Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Jackson is all the rage!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jackson is all the rage!

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/26/2007


    What do you do when you're on the verge of something you've been craving all of your life? What do you do when the dream is so close, you can feel its inevitability — and maybe its uncertainty too — lurking on the horizon like some rumbling summer storm?

    Steven Jackson considers this daunting circumstance for just a moment and flashes that familiar disarming smile. "I've been groomed for this," he said. "This is what I've wanted since I started playing football when I was 7 years old."

    Considering the crash-and-burn mess that so many of his peers have made of their star turns lately, you might expect that Jackson might approach this newest phase of his life with some sort of healthy trepidation. Celebrity is a scary business these days, as unpredictable as the weather. You're never quite sure whether the gathering storm will bring a soothing shower of fame and fortune or an angry torrent of disaster and shame.

    Yet Steven Jackson is running toward the gathering storm of fame like it's a slash of daylight. After impatiently biding his time behind Marshall Faulk for two seasons, the former first-round draft pick out of Oregon State had a breakout 2006 season that thrust him into the NFL's ultra-talented upper crust. And now that Faulk has retired, there are no more uneasy conflicts about playing time, or debates about who is the heart and soul of this football team, or who is one of the NFL's most dangerous offensive weapons.

    "He's right there. He's right on the verge of blowing up (and becoming a major NFL star) and he knows it," said teammate and Pro Bowl receiver Torry Holt. "He is ready to just explode and I can't wait to see it."

    There are talks to give the powerfully built Pro Bowl running back his own weekly segment on ESPNEWS. You can't walk by a newsstand anywhere in America without seeing his face on the cover of at least three fantasy football magazines. He was featured recently in Sports Illustrated. ESPN has him on speed dial. There are those soon-to-be-released nationally televised Nike commercials, a locker stall full of custom-made Nike cleats, and 40-foot-high "I Believe" billboards all over St. Louis, which are supposed to be touting the Rams' upcoming season. But they could just as easily be tantalizing movie trailers for the upcoming Steven Jackson blockbuster, too.

    "I was groomed for this; I always believed I would be a star, and I didn't see anything wrong with that," Jackson said. "I know that probably didn't play too well with the humble Midwestern mentality. But I was just speaking out and saying what I believed I was capable of doing. I never understood what was wrong with saying what was on my mind as long as I believed it and it was true. What's wrong with being a positive influence in the community?"

    That's how he was raised in Las Vegas by his parents Steve and Brenda Jackson. Confident, but not cocky. Self assured, but not arrogant. Proud and positive. "I realize that when I first got here — and probably to this day, too — a lot of times people misconstrued my confidence for cockiness and that I was just some guy with a loud mouth," Jackson admitted one afternoon over lunch at the Rams practice facility. "To be honest with you, I wouldn't be surprised if maybe even the (old) coaching staff took it that way, too. I guess I had to learn how to get my message across better."

    IN FAULK'S FOOTSTEPS

    Jackson wanted to prove that he could be better than Marshall Faulk, the man whom he was drafted to replace. But it was hard to prove he was as good as he was sitting behind Faulk, the future Hall of Fame running back, NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl hero of every Rams fan. Faulk was the living legend. Even if he was at the tail end of his career and clinging to his job when it would have been more gracious to help usher in the new kid on the block, most of the Rams loyalists didn't see the Faulk-Jackson relationship in the same light Jackson saw it.

    "I was the kind of guy, I wanted to give Marshall all the respect in the world for raising the bar for being a running back," said Jackson, who is 6 feet 2, 231 pounds. "Heck, he's one of the reasons why I wanted to be an all-around running back. But whenever I said that I could do the same things Marshall could do, no one around here wanted to hear that. People saw me and they just thought, 'Oh he's just a bruiser.'"

    Jackson paused for emphasis.

    "Oh no, no, no," he said. "I am a bruiser, but I can do more than that. And this is where I butted heads with a lot of people. They felt like I shouldn't disrespect a guy who paved the way. But I never saw it as disrespect. He set the bar high and I want to push it up even higher."

    So Jackson told anyone who was willing to listen that if he was only given a chance, he could make them all see that he could do the same thing Faulk did, and — gasp and swoon — maybe even a few things Faulk couldn't do.

    Coming out of the mouth of an unproven rookie, those words were practically blasphemy. As a result, Jackson spent the first two seasons in St. Louis being largely misunderstood and underutilized. "I think he always knew how good he was, but for all of us who had been around here for a while, we were like, 'But we have Marshall Faulk,'" quarterback Marc Bulger said. "Whenever he kept talking about getting the ball more, we were all saying, 'yeah, whatever.'"

