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Steven Jackson Blog: A Week To Remember
Steven Jackson | A Week to Remember | Official Website of Steven Jackson www.sj39.com
10/07/2010 - 02:02
A Week to Remember
by Steven Jackson
Welcome back to my blog, everybody. It's been a great week for the Rams, and a great week to be a Rams fan.
I have to start this out with a shoutout to all of my fans. The encouragement I've been receiving from you all has been very humbling. You have been there since day one, supporting me through the thick and thin, and acknowledging my efforts and my competitive spirit. It's something that I will always have and the support is something I'll never overlook. I'm greatly thankful for my fans and their kind words.
The Rams fan base as a whole has been amazing. To give them something to cheer about has been special. The Dome is starting to get loud again. With the noise they're creating, offenses are picking up penalties, which are helping us. To be able to have them behind us, to support us and give us energy, it's been a blessing.
It really does help a lot. It allows for the us to feed off the energy that the crowd is creating for us to give our team that extra boost and pull out whatever we have left in us. The win over Seattle was great for all of us and I just knew going in that I had to be in there with this team.
I knew that this win could potentially propel us to turn this organization and this team around because Seattle has had our number for so long. Our last win against them was in a 2005 playoff game my rookie year. It's been quite some time since we had a chance to beat that organization and since then, the division has been going through either Seattle or Arizona for the title.
Every year we set a goal to win our division and then hopefully to go on and win a Super Bowl, but in order to even get to the playoffs, you have to win your divisional games. It was a huge game that we all knew was going to be a tough task. They've had our number. They know our personnel really well. They're a team that matches up with us really well.
So last week when I injured my groin and I had my MRI and everything came out to be a minor deal, I wanted to take every chance to leave the window of opportunity open to play in the game. I knew then that I was going to do everything in my power to make sure I could get out there and play.
I worked like crazy to get myself back and be able to take part in that game. I felt like, even if I didn't have a lot of yards, or statistically my numbers weren't that impressive, my presence would draw enough attention that it would allow our other playmakers on the field to get open. I knew I could play that chess match with the other players and Seattle's defensive coordinator.
I didn't go into the game thinking I was going to break an NFL record or anything but I knew that me at 80 percent or 90 percent was still going to be enough to keep the Seattle defense honest. Now with Sam and our receiving corps emerging, they were going to have to pick their poison.
With that said, I was able to get enough yardage to pass Marshall Faulk and become the No. 2 leading rusher in Rams history. Since day one, since stepping into this organization, I've always said that I wanted to lead this organization in all the rushing categories. To be one step closer to doing that is almost breathtaking.
All the hard work over the years is starting to pay off, all the yardage is starting to pile up and I want to continue to represent this organization in a fine manner. I will make you all proud.
SAFE AND SECURE
I have a lot of people to thank for helping me to get ready to play this week.
First of all is God. God had everything to do with it. I prayed about it and I really leaned upon him and showed faith and trust that he was going to protect me.
Second is my doctor that I worked with, Dr. Clayton Skaggs. We put in countless hours together outside of Rams Park. My typical day ends at 4:30 and I wasn't getting home until 7 p.m. last week.
We were just rehabbing the muscles, making sure that I was doing some of the exercises that are appropriate to get the groin muscles firing and working that way it didn't get weak on me. So I put a lot of hours in outside of the daily routine of an NFL season.
A couple times last week, if you were following me on Twitter, you saw me tweeting at four in the morning because I was stimulating my groin. I put countless hours into rehabbing it and I will continue to do that. I'm not just going to do that for one week. I'm going to do it until the muscle is completely healed.
Then I have to thank the trainers for coming up with this wrap that kept my groin from moving around during the game. To keep me from overextending, we knew it was something that I was going to have to wear in order to play.
During the course of the game, obviously, I had it pretty padded up. I had to wear two pairs of compression shorts. Then I also had it wrapped up in this contraption to make sure that my leg didn't overextend in my stride. This made it so that if my leg got caught in a funny position it wouldn't get pulled to a point where it made it worse.
So I felt like my leg was secure, it was just not going to allow me to run full tilt. I wasn't going to be able to be the explosive person that I am, but I knew I was sacrificing that going into the game.
There was one particular screen play in the game where I had to really control myself and not do too much.
When I broke loose on that play, I didn't think I was going to be able to outrun anybody because of the injury. I just didn't want to set myself back and have it where once I started running full speed maybe I popped my groin muscle.
