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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/08/2010

    Three comments on the Rams:

    There is no such thing as "minor" back surgery. Since the start of the 2006 season, Rams running back Steven Jackson has handled the ball 1,377 times from scrimmage, more than any NFL player. SJ runs in a physical, punishing style that puts him among the league leaders in broken tackles. Will Jackson be able to hold up under more pounding? We don't know the answer to that. But we do know this: The Rams had better get serious about finding and establishing a legitimate No. 2 running back.

    Unless the Rams plan to add a veteran offensive tackle, they'll be taking a risk in the pending trade that will send Alex Barron to Dallas for linebacker Bobby Carpenter. Are the Rams really prepared to start rookie Rodger Saffold at right tackle to team with the second-year Jason Smith at left tackle? Both are talented and highly competitive. But will Saffold and Smith have the experience to provide solid protection for rookie quarterback Sam Bradford?

    All of that said, Barron isn't a winning player. He's committed 43 false start penalties and 13 holding penalties in 74 NFL starts. And he's allowed a total of 15 sacks over the last two seasons. And Carpenter should provide an upgrade at weakside linebacker. I guess the Rams figure they'd rather battle with young players who want to get better, and who will get better, rather than stick with a proven underachiever in Barron.


  2. #2
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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Can a rookie with as much talent as these guys really do that much worse than Barron?

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Well, in a word...yes. As much as we like to complain about Barron and his afiniity to attract penalties, he was at least a serviceable OT. Whether it be at right tackle or left tackle. Staffold, on the other hand has yet to play in his first NFL scrimmage with pads on, let alone his first start as a NFL right tackle. We don't know what he will do or how he'll perform, really. Now, granted, we do have a few serviceable veterans that can pick up the slack at right tackle for a while . But, if Staffold was considered to be the immediate starter at the beginning of the season, I think he would struggle for quite a while until he got up to game speed. The best thing to do is to introduce him gradually until he just becomes part of the normal rotation. Then he becomes a natural to eventually step into the starting role.

  4. #4
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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/08/2010

    Three comments on the Rams:

    There is no such thing as "minor" back surgery.
    I've read this comment from several sportwriters. They have a combined number of years as medical doctors of ZERO.

    In fact, there is such thing as a minor back surgery. If a surgery in which 40% of the spine is fused together at the risk of paralysis is "major" back surgery, then what Steven Jackson had is the relative equivalent of a teeth cleaning.

    Why not just say: "back injuries are a cause for concern because they sometimes recur."

    The Rams need a backup RB. That would be true even if Jackson never had the back injury.

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Whether we like it or not, Barron is a very talented player who underachieves. Now that he's on a successful team like the Cowboys, he may wind up doing well... Not that I want to see him fail but it just kills me that his only motivation is if the team is good or not. I understand it but it's crummy and doesn't say much about the individual.

    One Cowboys fan I talked to yesterday thinks Carpenter is talented and would probably contribute more in a 4-3. This is, once again, one of those Billy Devaney trades that we gotta wait and see how it goes.

    I'm going to trust Spags and Devaney here--they must feel very confident in both Smith and Saffold to let go of Barron. If they weren't, I don't see how they could possibly justify letting Barron go.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Unlike the all knowing Jaba the Bernie, the Rams knew Jackson had back issues. In fact they were so worried about his pending major back surgery that during the draft they went 7 rounds without picking a running back. They went 7 rounds in the draft and obviousley didnt think much of his back injury enough to draft a guy who could replace or spell Jackson. Lets see do i take the Rams front office side on this or a guy pounding donuts left and right and doing more research on Krispy Kreme then he does on football?
    Just Fix It

  7. #7
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Unlike the all knowing Jaba the Bernie, the Rams knew Jackson had back issues. In fact they were so worried about his pending major back surgery that during the draft they went 7 rounds without picking a running back.
    I agree the Rams appear comfortable with Steven's surgery issue. Av's comparison hopefully is spot on. (the teeth cleaning bit). However, it would be interesting to know who we would have selected at the top of rd 2 had the Lions not traded up right in front of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    They went 7 rounds in the draft and obviousley didnt think much of his back injury enough to draft a guy who could replace or spell Jackson. Lets see do i take the Rams front office side on this or a guy pounding donuts left and right and doing more research on Krispy Kreme then he does on football?
    I doubt Bernie actually researches Krispy Kreme products as most Krispy Kreme fans are likely distinctly not interested in knowing the caloric, fat, and carb contents of this particulare fare .. If you were to substitute the word scarfing in place of research, perhaps it would be more accurate ..

    Doughnuts aside, currently we are in a pickle not having a strong backup for Jackson, even us fans know that. However, since we aren't party to Billy's and Spags private conversations/negotiations, it seems premature to assume the sky is falling.

    I do like the fact that regardless of an apparent glaring need, (backup rb), the Rams stayed true to their board and selected the players they believed to be the most talented, rather than reaching for a rb ahead of a more talented player at another position. We'll know more about that in a couple of years.