    Jackson had an image problem that he was powerless to overcome. He was talking about how good he was, but with no way to back it up, he came across like someone who was far more interested in being famous instead of being great. "And there's a huge difference between the two," said Holt, who was one of the few veterans (along with Isaac Bruce) to become a Jackson confidante. "Maybe when he first got here he came across like he just wanted to have people know who Steven Jackson was. He sounded like a guy who probably thought it was more important to be famous. But something clicked last year. That was a wake-up call for him. All of a sudden, he saw 'Wait a minute, I can be great.'"

    FEEDING FRENZY

    The change was dramatic in 2006. First-year head coach Scott Linehan and offensive coordinator Greg Olsen started a feeding frenzy to Jackson. His 436 touches was the second-most in Rams history and the 11th highest in NFL history. He changed his running approach from being a guy always trying to hit a home run on every cameo appearance to a rare combination of power and elusiveness that made him one of the league's most feared offensive weapons.

    Even Pro Bowl defenders started avoiding him in the open field. (Remember the Week 16 game against Washington when Pro Bowl Safety Sean Taylor appeared to go out of his way to avoid tackling Jackson?) He started grinding out runs in heavy traffic and freezing folks with jump cuts and spin moves in the open field that made him look like a super-sized Marshall Faulk.

    Today he doesn't look so blasphemous after all. Instead he looks like a football prophet with those flowing dreadlocks and that angry running style.

    He ended up as the NFL leader in yards from scrimmage with an eye-popping 2,334 yards, finished fifth in the league in rushing with a career-high 1,528 yards, scored 13 touchdowns and grabbed a team-record (for running backs) 90 receptions and was named to his first Pro Bowl.

    "I don't know what happened, but you could see something change in him mid-last year," Bulger said. "It was like a switch went off and he became the hardest working guy out there. He's one of those angry ballplayers. He has to be mad at everyone and when he gets angry, that's when I make sure I get the ball to him."

    What happened is easy to figure out. Faulk was no longer around. He had career-ending knee surgeries that sent him off to the NFL Network to begin his broadcasting career and the myth of the teacher-pupil relationship between Faulk and Jackson was finally publicly dispelled. "That relationship was too close for comfort," Jackson said. "First of all, I was very surprised that I even came here. The last thing I expected was to be drafted by the Rams. Plus we had the same representation (St. Louis-based agent Rocky Arcenaux). So now not only am I trying to take his job, but here's a guy that is to a lot of people here, he's a Super Bowl hero, and our agent is the same guy, too. That wasn't easy."

    On the same day Jackson was interviewed for this article, he also spoke to Sports Illustrated for an article that ran in their Aug. 13 issue. In that interview, he delved deeper into his uncomfortable relationship with Faulk. "In my opinion, he could have helped me out and he didn't," Jackson told SI.

    About an hour later, he sat in the same chair in the lunchroom and continued on the same path. "I acknowledge what he did for me and what (former coach Mike) Martz did for me," Jackson said. "But ... well, it could have been an easier way to hand over the torch."

    After the recent San Diego preseason game, when he was asked about the Faulk relationship again, Jackson said, "I don't want to get into that again. I said what needed to be said in Sports Illustrated and I'll leave it at that."

    So who did you lean on to get through the hard times and frustrations of those first two seasons?

    "Well it wasn't Marshall," he said, flashing a devilish grin.

    GUIDANCE

    Jackson's NFL mentoring came from the other side of the locker room, where Torry Holt hangs his helmet. "I tried to give him information," Holt said. "But it wasn't like every day I would pull him over to the side and say, 'OK, here's Lesson No. 1. Now here's Lesson No. 2.' I just wanted to give him some guidance about life as a professional. We had a lot in common, so I wanted to give him advice on being a first-round pick, the high expectations, the money, the fame, the traps. A lot of people don't realize that it's not all that easy being put into that situation when you're a young man."

    The job of being a high-profile professional athlete, as we can all surely see now, is full of surprising headaches and heartaches both on and off the field. "You're a 20-year-old young man and suddenly you're handed a lot of money with no guidelines," Jackson said. "I had no idea it was going to be that tough, but it was."

    This was the part of fame he never expected. This was the nightmare edge he never imagined. Riding the bench on the field and coping with a fast and at times out-of-control world off the field. "I was raised the right way, but then I came (to St. Louis) and to be honest I was exposed to a lot of (wild) things here," Jackson said. "I had to learn how to resist some things, that was harder than I ever could have imagined."

