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  • Jackson sets new standard

    BY NORM SANDERS
    News-Democrat
    ST. LOUIS - Team praises him for speed, ability

    After getting only 14 chances to touch the ball last week in a 15-0 loss at Carolina, St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson was the focal point on offense against San Francisco.

    The 6-foot-2, 231-pound back resembled a runaway freight train much of the day. He pounded out 121 yards rushing on 23 carries, including a 36-yard touchdown run, and also had nine catches for 71 yards.

    Jackson had 103 yards on 17 carries by halftime, including the 36-yard TD run. He carried the ball only seven times last week for a season-low 27 yards against Carolina, with the Rams throwing 41 passes.

    After catching 13 passes against Kansas City on Nov. 5, Jackson joked about being a "big Marshall Faulk," referencing the Rams' future Hall of Fame running back known for his versatility.

    Jackson is among the top three NFL running backs in receptions and receiving yardage.

    "To be honest with you, I've been able to catch the ball," said Jackson, the team's second-leading receiver with 63 catches for 553 yards. "I just said that jokingly because for so long I've been having to live with that shadow. Hopefully with this year we can get that way from it and allow me to be Steven Jackson -- and allow people in the general public to see what I'm able to bring to this game."

    Jackson also has 932 yards rushing and six TDs on 218 carries.

    "There are some great backs in the league, but I think he's up there with the best of them," Rams defensive end Leonard Little said.

    On the Rams' fourth-quarter drive that led to a 20-17 victory, Jackson had the ball in his hands on six of the 12 plays.

    He twice converted first downs on fourth-and-1 plays, including a 4-yard run that set up the winning touchdown pass from Marc Bulger to Kevin Curtis.

    "Coming into the game, we felt like on fourth-and-1 or short yardage, we were going to spread them out and allow for the running game to open up," Jackson said.

    Rams coach Scott Linehan praised Jackson's performance.

    "It was huge," Linehan said. "We have to continue to ride that. It's going to give us the ability to stay on the field and put ourselves in better third-down situations."

    Jackson enjoyed a big day despite the Rams' patchwork offensive line. The line was without injured all-pro left tackle Orlando Pace and included Todd Steussie at left tackle, rookie starter Mark Setterstrom at left guard and backup center Brett Romberg, who filled in when Richie Incognito was injured.

    "Guys stepped up big time," Jackson said. "We had a rookie (Setterstrom) in there and he did a great job. On fourth-and-1 I don't know if you realized it, but we ran right behind him. That shows we have a lot of faith in him and what he's going to do."

    The offensive line appreciates what Jackson can do, too.

    "He does a great job running, particularly today," veteran guard Adam Timmerman said. "He might have been running as hard as I've seen him. He was coming up the gut and he was right where he was supposed to be. We really hung with the run and got off to a good start."

    Jackson is already a big back because of his size, but his role seems to be increasing each week. He was ready to go to work on Sunday.

    "I just put on a lot of turkey this Thursday," he said. "I come in expecting to touch the ball a lot and if it doesn't happen, I'm mentally prepared for it.

    "I never lack in my preparation in any way."

    After watching film of himself from last season, Jackson is learning to run lower and keep his shoulder pads headed upfield.

    That's not a pretty sight for defensive backs trying to bring down this big load of a running back.

    "You know where he is because there's some impact when he gets there, so that's nice," Timmerman said.

  • #2
    Re: Jackson sets new standard

    Being from here in 'Vegas, I LOVE that "rollin' the dice" thing he does.

    ...and we're going to see a lot more of it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jackson sets new standard

      Originally posted by RamWraith View Post

      The 6-foot-2, 231-pound back resembled a runaway freight train much of the day. He pounded out 121 yards rushing on 23 carries, including a 36-yard touchdown run, and also had nine catches for 71 yards.


      Rams coach Scott Linehan praised Jackson's performance.

      "It was huge," Linehan said. "We have to continue to ride that. It's going to give us the ability to stay on the field and put ourselves in better third-down situations."
      Boy, I hope Linehan has a long memory and doesn't forget this outstanding performance by SJ.
      sigpic :ram::helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jackson sets new standard

        "Guys stepped up big time," Jackson said. "We had a rookie (Setterstrom) in there and he did a great job. On fourth-and-1 I don't know if you realized it, but we ran right behind him. That shows we have a lot of faith in him and what he's going to do."

