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Thread: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

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    A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    BY BRYAN BURWELL
    January 25, 2012 1:15 pm

    In the world of sports, when it comes to the pairings of players and coaches, there are all sorts of marriages. There's the proverbial shotgun wedding, that awkward connection in which clashing styles and incompatible substance are force-fed by circumstances beyond anyone's control.

    Think Bill Parcells and Terrell Owens. Think Duane Thomas and Tom Landry.

    But every once in a while, style and substance blend in perfect harmony and a coach and player are a match made in football heaven.

    Think Steven Jackson and Jeff Fisher.

    Ever since the day he got the news that Fisher had been hired as the Rams' coach, Jackson, the Rams bruising tank of a running back, has been doing a lot of smiling. This is player-coach relationship that should be a perfect fit.

    "I have played against his teams a lot and they all come with that attitude and a certain level of play," Jackson said. "They have that 'it.' It's hard to explain what that 'it' is to a ... fan. But it's just something about (the way they play) when they go between those lines. Coach Fisher's teams have a certain something that's hard to put a finger on. But I have to assume it's (his) leadership."

    Listen to Jackson long enough and you begin to understand that he believes the football gods intended for this running back and this coach to find their way together.

    Fisher likes to ground and pound. Jackson is a grounding, pounding running back.

    Fisher loves football with a menacingly brutal edge. When Jackson is at his best, he plays football like he's angry with the world.

    So now Jackson gets a chance to mesh with a man whose leadership style is a perfect fit.

    "I think he's the perfect coach for a guy who wants to win," Jackson said. "He brings running and an attitude to the way you play the game, all the things I believe in. And what makes this hire so exciting is that coach Fisher has been a head coach in this league. Not to take anything away from (former Rams coaches Steve) Spagnuolo or (Scott) Linehan, who were very good at what they did. They were very good play callers on offense and defense. But being a head coach brings on another element to the game and coach Fisher has that experience."

    Here's what has Jackson so happy: Fisher is going to give the Rams a nasty swagger.

    Fisher has a well-deserved reputation for the nasty, brutal in-your-face style of intimidating smash-mouth football with which every one of his teams played.

    It's long been a part of his football DNA, since his college days when he played in a Southern Cal defensive backfield with notorious hard hitters Ronnie Lott and Dennis Smith.

    It continued in his NFL playing days with Buddy Ryan's rabble-rousing Chicago Bears defense.

    It's all knuckles in the mud and a punch in the snout. It's ruthless and edgy. It's a take-no-prisoners attitude that finally will insure that Jackson is surrounded by offensive linemen who will play the game like stark-raving, borderline madmen, not genteel sportsmen.

    There is no greater insult in the macho world of pro football than to be tagged with the 'soft" label.

    Of all the glaring weaknesses that Rams' offenses have shown over the past few years, none have been more glaring than the well-deserved league-wide notion that (with the rare exception of genuine tough guy Harvey Dahl) their offensive line is easily intimidated.

    As one NFL player told me recently: "I'm not that big a guy, but I think I could take all of them on. Other than Harvey, who I'm scared to death of, I think the other guys on the O-line I could take, and that's a very bad thing. You want to know what (the Rams) need? More tough guys. A lot more."

    The Rams have two very talented young offensive tackles in Jason Smith and Roger Saffold. But they did not play with enough of an edge in this very violent, very nasty world of the NFL. Smith could be a legitimate mauler and road-grading force if coached properly, and Saffold has legitimate Pro Bowl potential. But someone needs to coach him, too, on how to be more ruthless on Sundays.

    Fisher is the guy who will do that, and if they can't adapt to his style and adjust their competitive attitudes they will not last long here.

    "The teammates I have had a chance to speak to, Sam (Bradford), (James) Laurinaitis and Chris Long, everyone's excited," Jackson said. "We hate that Sam has to learn a new offense, but we all believe in what coach Fisher brings to this team. He brings attitude, he brings an edge.

    "He's also going to bring winning back to the city."


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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    The only problem is; The Rams have Steven Jackson now, and not Steven Jackson 5+ years ago.

    He is not going to stand up to the pounding at his age and with the amount of hits he's taken. He's not that guy anymore. The Rams absolutely need to find another RB that can carry the load with SJ. ..and Cadillac or Norwood are not the answer.
    THOLTFAN81 and GROUND DOG 39 like this.
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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    The only problem is; The Rams have Steven Jackson now, and not Steven Jackson 5+ years ago.
    I respectfully disagree. People have been trying to down grade Jackson for the last couple of years but yet once again he goes over 1,000 for the seventh straight year.