    As in any business, in the NFL, friendships are developed along with trust and respect amongst G.Ms, coaches, etc. There is nothing to stop those "friends" from chatting privately and comparing notes about who's likely to be available, retained or released. They'll review the list of guys who although talented, are on the bubble because of salary issues along with the pros and cons of myriad players at various positions etc. etc. These symbiotic relationships existing behind the scenes spawn the conversations that J.T., Bryan, Bernie, Schefter, PFT, whoever, let alone us fans, will never hear. Spags and Billy no doubt talk a great deal to guys like Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin and many many others. I'll bet the Rams have several fall back scenarios in place already. One or more of those could occur in the next couple of weeks, or just before or during training camp, or after all 32 teams make their final cuts. But you can take it to the bank that Billy and Steve have hedged their bets ..

    Bottom Line: If we the fans know we've got a major issue if Jackson can't stay healthy through 16 regular season games (never mind his surgery, it's tough enough even if he were 100% at the start of a season), I believe it's safe to assume Billy and Spags might perceive this as well. Sarcasm aside, I'm sure they are considering multiple options - options which will likely never be revealed anywhere near their entirety. Instead, when the hammer comes down and we grab that rb, or possibly even 2 (who knows?), DeSpags will deliver the ususal coach speak about their acquistion and that will be that. No way are these guys asleep at the switch. I admit it's extremely hard to get used to after the former regime ..

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    S. Jackson can't last forever! But sadly the Rams rely too much on him now!

    So if the Rams really want to not have to go Rb shopping too soon, its best they start finding other weapons to share him for a longer cheer

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Drafting Bradford is one way of helping keep Jackson healthy. It allows the Rams offense to not have to run the ball every other play, which should certainly help lighten the running load a bit.

  10. #10
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Drafting Bradford is one way of helping keep Jackson healthy. It allows the Rams offense to not have to run the ball every other play, which should certainly help lighten the running load a bit.
    It would be nice if it were that simple, but my guess is it won't be. If we can't run the ball effectively there will be no reason for opposing defenses to respect our running game - they'll force us to become one dimensional by taking away the run and forcing Sam or whoever our qb is at the season's start, to beat them through the air. Not a pleasant thought when dwelled upon, as this is exactly what happened to us last year whenever Jackson was out. Heck, even when he was in, he often became a non-factor because we were behind and forced to throw. Opposing Ds will not be fooled by play action fakes either if they know we can't run, instead they'll lay back their ears and go all out after our qb.

    Also in the equation is the fact our two "bookends" consist of last year's #1 overall pick who is perceived by many to be more of a run blocker than a pass protector. Add to that his rookie year was cut short due to a severe concussion, further limiting his experience in regular season games. The other "bookend" appears to be rookie Roger Saffold. This duo doesn't exactly inspire confidence when it comes to keeping Sam upright. I am not trying to throw Jason and Roger under the bus by any stretch, yet one must try be realistic about their abilities to adequately protect our qb over the course of 16 games at this point in their careers. (If they can stay healthy of course)

    Clearly we need a backup to Steven. As I've stated in other threads, obviously Billy and Steve are acutely aware of this, but will never publicly comment negatively on the matter. Rather - they'll do something about it. I would be willing to bet a week's paycheck they have multiple contingency plans on the table, but my guess is they cannot be implemented until training camp, or later. In a nutshell: Younger cheaper guys will beat out more expensive vets as happens every year. Surely DeSpags have a short list. There are a few teams that are overstocked at rb who will have to make some tough choices come final cutdown.

    We are first in line when it comes to cherry picking the waiver wire - as we've earned that dubious privilege. Add to that the fact that all the NFL GMs and coaches have each other's cell phone numbers - let's face it - They talk to each other a lot. I believe very strongly that we will have another experienced back on the roster by the end of training camp or final cutdown if not before, possibly even two, depending on how much improvement Chris O. is able to demonstrate during camp and preseason. I wouldn't count out another vet OT either .. There will be a few decent vets looking to earn a paycheck when rosters are trimmed on final cut day, let alone guys that get cut during camp and preseason. The sky isn't falling just yet ..

    After observing the way O.J.s situation has been handled, it seems we've got a a group of very shrewd operators in Billy D. Steve and Kevin D. These guys are not willing to stand pat -- you can take that to the bank!

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    AlphaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    As someone that endured the more barbaric version of back surgery in 1989, along with discussing with others who have endured back surgery, I believe I am qualified to speak on this subject. I am not a doctor, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express in New Castle, IN once.

    Most of the pain associated with a lower back problem is when a disc applies pressure on the spinal column. When the pressure is pronounced enough, the person experiences sharp nerve pain down one, or both legs. Since Jackson had the bulging disc "repaired", this should alleviate such a problem (if he experienced it). Had Jackson suffered a herniated disc, we might not even see him for the season.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Steven Jackson's surgery is warning to Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    As someone that endured the more barbaric version of back surgery in 1989, along with discussing with others who have endured back surgery, I believe I am qualified to speak on this subject. I am not a doctor, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express in New Castle, IN once.

    Most of the pain associated with a lower back problem is when a disc applies pressure on the spinal column. When the pressure is pronounced enough, the person experiences sharp nerve pain down one, or both legs. Since Jackson had the bulging disc "repaired", this should alleviate such a problem (if he experienced it). Had Jackson suffered a herniated disc, we might not even see him for the season.
    Best point of the thread Alpha. If it was herniated it would be a bigger issue. Just ask Tiger Woods. However, any back surgery should be looked upon as a potential issue especially in a contact sport.

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