    There were rumors of bar fights and wild nights floating around during his first two seasons. But Jackson seemed to settle down a lot last year. Perhaps it's a coincidence that he found a balance after troubled ex-teammate Anthony Hargrove was sent packing last year. Jackson says it was because of the birth of his first child last year.

    "I have responsibilities now. It's no longer about being the life of the party, it's about being a role model for my son," he said.

    Jackson is trying to take advantage of the spotlight that is glaring on him by talking to kids about doing the right thing. Whether it's a small church group or a large auditorium of high school kids, he always asks them one simple question: "'How can you walk a straight line?' Can you walk it with your eyes closed? No, because if you try that, we walk all over the place. To walk a straight line, you have to concentrate. Well that's what you have to do to live your life. Now you have to understand when you do that, you may lose a few people along the way. But if you do, they didn't belong with you anyway. That was one of the hardest things to learn over the last few years for me, too."

    IN THE SPOTLIGHT

    Jackson is inside the crowded Rams locker room after the recent game with the Chargers and he looks like a man ready for his close-up. Most of his teammates are still in various forms of their sweaty game-worn uniforms, or wearing casual summer garb that includes T-shirts, sneakers, shorts or jeans. Jackson is dressed for a "GQ" magazine cover shot. He casually slips on the custom-tailored gabardine suit pants, buttons up the tapered custom-made dress shirt, slides up the perfectly knotted silk tie, turns down the collar and adjusts the broad-shouldered silk-blend sport coat.

    He slips on a pair of sunglasses, slings a bag over his shoulder and struts out into the cool summer night. And one of the first people waiting for him outside the locker room door is Denzel Washington, the Oscar award-winning actor and father of Jackson's teammate J.D. Washington, who is vainly attempting to go incognito.

    They hug, they laugh, they chat, the reluctant movie star and the anxious football star, one craving the bright lights, the other seeking the cool shade of anonymity, and neither man probably getting enough of what they desperately want.

  • #2
    Re: Jackson is all the rage!

    Jackson needs to shut up about Marshall Faulk, let it go man, you have the starting job now, Faulk is even retired. Let's be honest here, when Jackson came into the league he was not ready to carry the load alone - he is now, but he wasn't back then, he's improved a lot. I really don't care if Jackson and Faulk hate each other, if you haven't got anything nice to say what purpose does it serve do continually talk crap about the other guy? Anyone heard Marshall Faulk complaining about what a disrespectful asshole Steven Jackson was? No. Faulk may or may not like Jackson but he knows when to keep his mouth shut and politely decline comments when asked. Jackson needs to learn this, that's part of being a professional. I'm sure Bulger, Holt, Bruce etc. all have (or have had) teammates that they don't like but you don't hear any of them airing the dirty laundry in public time after time, they, like Faulk, know when to not answer a question and take the high road, a skill I'm hoping Jackson picks up rather soon.

    Jackson is a fantastic running back, but he's not going to earn any points with this fan by criticising Marshall Faulk again and again. Steven if you feel the need to trashtalk pick another target, how about not a teammate to start with?

    Not exactly what I would call a classy interview, doesn't seem like a classy guy either. Hopefully with time he will be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jackson is all the rage!

      Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
      Jackson needs to shut up about Marshall Faulk, let it go man, you have the starting job now, Faulk is even retired. Let's be honest here, when Jackson came into the league he was not ready to carry the load alone - he is now, but he wasn't back then, he's improved a lot. I really don't care if Jackson and Faulk hate each other, if you haven't got anything nice to say what purpose does it serve do continually talk crap about the other guy? Anyone heard Marshall Faulk complaining about what a disrespectful asshole Steven Jackson was? No. Faulk may or may not like Jackson but he knows when to keep his mouth shut and politely decline comments when asked. Jackson needs to learn this, that's part of being a professional. I'm sure Bulger, Holt, Bruce etc. all have (or have had) teammates that they don't like but you don't hear any of them airing the dirty laundry in public time after time, they, like Faulk, know when to not answer a question and take the high road, a skill I'm hoping Jackson picks up rather soon.

      Jackson is a fantastic running back, but he's not going to earn any points with this fan by criticising Marshall Faulk again and again. Steven if you feel the need to trashtalk pick another target, how about not a teammate to start with?

      Not exactly what I would call a classy interview, doesn't seem like a classy guy either. Hopefully with time he will be.
      Yeah, RamofDenmark, I'll have to agree with you that I'm a little disturbed by the way Jackson has spoken of Faulk. I agree with him that Faulk should have mentored Jackson instead of fighting him for a job but that time has passed. Two of my favorite RBs to play the game since I've been a Ram fan and they hate each other... fine, but I'd rather not hear about it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jackson is all the rage!

