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  1. #1
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    NFL.com

    Steve Wyche

    As the losses have piled up around the NFL, so has the zaniness.

    Winless Tampa Bay is on its third quarterback. Kansas City running back Larry Johnson blasted his coach on Twitter, then zipped the same gay slur on back-to-back days for public consumption, leading to a suspension. Washington took everything but his title from coach Jim Zorn (pride included). Tennessee underwent an owner-ordered quarterback change.

    In Cleveland, owner Randy Lerner promised changes and started by bouncing the general manager this week. Fans met with the owner about their dissatisfaction with the team. The starting tailback said he'd rather retire after the season than come back to this, with this being a team that is the current leader in NFL dysfunction.

    In St. Louis, though, there hasn't been a peep. The Rams got their first win last week over, a 17-10 decision over Detroit after starting 0-7, but there hasn't been any uproar, firings, player outbursts or tales of coaching tyranny. It's not because of apathy or because they play in a small market, or anything like that.


    Tom Gannam / Associated Press
    First-year coach Steve Spagnuolo hasn't let the Rams get frustrated over a 1-7 start.
    Things are moving along under the radar because first-time coach Steve Spagnuolo has been totally up front with his players and coaches about his plan and he's stuck to it with the backing of management and everyone else he's come into contact with. His forthrightness has allowed players on a roster with junior-varsity talent to compete without complaint.

    "All the way back in OTAs, coaches asked us to buy into the vision and that's building a high-character team," running back Steven Jackson said. "It's all about team. You put yourself behind the team. We're going through a transition of who fits the scheme, who are the guys the coaches feel they can build a solid foundation with.

    "What we have here is a strong leader as a head coach. Him and our GM (Billy Devaney) have a vision and there's no grey areas. They tell you this is where we're headed. Even if you dislike it, there's no question he knows what he's doing. That makes the road easier."

    That Jackson, 26, has bought in so thoroughly is huge, and is refreshing in this era of guys begging out of bad situations to coattail onto a better situation.

    I asked Jackson (who is second in rushing in the NFL, if you haven't noticed) if he felt he was wasting his prime years toiling for a franchise that has been among the worst in the league the past few years.

    "Not at all," he said. "I want to feel the momentum and enjoy it when we turn this thing around. I want to be able to look that guy in the eye and know we share common tears of joy or whatever that moment brings. I want to know me and this person have worked through this together. I don't want to go to another organization where I don't know anyone or hold the Lombardi Trophy where I didn't really build things. I don't think it would mean as much after I've put in so much work here."

    You can be as cynical as you want about his feelings on toiling through the futility, but his effort and production on the field seem to back up what he's saying. It's hard to be cynical about that.

    One more thing on the Rams
    There has been speculation as to whether this will be quarterback Marc Bulger's last year with the team, especially with him being owed $8.5 million next season. I've been told that Rams management hasn't begun that evaluation process yet.

    However, Bulger's retention could very well rest on the fact that St. Louis has so many other needs to fill that it could try to address those concerns before getting to the quarterback situation. Then again, if St. Louis feels the right quarterback is available, they could address those other needs after it replaces Bulger.

    -----

    I made Jackson's quote bold because it NEEDS to be read.

    What he said is amazing. It makes all the sense in the world. I know a bunch of us (including myself) wondered if his talent was being wasted here but now I see... Jackson, along with the other players believe in what they are doing. They believe things are going to change and that's something I would want to be apart of when it all comes together, wouldn't you?



    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  2. #2
    macrammer's Avatar
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    In this era of me first mentality, it is so great to see Steven Jackson standing up and leading the team and not being selfish. This guy is simply a pleasure to have on this team.

  3. #3
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    Steven Jackson has said a lot of things in his time with the Rams, not all of which I've agreed with.

    "Not at all," he said. "I want to feel the momentum and enjoy it when we turn this thing around. I want to be able to look that guy in the eye and know we share common tears of joy or whatever that moment brings. I want to know me and this person have worked through this together. I don't want to go to another organization where I don't know anyone or hold the Lombardi Trophy where I didn't really build things. I don't think it would mean as much after I've put in so much work here."


    This however, along with what I saw him do to Detroit, is quite possibly one of the most inspiring things for a fan of the Rams to hear and see for the last 3-4 seasons and possibly longer than that.

    Leadership.

  4. #4
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    Too bad there's no option to rep Jackson for that comment.

    You don't hear guys saying that kind of thing enough, and it's even nicer to hear it from a guy who has taken his share of criticism over the years in St. Louis.

  5. #5
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    Reading this has given me the exact type of feeling that has been missing. I have NEVER lost faith in being a Rams fan, but I have to admit that it has definitely been a roller coaster of emotion. I am a true believer in this team and I am also a true believer that Jackson is EXACTLY the type of guy to build around. I will always be a Rams fan no matter what the organization does, but I sure hope they feed off from Jackson's energy RATHER than his value on the market.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

  6. #6
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    That comment should be on the top of the main page. Maybe if we saw it enough, all of us fans would want to be part of that rebuilding process too. I thought about putting it in my sig, but I don't post enough, and Varg6 found it, so he has rights to it first...
    This space for rent...

  7. #7
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    Steven J is a throwback dude. Love that guy

  8. #8
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Star Running Back Relishes Role with Rebuilding Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    That comment should be on the top of the main page. Maybe if we saw it enough, all of us fans would want to be part of that rebuilding process too. I thought about putting it in my sig, but I don't post enough, and Varg6 found it, so he has rights to it first...
    That's a great idea man, I might have to do that!


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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