    The following week, Jackson tested the quad in pregame but couldn't go Monday night in the Meadowlands against the New York Giants. In Week 3, he saw limited duty against Baltimore (four carries). In Week 4, he was close to a full workload (21 touches) against Washington but not close to full health.

    But now, following the bye week, we now return to our regularly scheduled Steven Jackson.

    "It looks like he's ready to go, and excited to have an opportunity to play and really go full steam ahead," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said following Thursday's practice.

    "I think he's been looking pretty good," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "You can ask him. But he looks good."

    Jackson, the running back who never gives percentages when asked about injuries, gave one Thursday.

    "Feel great," Jackson said. "Feel back to the point where I'm 100 percent. I'm able to run, cut, spin, do all those things I was able to do a few weeks ago before the injury. I've regained confidence in the leg. So although it was an early bye for us this season, it's kind of right on time for me and getting me back to the place that I want to be."

    Not that Jackson's return to full health will be a panacea for what ails the winless Rams. At the moment, there are just too many problem areas on both sides of the ball. But a healthy Jackson at least levels the playing field somewhat for the Rams on game day.

    In his previous six seasons as a full-time starter for the Rams, Jackson has averaged 342 touches a year, more than any other player in the NFL over that span. He's got some catching up to do if he plans to approach that workload this season.

    Four games into 2011, Jackson has 23 carries (for 124 yards) and four catches (for 19 yards), which in terms of workload is about an average day's work. Unfortunately for the Rams, if Sunday is to be a splashy return to full health for Jackson, there are easier teams to do that against than the Green Bay Packers.

    Don't be fooled by the Packers' pedestrian ranking of 21st in total defense. Almost all of their defensive issues have been in pass coverage. As for run defense, they rank third in the league, yielding only 75.8 yards a game. Their per-carry average of 3.8 yards allowed is tied for ninth best in the NFL.

    "The defense presents a lot of different challenges," Jackson said. "They throw at you a lot of different looks."

    Up front, the look is that of a stone wall. Veteran Ryan Pickett, the former Ram, and third-year pro B.J. Raji, the No. 9 overall draft pick in 2009, are tough to budge on the defensive line and both move well for big men.

    If the Rams are going to have any chance of pulling a titanic upset, some semblance of ball control — playing keepaway from Aaron Rodgers & Co. — is a necessity. That means that not just heavy doses of Jackson, but productive doses, will be a necessity.

    "You can do that a lot of different ways," Spagnuolo said. "Certainly, I think the teams that fare well against this type of offense are the teams that keep the ball themselves. So ball security and controlling the football are things we've been talking about all week, and it'll be important in the game."


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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    "Feel great," Jackson said. "Feel back to the point where I'm 100 percent. I'm able to run, cut, spin, do all those things I was able to do a few weeks ago before the injury. I've regained confidence in the leg. So although it was an early bye for us this season, it's kind of right on time for me and getting me back to the place that I want to be."
    Going up against a Packer defense that ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, it's a good time for Jackson to be back to 100%. It'll be interesting to see what happens and if the OL can give him any help.

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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    Nice! i expect a 50+ yard touchdown on your first carry now Steven!

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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    in the past like 100 games, maybe not that many, cant remember exactly, but i know its a lot of games, the packers have only allowed only 5 100+ rushing yard games from its opponent. 2 of them have come from steven jackson, and was almost 3 as S-Jax got 98 yards against them once. If S-jax gets 100+ rushing yards tomorrow itll be the third time in a row hes done that against the pack.

    STEVEN JACKSON aims for 3rd in row vs. GB with 100+ rush yards. In past
    2 vs. GB, has rushed for 260 yards (130 per game) & TD. Has 333 scrimmage
    yards (166.5 per game) in those 2 vs. GB. Since 2006, averages 115.3 scrimmage
    yards per game (8,533 yards, 74 games), most in NFL (min. 50 games)-takin from packersgab.

    Lets hope he makes it 3 tomorrow.
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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    I'd love for him to make it 3 tomorrow! Starting him in all fantasy leagues I have him in... Time to warrant your high draft spot sir! btw those are some impressive stats for the Pack and for SJ! I'm more worried about our CB's committing suicide at halftime than if SJ will get over 100 yards tho!

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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tampa_Ram View Post
    in the past like 100 games, maybe not that many, cant remember exactly, but i know its a lot of games, the packers have only allowed only 5 100+ rushing yard games from its opponent. 2 of them have come from steven jackson, and was almost 3 as S-Jax got 98 yards against them once. If S-jax gets 100+ rushing yards tomorrow itll be the third time in a row hes done that against the pack.

    STEVEN JACKSON aims for 3rd in row vs. GB with 100+ rush yards. In past
    2 vs. GB, has rushed for 260 yards (130 per game) & TD. Has 333 scrimmage
    yards (166.5 per game) in those 2 vs. GB. Since 2006, averages 115.3 scrimmage
    yards per game (8,533 yards, 74 games), most in NFL (min. 50 games)-takin from packersgab.

    Lets hope he makes it 3 tomorrow.
    Wow, great post! Nice job Tampa. I'm feeling better about tomorrow already.

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    Re: Rams' Jackson Says He's Back To '100 Percent"

    Oh good. The score will be like Packers 45, Rams 20 - instead of 45 to 3. I feel so much better...

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