        I didn't realize that. Things are shaping up for our O-line's future with this talented, extremely young group that's been assembled.

        I've been sold on Jackson for a long time, so I'm not surprised by his dominance at all.

        Comment

        Related Topics

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        • Rambos
          Jackson Hoping for Breakout
          by Rambos
          Jackson Hoping for Breakout
          Wednesday, September 19, 2007

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          Clearly frustrated as he stalked off the field after another performance below his and the Rams’ lofty expectations and standards, running back Steven Jackson simply couldn’t hold it in any longer.

          Jackson vented his frustrations like many players do, yelling on the sideline to nobody in particular. On Wednesday, he stood up before his teammates and issued an apology just in case anybody took Sunday’s outburst the wrong way.

          “I didn’t want anything to get out of hand,” Jackson said. “I didn’t know how guys took it, so I didn’t want them read something and then think what they’re reading is true. I wanted to let them know from my heart and talk to them without being scripted – let them know how I felt and what happened and explain to them that there were no problems.”

          Jackson’s apology was accepted with no questions asked by most of his teammates. Center Brett Romberg said he was proud of the way Jackson stood up and was accountable for what happened.

          “The man was frustrated,” Romberg said. “He has high expectations, he’s an amazing competitor and falling short of any kind of goal he is setting is going to be frustrating on his part. He wanted to come over and voice his opinion and let us know what he’s thinking which is welcome. We just took with it and said forget about it man, let’s roll. We have another game to play this week.”

          And with that, Jackson and the Rams turned the page and put their full focus on getting a ground game that finished with a flourish in 2006 back on track after a pair of performances that met nobody’s goals.

          In the first two games of this season, Jackson has rushed for just 118 yards on 39 carries, an average of 3 yards per attempt, well below the bar Jackson set when he entered the season with a goal of reaching 2,500 yards from scrimmage.

          Additionally, Jackson hasn’t been as much of a threat out of the backfield as he was in 2006, catching four passes for 39 yards. He also has yet to score a touchdown.

          All of those numbers and, more important, an 0-2 record, mounted up to the frustration that came out in the final stages of Sunday’s loss to the *****.

          “I think we all knew where he was coming from,” Jackson said. “He was just probably a little frustrated like all of us. I don’t think Steven needs to apologize to us because he is competitive and it wasn’t directed at anyone so I’m sure everyone accepts his apology. Personally I don’t think anything was necessary.”

          What is necessary for the Rams to get into the win column, though, is a rejuvenated rushing attack that more closely resembles the one that steamrollered over Oakland, Minnesota and Washington at the end of last season.

          Clearly Jackson established himself as one...
          -09-19-2007, 06:40 PM
        • RamWraith
          Jackson Off to Strong Start
          by RamWraith
          Thursday, September 21, 2006

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          When Steven Jackson wakes up on Monday morning, he is always sore. But this year, it’s a good kind of sore as Jackson’s workload has increased to a level that has placed him third in the league in rushing.

          “It feels pretty good,” Jackson said. “I’m fully aware that it’s only week two, so hopefully we can keep making strides and keep ourselves paced through it. This league is a marathon, not a race.”

          While there’s no doubting that Jackson has a long way to go in the NFL’s version of a marathon, there are signs that his good start out of the blocks could keep pace over the course of an entire season.

          After two games, Jackson has run with the combination of power and speed he flashed in his first two seasons in the league. As the game goes on, he gets stronger and he is finishing runs with more authority than in years past.

          “He's certainly one of those type backs, a big punishing type runner and they're harder to tackle if you're able to establish a running game as the game goes on,” head coach Scott Linehan said. “They tend to wear you down a little bit because it's a big guy to tackle.”

          Jackson’s punishing style has him third in the NFL and second in the NFC in rushing yards with 224 on just 44 carries, an average of 5.1 yards per attempt. And though his longest run of the season was a 37-yard scamper in the season opener against Denver, Jackson has showed more consistency than in his first two seasons.

          In the win against the Broncos, he rushed six times for 67 yards in the fourth quarter. Even with the Rams trailing in the loss to San Francisco, Jackson punished the ***** late in the game, carrying four times for 27 yards.