        I hate to say this but SJ will have a big year, thats great. I just think it will be his last in a Ram Uni. Can't see us getting him signed, he wil want insane money.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jackson is all the rage!

          Originally posted by Rambos View Post
          I hate to say this but SJ will have a big year, thats great. I just think it will be his last in a Ram Uni. Can't see us getting him signed, he wil want insane money.
          r u serious? the reason why we are so much under the cap and still not signing big name FAs is that we are trying to save some cap for players like bulger and jackson...with bulgers deal done now we can give jackson what he asks for....its ridiculous to think the front office wont sign a franchie RB with available cap space...no offense but thank god u dont run a ballclub because then you would be deeply in trouble.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jackson is all the rage!

            Originally posted by Rambos View Post
            I hate to say this but SJ will have a big year, thats great. I just think it will be his last in a Ram Uni. Can't see us getting him signed, he wil want insane money.
            I don't care what he says about Faulk. He did wonderful things for our team, but I want the wonderful to continue for Rams' RB's. We'll sign Jackson if he does great, which he will, I'm not too concerned about that. To be honest I never thought of us NOT signing him.
            Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jackson is all the rage!

              Originally posted by Rambos View Post
              I hate to say this but SJ will have a big year, thats great. I just think it will be his last in a Ram Uni. Can't see us getting him signed, he wil want insane money.
              I highly doubt we let Jackson get away, I think if he really didn't get a contract he liked we'd give him the same service as Pace and franchise tag him until he realized he's stuck here.


              And I don't see what you guys are complaining about with the Marshell-Jackson thing. He didn't say anything new, just that he didn't want to comment on it. Even Faulk has admitted that he should have done more, and honestly from all the reports I've heard from BOTH sides, Faulk sounds like a jerk. We've heard great things about Bruce, Holt, Warner.. heck I even saw an article where it talked about McCollum helping Romberg out. It seems to me Faulk could have been a lot classier in his exit from the league.

              Great article by the way, thanks for posting it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jackson is all the rage!

                no offense but thank god u dont run a ballclub because then you would be deeply in trouble.
                None taken. I'm not saying I don't want him. He is the man, I just think his deal will have to match his EGO and it will be HUGH. Thats all.


                To be honest I never thought of us NOT signing him.
                I think we will want to sign him, I'm just not sure we will be able to get it done.


                franchise tag him until he realized he's stuck here.
                This is how I see it "until he realized he's stuck here" not I want to be here...

                My take really has nothing to do with his comments on Marshal, it more my feeling that it's always about SJ more then the team.

                "I was groomed for this; I always believed I would be a star, and I didn't see anything wrong with that," Jackson said.
                Sometimes he's just too much for me to take. I think I heard Bruce say something like this once... NOT

                Comment

                Related Topics

                Collapse

                • RamWraith
                  Steven Jackson - Full Speed Ahead
                  by RamWraith
                  Khalil Garriott
                  NFLPLAYERS.COM
                  06/26/2007


                  When Steven Jackson is coming at you full speed, you'll definitely know it. His distinct dreadlocks flowing out of his helmet, Jackson lowers his shoulder and tucks away the ball—high and tight, with a firm grasp. His eyes are fixated on that sliver of open field he's about to attack. With brute power matched by equal speed, Jackson is an unstoppable force on the football field.

                  But he's only now coming into his own in the NFL.

                  After a breakout 2006 season, the St. Louis Rams running back has supreme confidence and the skills to back it up. Known by fantasy football addicts as a "fantasy beast" last year, the numbers speak for themselves: 1,528 rushing yards and 806 receiving yards on 90 receptions for a league-leading 2,334 yards rushing and receiving. It's no surprise he was taken by Jerricho Cotchery with the No. 2 overall pick in last week's fantasy football draft for NFL players only.

                  But Jackson isn't resting on his laurels; as we speak he's working hard in hopes of breaking one of the NFL's most impressive records.

                  Look out, Marshall Faulk.

                  The man who succeeded Faulk as running back for the Rams wants to eclipse his great predecessor's mark for yardage in a single season. Faulk's 2,529 combined yards have stood since 1999, but if anyone can top it, Jackson is a good bet.

                  Jackson, who writes out his goals before each season, literally carried the load for St. Louis last year. His first Pro Bowl invitation in three NFL seasons was hard-earned and well deserved, but he truly believes he's just scratched the surface.