    I know it is normal for a running back to decline with age but SJax is just not normal.

    He rushed for 4.4 yards a carry this year with what most could argue was the worst oline in the NFL. The last year he had a better yard per carry average was his rookie year in 2004.

    I seriously doubt there is any player in the league that takes better care of himself and is in better shape.

    Should we acquire a quality back-up? Hell yes need I only say "the colts."

    But if the question is can SJax handle the load Jeff Fisher will send his way? WITHOUT A DOUBT. Not just this year but next year.
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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    Jackson is a good player but a 1000 yds isnt the same thing it was 10 years ago.... And who cares if he has 7 1000yd seasons if he only gets 5 tds!

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    A 1000 yards means very little these days. How many full seasons has SJ had in the past....four?

    That would be zero I think.

    Watch him run and if you take off the Steven Jackson colored glasses you'll see a runner that doesn't have the breakaway speed, nor the power that he once had. His steps are short and he goes down easily if anyone gets even near his feet.

    No, SJ is on the decline, and closer to the bottom than the top.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    Agreed it is a superb fit. However Jackson is about to start going on the decline. This system with Jackson in his prime would have crushed the league, even if it was a passing league. The good thing about SJ is he still looks like a great runner at his age, we might still have 2 great years left from him.

    By the way that is one of the most underrated things about SJ. He has already had a long non-major-injury shelf life for a RB. If he gives us 2 more full seasons. Thats a shelf life that NO runningback provides these days.

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    If Fisher can draw the nasty side out of our OT's and the rest of our O-line (except Dahl) Steven Jackson will have his best season ever. I know it's a big if but I believe in Fisher and the staff he has put together. "GROUND AND POUND"

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    An individual single thousand yard season doesnt mean what it used to, but seven in a row has only been accomplished by a couple of guys. Jackson is not at his peak, but he has plenty left in the tank and there is nothing wrong with him that better blocking wont fix. He also has plenty left as a receiver. There is no reason that he cant perform at an extremely high level for about another three years. Of course, a solid backup would help a lot.

    As to the comment about touchdowns, i dont understand that. He can only score under certain circumstances. The problem with td's (which is for sure a HUGE issue) is the entire rams offense, i fail to see where jackson is at fault for that shortcoming.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    I love SJAX, he is one of my favourite Rams of all time, but hes soft. He hits the hole at such a slow pace, its no wonder we see guys like Caddy and Kenneth Darby get some nice gains where Jackson would only get 1 yard. SJAX goes down incredibly easy too. If anyone disagrees, find me one video where he runs over a guy.

    I still think he can grab some 1,000 yard seasons, but his career is nearing the end. I hope im wrong and I hope he can play till hes 37 at a high level, but statistics prove he's nearing the end.

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    The only problem is; The Rams have Steven Jackson now, and not Steven Jackson 5+ years ago.
    Fred Jackson would like to have a word with you in the parking lot.
    TekeRam likes this.

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    I will keep my Steven Jackson colored glasses on but I will not try and convince anyone that he has a minimum of two prime years left.

    I will just say please meet me back here in this thread at the end of next year to celebrate his career record season under the Fisher King. : )

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    steven jackson does dance to much to find holes.. he needs to use his size and power to just ram into the line

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    SJAX still has it. And we'll see it very soon. The man is a physical adonis. The reason he's dancing around trying to hit holes is because they are virtually non-existent.
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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    SJAX still has it. And we'll see it very soon. The man is a physical adonis. The reason he's dancing around trying to hit holes is because they are virtually non-existent.
    Good point.

    There is definitely an interesting machine in the making with our new HC Fisher, Jax and other cogs that MUST be brought into play for a significant upgrade of the offense to happen.

    I hope SJackson will find renewed spirit T H I S year to bring to max his still very respectable RB strength. I like the 'Superb Fit' concept here and we know coach Fisher will make this one of the top priorities, i.e., help Jax help the offense.

    Jackson is not at his peak, but he has plenty left in the tank and there is nothing wrong with him that better blocking wont fix. He also has plenty left as a receiver. -- General Counsel
    Last edited by RealRam; -01-27-2012 at 03:35 AM. Reason: Quote

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    Re: A superb fit for Steven Jackson ..

    I love that quote about Harvey Dahl
    The rest of the Rams OL is playing soft, but no way will the guy saying it dare include Harvey Dahl in that group!

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