          It’s that type of punishing style that has placed Jackson behind only Cincinnati’s Rudi Johnson and Atlanta’s Warrick Dunn in the early race for the rushing title.

          “A lot goes on through the course of the game,” Jackson said. “Average fans don’t realize. You have to have a feel for what the defense is trying to do. Also, you try to wear them down. Coach is calling the plays to see what they are going to do and what formations (they might use) so as the course of the game goes on , I get a feel of what they are doing and I believe the offensive line does, too. With that being said, that’s how I get my big yards later in the game.”

          So, what exactly is it that has allowed Jackson to get off to such a good start? Actually, there are a number of reasons for his early-season success.

          One of those stems from the move of hiring Linehan as the head coach. Upon his arrival, Linehan vowed to give the Rams a more balanced attack with Jackson as the featured attraction.

          In his first two seasons in the league, Jackson had times where he would lose yards as he searched for holes to run...
          -09-22-2006, 06:11 AM
        • RamDez
          He leads NFL ball carriers in total yards
          by RamDez
          BY STEVE KORTE
          News-Democrat
          ST. LOUIS - Steven Jackson is proving that he can be an all-purpose running back.
          Jackson leads NFL running backs in yards from scrimmage this season with 531 -- 367 rushing yards and 164 receiving yards -- this season. San Francisco's Frank Gore is second with 460 yards.
          "It's all the same," Jackson said of being both a receiver and a runner. "Once you get the ball you're a running back anyway, so it doesn't matter."
          Jackson jokingly referred to himself as a "Big Marshall Faulk" -- arguably the best all-purpose back in NFL history -- after gaining 146 yards from scrimmage in the St. Louis Rams' 41-34 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
          "Coach (Scott Linehan) has opened the offense a little bit because after those first few weeks when the running game was so successful, we have faced a lot of eight-man boxes that are geared to stop the run," Jackson said. "The defense was trying to take that element away from us, so he wanted to get me involved in other ways and still contribute to the game and push the ball downfield. If we can't get it in the running game, we'll get some short passes."
          Jackson is on pace for 60 receptions for 656 yards after having only 43 receptions for 320 yards last season.
          "I've always had these talents," Jackson said of receiving skills. "They just didn't pop up overnight. It's just the fact that I'm able to put up stats now. That's what we all look at, I guess."
          To Linehan, it's all about getting the ball in Jackson's hands. Jackson is averaging 26 touches per game this season.
          "Certainly he's our main ballcarrier, and to be able to get him involved some in the passing game gives the ability to use him in two ways, as opposed to just handing him the ball," Linehan said. "He does a lot with it once he's got it in his hands, too. I think that the sensible thing is to figure out more ways to get it in his hands."
          Jackson said the Rams' entire offensive unit seems to be finally feeling comfortable with Linehan's system.
          "That's how offense goes," Jackson said. "Defense goes faster than offense, and we need to all get on one accord. So much goes into an offense. The timing of the receivers and the quarterbacks, the pass protection, making sure the running backs and the offensive line are on (the same page). It's so much that goes into it, but once it clicks, it clicks."
          Jackson got his first rushing touchdown last Sunday as he ran into the end zone untouched from 1 yard out.
          "To get our first rushing touchdown makes it feels like, now we've done it," Jackson said. "When you can't do it sometimes, you start to overemphasize on it. Once we got in there, we got settled in and we know that we're firing on all cylinders now."
          Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said Jackson's touchdown run was...
          -10-07-2006, 03:33 PM
        • MauiRam
          Pasquarelli on S. Jackson...
          by MauiRam
          ESPN.com: NFL

          Monday, June 5, 2006
          Jackson has thrived when getting 20-plus carries

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          By Len Pasquarelli
          ESPN.com

          Born and raised in Las Vegas, where both his parents worked in casinos, Steven Jackson realizes the unique relationship between numbers and odds.

          OK, so the St. Louis Rams' third-year tailback might not be the guy you want advising you at the blackjack table, as you're agonizing over whether to take another hit while holding 16, and his head usually spins over all of the confusing permutations of the roulette wheel. The fact is, if Jackson is down $100, he pretty much considers himself tapped out and heads home for the evening.

