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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    by Tom Mantzouranis
    Filed under: Rams, NFC West, St. Louis

    Scott Linehan has made it clear that he's installing a Leonard-ratio in the offense this year, designed to get the former Rutgers back 15-20 touches a game. Seems like a good enough idea -- Leonard is a versatile and talented runner and receiver that could cause mismatches for the Rams offense -- but what about Steven Jackson, maybe the most complete back in the league not named LaDainian Tomlinson?

    Jackson touched the ball 436 times last year, a number that is typically followed by a Jamaal-Anderson-esque implosion of the knees. The high carry total was a big reason why the Rams wanted to draft a capable backup in the first place -- you want to keep a guy like Jackson around as long as possible. But the stats (real numerical evidence!) indicate that Jackson is at his best when his carries reach inordinate amounts.

    Last year, Jackson averaged 4.0 yards per carry the first 10 times he ran the ball. That number climbs to 4.6 in carries 11-20, 5.1 in carries 21-30, and an incredible 6.5 in carries 31+. In the first half of games, Jackson averaged 4.0 yards per carry and 4.9 in the second half (including 5.2 in the fourth quarter).

    This could be a case of a running back simply getting better as the game goes on, or it could have little-to-nothing to do with Jackson. After tackling a 6'2'', 230 lb running back 30+ times in a game, a defense is bound to get tired.

    So Linehan has to face a dilemma a lot of offensive coordinators running the two-headed attack have dealt with recently -- how to take some of the load off of the primary back while keeping him in a rhythm. This is less a problem for teams with a more clearly-defined powerback and scatback, like the Saints or Jaguars, but the Rams have two guys with similar skillsets. How Linehan decides to balance the attack, and the ensuing results, will be something to keep an eye on.


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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    by Tom Mantzouranis
    Filed under: Rams, NFC West, St. Louis

    Scott Linehan has made it clear that he's installing a Leonard-ratio in the offense this year.


    Rams have two guys with similar skillsets.
    I have no problem with Leonard getting his plays. If he is in fact similar to Jackson why not let him help wear down the defense. At the same time saving the extra wear and tear on SJ.

    :r:l

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Scott Linehan has made it clear that he's installing a Leonard-ratio in the offense this year, designed to get the former Rutgers back 15-20 touches a game.
    I believe this statement to be inaccurate. From what I have read, Linehan has designs for Leonard to get 15-20 SNAPS per game, not necessarily TOUCHES. There's a big difference between the two, especially with regards to the impact on Jackson's production.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    There's a big difference between the two, especially with regards to the impact on Jackson's production.
    Precisely, same thing I was thinking after reading Sentence #1.
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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    I also took his 15-20 to be plays... that being said, I think SJ will be just as productive. I like a fresher SJ in the 4th. If anything he will not catch as many balls. IMO

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Hmmm... where have I seen those yards per carry stats before...

    Seems like there was a post here that discussed this about a week ago...

    Can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm pretty sure this was covered...

    Hmmmm........

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Tom Mantzouranis = HUBison??? :O

    I can't see Leonard taking some carries really impacting Jackson's production. If anything, Leonard will help to wear down the opposing defenses making Jackson even fresher for those long 4th-quarter runs. It's a win-win situation, and I think it's a given that Jackson's numbers are going to go down, but not nescessarily his production.

    Noone expects him to get as many receptions as he did last year, and if he does this year, something isn't right. Bulger shouldn't find any shortage of targets with Holt, Bruce. Bennett and McMichael all lining up.

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    If he turns out to be a better back, well then it will hurt his production quite a bit!!!!
    Jackson won't be able to play through the tears from the bench!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  9. #9
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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Jackson is a very good back, but he's not the best complete back in the NFL not named Tomlinson.

    I don't see how Leonard will hurt Jackson's productivity. If anything it just keeps him more fresh. Bigger backs like that tend to wear down earlier because of the contact, regardless of what they say about getting stronger as the game goes on. Leonard will add versatility to the offense as well as giving Jackson the opportunity to rest and have more longevity in this league.

    It almost seems as if you're worried about Jackson being on you fantasy team due to the Leonard factor. Who cares. If it keeps him fresh and healthy then I'm all for it.

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    he's not the best complete back in the NFL not named Tomlinson.
    Who, in your opinion, is? Larry Johnson is arguably a more complete back than Jackson because of his consistency over the last couple of years, but that's the only guy that comes to mind. Not many backs in the league can catch, block, break peoples ankles and flat out plow people over with a 230+ lb. frame like Jackson.

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    As long as Leonard is just as productive when he's in the game, what difference does it make?

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Hmmm... where have I seen those yards per carry stats before...

    Seems like there was a post here that discussed this about a week ago...

    Can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm pretty sure this was covered...

    Hmmmm........
    and people think writers don't come in here for story ideas......
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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Q. ... Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    A. ... No.



    :bash: Go, GO RAMS RBs!

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    SJ in my opinion is a superstar (at least an up and coming one) and if something isn't working in that system it can be adjusted during the season. Me personally, Jackson needs less carries, but at the same time he still needs to have enough to get his momentum in that game...If they can adjust to that accordingly then we'll be fine. I don't think Leonard will be a problem also considering the fact that he can play multiple positions...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Will Brian Leonard Hurt Steven Jackson's Production?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hey-Zeus
    Jackson is a very good back, but he's not the best complete back in the NFL not named Tomlinson.
    Is this the point of the debate where you say Larry Johnson is more complete, thereby entering the Chiefs into the scene? Let me help you out; Stephen Jackson had 135 more total yards than LJ, more yards per carry, more than twice as many receptions, and is 4 years younger. Move along, pork chop.
    Bigger backs like that tend to wear down earlier because of the contact, regardless of what they say about getting stronger as the game goes on.
    Translation: "I don't care what the facts are, this is my opinion and I'm sticking to it."

    Let's not forget the stats the author of this article gave us (by ripping off Avenger, btw):
    Jackson averaged 4.0 yards per carry the first 10 times he ran the ball. That number climbs to 4.6 in carries 11-20, 5.1 in carries 21-30, and an incredible 6.5 in carries 31+. In the first half of games, Jackson averaged 4.0 yards per carry and 4.9 in the second half (including 5.2 in the fourth quarter).
    But don't let facts stand in the way of your blinded opinion, Chief.

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