So I was consciously trying to make sure I took into account my stride length and then secondly protect the ball. Knowing that I wasn't going to outrun anyone, I was pretty sure they were going to be coming, scratching and clawing to try and pull the ball out.
TRUE TEAM EFFORT
Our newcomers have really been making this team click and obviously we made the right moves this offseason.
You all know about Sam, but Mark Clayton has been a revelation for us. He's made a world of difference in the receiving game, making plays down the field. Our left tackle Roger Saffold has been really good, especially for a rookie. He's only had four NFL starts, but he's been impressive and he's getting better each and every day.
All of our receivers have stepped up. Brandon Gibson another young receiver that came in midway through last season is showing spurts of playmaking ability and then of course, Danny Amendola. He's been all over the place, not only on offense, but on special teams as well. He's been a real bright spot for this whole season so far. That one-handed catch he made on Sunday was amazing. I thought it should have been number one for Play of the Week. It was a beautiful catch, one of the best I've ever seen.
But as much credit as our offense should get for Sunday's win, our defense deserves just as much.
I'm very proud of our defense. I've seen this defense transform into one that now believes that they're going to go in, stop the running game and make a quarterback win the game with their arm. They're daring quarterbacks to do so. It's quite a thing to watch. It's been good to just see the confidence and look into each other's eyes and feel that, no matter what adversity hits, we can pull ourselves out of it.
Our defensive line has been great at creating havoc and chaos in the quarterback's face. These last two weeks they've faced Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck so they've faced some very talented, wise, veteran quarterbacks and have even frustrated those guys. Our whole defense has stepped up.
I think a lot of people just slept on our team in general, but the way our defense is performing has been quite impressive. Coach has always talked about being ballhawkers, creating turnovers and putting the quarterback in distress. To see the philosophy that he's been standing up there talking about come out each and every Sunday, it's really something. When you get to see it and then you go back and think about all the locker room talks and all the meetings. You realize this is what it's all about. It's pretty cool.
Coach Spagnuolo has done a good job of putting together a staff that would put in countless hours and is willing to work with the players and make sure everyone is on the same page, speaking the same language.
That's a lot on his plate. He came into a team that had a lot of holes in it. For him to start filling the holes up right away says a lot about his leadership, He's a guy that's optimistic, he sees the good in all situations and he never allows you to get caught in an emotional roller coaster.
He's even keel and he makes sure that we as players are even keel. Everything that he's taught since day one, everything that he's preached since day one, has been consistent and I can rest assured that, five years from now, it will still be the same thing. That's what I like about him. You never have to question where you stand with him and there's never a gray area. He always seems to have an answer.
Although coach and I have a close relationship, we don't meet regularly and if anything major needs to be addressed within the team, that's when we look to each other, if we need something out of one another.
But basically we just talk to team about what we see. If practice is sluggish, or something is going on in the building that needs to be addressed, that's really the only time we're in communication. He fully trusts in me that I'm going to do my job and I'm going to take care of any issues in the locker room. I don't have to bring every little thing to him and I think he likes it that way.
I think it's way too early to give me too much credit though until things turn around, because we haven't done anything yet.
But I'm just staying true to who I am and true to the course. I continue to trust and believe that things will turn for the better. I've always had this competitive spirit and the fire in me. What's now being appreciated is the wherewithal I've had over the years to get to this point.
At the same time, it is definitely gratifying to see that things are starting to turn around and winning is starting to become contagious. But as one of the leaders of this team and someone that fully grasps coach's concept of how he wants things, we just have to treat things day-to-day and can't get caught up and start believing what we read about ourselves. We have to continue to chop wood.
My expectation is the same as it was starting the season. We would like to win the NFC West division but we have to take it one day at a time and one game at a time.
We have a tough opponent coming up in the Detroit Lions and although their record says they're 0-4, they've had a lot of close games that they could easily have won. We know how that feels and so I don't think this is going to be a trap game, I don't think this will be a game we overlook. We're going to take the Detroit Lions very seriously.
The easiest way to get to the postseason is to win every game so that's what all of our focus is on, the next one, the Detroit Lions.
As for me, right now I feel good. My leg didn't take any setbacks on Sunday. But it's still not 100 percent and to get to the point where it is 100 percent, I'm just going to have to rehab and continue to take care. I'll continue to do the things that I was doing last week and I expect to back out there in Detroit.
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