          But here's a winning parlay he understands well after only two NFL seasons: Give Jackson 20 carries, he'll get 100 yards, and the odds are pretty solid that the Rams will win.

          "I know what they're telling me in terms of how many carries they say I'm going to get. But I've heard those kinds of things before. I even went to [running backs coach] Wayne Moses the other day and told him, 'Now don't be teasing me. Don't be telling me what you think I want to hear just to pacify me.' "
          Steven Jackson
          "Now those are numbers," said Jackson, the Rams' first-round choice in the 2004 draft, "that are like magic numbers to me. Even I'd bet on those. And I'm not a very big gambler. I can't run with guys like [Charles] Barkley and that crowd. But, yeah, I know that those [represent] some winning numbers."

          Five times in his still fledgling NFL career, Jackson has logged 20 or more rushing attempts in a game. The results in those contests: an average of 130.6 yards per outing, 5.4 yards per carry, and five victories for the Rams. Of the team's six wins in 2005, half came in games in which Jackson was the offensive workhorse. Only once in the five contests in which Jackson got 20 carries did he fail to crack the 100-yard mark. Twice in those games, he had more than 145 yards, including a career-best 179 against Jacksonville on Oct. 30.

          Roll the dice with Jackson, a big back (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) with quick feet and nifty moves, and the odds are pretty good you won't crap out, as his brief league history indicates. And if offseason rhetoric emanating from first-year coach Scott Linehan means anything, the St. Louis offense expects to roll a whole lot of 7's with its starting tailback in 2006.

          Which is sweet music to the ears of Jackson, who often chafed in the past at the lack of carries he got under former coach Mike Martz, dismissed after a 2006 season in which he missed much of the season because of a bout with endocarditis, an inflammation of a heart valve. In 14 of 29 appearances in 2004-2005, Jackson had 10 carries or less, in part because of the...
          -06-05-2006, 10:56 AM
        • RamWraith
          Jackson Not Deterred by Doubters
          by RamWraith
          Sunday, July 29, 2007

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          Soon after completing his breakout NFL season, running back Steven Jackson did what anyone who just made their first Pro Bowl would do. After jumping over the bar of standard he had already set, he decided it was time to raise the bar even higher.

          And Jackson’s idea of raising the bar was taking it to a place it had never been. In addition to the usual team goals, which include winning the division and, ultimately, the Super Bowl, Jackson set an individual goal that if accomplished would land him in the NFL record books and quite possibly the Most Valuable Player award.

          The goal: 2,500 yards from scrimmage in 16 regular season NFL games. Should Jackson reach that number, he would have accomplished something never done before in the NFL as the record of 2,429 was set by Marshall Faulk in 1999.

          Not long after stating that as his goal, Jackson dealt with a slight backlash from some of the so called analysts and experts. They proclaimed his goal selfish and unreasonable and one television analyst even said that Jackson’s achieving that goal would be detrimental to the performance of the team.

          “Steven is not unlike a lot of special players,” coach Scott Linehan said. “They reset their standards and set the bar higher. It’s a challenge if anything. He wants to hold himself to it. I don’t have any problem with those kind of things as long as it is geared toward the success of our team and it definitely is. He made that very clear to the team.”

          After making his goal proclamation, Jackson didn’t waste any time in speaking with his teammates about his point. In fact, Jackson got up and told everyone in a meeting that he sets his goals individually in a way that he believes will help the team reach its goals.

          Having Jackson as the foundation sure didn’t hurt the offense in 2006. More often than not, Jackson was the team’s offensive focal point and it paved the way to a season that would become one of the best any running back has ever posted.

          By the time the season was over, Jackson had 2,334 yards from scrimmage, which placed him in the top five all time in that category. But Jackson believes his objective is not only good for the team but also realistic.

          “A lot of people say it is kind of hard to believe,” Jackson said. “Some people say if I do that the ball is not being distributed. I didn’t put up 1,500 last year, I put up 2,300 so I don’t think the number I am asking for is a stretch. I think as long as I do what I have been doing and the offensive line is on the same page, I think we can achieve it.”

          Heading into the offseason, Jackson set out to find ways to make himself a better player. Following a year in which he broke out as a receiver (he finished with 90 catches for 806 yards and three touchdowns), Jackson searched for ways...
          -07-29-2007, 02:56 PM
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