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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Jul. 30 2005

    On reporting day, Rams running back Steven Jackson was issued his equipment
    with the rest of his teammates. To his surprise, he was handed a yellow jersey.

    "I didn't know if it was for a photo shoot or something," Jackson said.

    The yellow jersey was for use in practice, and both Jackson and Marshall Faulk
    got one Wednesday on the eve of training camp. The jersey signifies that
    defensive teammates must keep their hands off Jackson and Faulk in practice.

    Yellow means caution.

    Three days into camp, Jackson is running with anything but caution. To wit:

    * He basically ran over defensive end Anthony Hargrove on Thursday
    during a nine-on-seven run period.

    * Next, he shoved defensive back Michael Stone away when Stone made
    a little too much contact with that yellow jersey - and Jackson.

    * The topper came Saturday when Jackson and safety Adam Archuleta
    got into a scuffle after Archuleta thumped Jackson hard, too hard for Jackson's
    liking.

    "They're two competitive warriors, and they love that part of the game,"
    running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said. "It's me against you. . . . And
    Steven's going to show you he's not going to shy away from any contact."

    As he begins his tenure as the Rams' starting running back, Jackson isn't
    shying away from anything.

    "It's early, but I would say 'Big Train' is working hard," Montgomery said.
    "It's like he's picked up right where he's left off in minicamp. He came back
    with the right attitude. The intensity is great. He's focused. He wants to be a
    young leader. He's showing a lot of toughness right now."

    He's showing all that and more. Almost all elite runners in the NFL have a
    certain confidence about them, and Jackson has that air about him as well.

    "But he's been that way since he got here," coach Mike Martz said. "He has that
    aura about him of a guy like Marshall and Isaac (Bruce). He has that special
    way of carrying himself, and that quiet confidence that makes him special."

    Martz believes Jackson has the makings of something special. Otherwise, he
    wouldn't have named him the starter way back in February.

    "I just have visions of him doing great things. I really do," Martz said. "I
    think Steven's capable of being a dominant back, ultimately. Obviously, he's
    not there yet.

    "He has the quickness, the agility of that little guy. And he's that power
    runner as well. He can run through those arm tackles and be very physical. We
    can play power football with him down after down. He can take that punishment."

    And at 6 feet 2 and 231 pounds, he can give it out.

    Just a month after the Rams' playoff loss to Atlanta, Jackson was in his
    hometown of Las Vegas when he learned he was named the team's starter in 2005.
    He saw it flash across the screen on television. Almost immediately, his phone
    started ringing off the hook.

    The "promotion" was not unexpected. Jackson started ahead of Faulk as early as
    Dec. 5 of last season before being slowed by knee problems. Nonetheless,
    Jackson didn't expect to be anointed heir apparent to the mighty Marshall five
    months before the start of training camp.

    "At the same time, it gave me time to prepare myself mentally coming into
    this," Jackson said.

    First off, Jackson had to get right physically. On Jan. 27, he underwent
    surgery on his right knee.

    "It was just a cleanup," Jackson said. "It was one of those things where the
    ligament had just a slight tear in it. The (medical) staff here treated me well
    this offseason. They continue to do so.

    "The rehab was about 10-12 weeks; we took it slow. There's no need to rush in
    the offseason. They wanted to make sure that I had every function, every
    muscle, fast-twitch - everything - going at the same time, making sure that
    when we got to this point here, that I wouldn't have to slack off of anything."

    The same couldn't be said a year ago. Jackson had underwent knee surgery after
    his final college season at Oregon State and wasn't totally healthy entering
    his rookie season in the NFL.

    "Oh, the knee was bothering him," Montgomery said. "Without a doubt."

    According to Montgomery, the quadriceps muscle in Jackson's right leg was a
    couple of inches smaller than his left at the time camp started, and that's
    never a good thing.

    "That was the reason for some of the slow development," Montgomery said.
    "Because in this offense, you've got to take reps, and he wasn't getting a lot
    of reps."

    That's not the case this camp. Not that Faulk is an afterthought; he will play
    a significant role in the offense this season. It's clear, however, that
    Jackson is being groomed for a heavy workload. It's Jackson's time, and he
    appears up to the challenge of replacing a future Hall of Famer.

    "It's one of those things where now I feel I'm ready to start and pursue my
    dream," Jackson said.

    Jackson has tons of respect for Faulk. That will never change.

    "You can never know more than the teacher," Jackson said. "I'm going to keep
    watching, keep asking questions. I'm only in Year 2. He's, what, in Year 12? So
    I still have a lot of things I can learn from him. . . . He's the master right
    now."

    At the same time, Jackson adds: "(Faulk) has a lot of records that I plan on
    trying to break."

    There's that confidence.

    "I'm coming to camp this year with a lot more confidence than I did last year,"
    Jackson said. "I know what to expect, and I know the offense. I'm feeling
    comfortable with my teammates, and it's something where I already gained their
    trust.

    "So now it's just moving on, proceeding and getting the chemistry down between
    me and Marc (Bulger) and the rest of the guys."

    And, right knee willing, seeing where that takes Jackson and the Rams' offense
    in 2005.



  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    The Big Train That Could... :football:

  3. #3
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    Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    The BIG TRAIN is coming lets take a ride to the superbowl

  4. #4
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    Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    Jeez, nicknames today are so lame.

    Jackson is nothing but a stud and with his frame and speed will have no problems this year.
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