                  "You know what?" Jackson rhetorically asked. "I always go into the next season looking to improve every part of my game—if it's running, catching, passing, blocking—anything that it is. I'm hoping to improve and whatever bar I set the previous year, I hope to exceed it. I set a high bar for myself, and I'm hoping to be able to play at that level throughout my career," he said.

                  When they drafted him out of Oregon State with the 24th overall pick in the 2004 draft, the Rams knew they were getting a talented player capable of being the featured back when Faulk neared retirement. But he has surpassed expectations by, to be blunt, being this good. He's even talking like a veteran leader despite being about a month shy of his 24th birthday.

                  "I would tell guys [to] always be coachable, be humble, and receive what your coaches are trying to tell you," Jackson said of the advice he imparts to incoming rookies. "You all work together to attain a common goal—and that's to reach the Super Bowl—and once you get in the game, don't think; just react. You've been playing all your life, pretty much, so play the game," added Jackson, who said Adrian Peterson shares the most similarities with...
                  -06-28-2007, 02:37 PM
                • RamsFan16
                  Camp tour: Rams' tough Jackson takes torch from aging Faulk
                  by RamsFan16
                  Camp tour: Rams' tough Jackson takes torch from aging Faulk


                  Pete Prisco Aug. 27, 2005
                  By Pete Prisco
                  CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
                  Tell Pete your opinion!




                  Rams: Five things to know

                  ST. LOUIS -- For all the yardage and points the St. Louis Rams have put up during the Mike Martz era of offensive football, they've always been viewed as one of the softer teams in the league, a pretty point-machine that didn't have the toughness to pound the ball when it needed to do so.

                  When you finish a season ranked 29th in the league in rushing, which the Rams did in 2004, that's a hard reputation to shake.

                  Steven Jackson rushed for 673 yards on just 134 attempts last season. (Getty Images)
                  Steven Jackson rushed for 673 yards on just 134 attempts last season. (Getty Images)
                  That is about to change.

                  Martz still prefers the pass -- and for that he is to be saluted -- but there are 231 reasons why he's about to lean more about the power running game than at any time in his tenure with the team. That number 231 is the weight for starting running back Steven Jackson, who takes over in that role from veteran Marshall Faulk.

                  Faulk is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he will get there with an amazing cutting ability and speed that allowed him to turn what should have been a 12-yard run into a 70-yard touchdown.

                  Jackson is all about power, which is something the Rams haven't had in their backfield since the Jerome Bettis days.

                  Finesse is about to go bye-bye.

                  "He brings the power," Rams receiver Torry Holt said. "He's a hard, tough back. He's like Eddie George with more speed and burst. He brings another air of toughness to our side of the ball."

                  Looking at Jackson, it's clear he's going to be a heck of a tough runner to tackle for opposing defenses. At 6-2, he is thick and looks even bigger than his listed height and weight. Thinking of him coming at you full speed isn't a soothing thought.
                  St. Louis Rams
                  Out of Nowhere Man
                  DB Corey Ivy
                  When the Rams brought Corey Ivy into camp, they weren't too sure he'd make their team. As it turns out, he might be their nickel back. He has made a lot of plays in camp, and has been one of the pleasant surprises. At 5-8, he's spent six years in the league without much fanfare, playing for New England and Tampa Bay. He doesn't have a career interception, but that may change in 2005.
                  Five things you should know

                  As a rookie last season, he showed the toughness to run inside, but he also showed the burst to rip off the long runs. Martz stuck with Faulk as his starter -- some said it was because he has a soft spot in his heart when it comes to Faulk -- but eventually Jackson became the starter before knee problems...
                  -09-05-2005, 04:24 PM
                • RamWraith
                  Rams' Jackson has been this way before
                  by RamWraith
                  The running back was successful in following Ken Simonton at OSU; now he is replacing Marshall Faulk
                  Friday, August 19, 2005
                  RACHEL BACHMAN
                  To get an idea of how Steven Jackson will handle taking over for rushing legend Marshall Faulk this season, St. Louis Rams fans need only read Oregon State football history.

                  In 2002, Jackson handled the starting tailback job on the heels of Ken Simonton, the Beavers' career rushing leader with 5,044 yards. So what did Jackson do in the shadow of such a legacy?

                  He set Oregon State's single-season rushing record, with 1,690 yards.

                  "So the same steps that I'm walking now, I've already walked," Jackson said in a telephone interview. "It's no pressure. I feel like I've been through this, and I have something I can look back on and see how things worked out for me."

                  Life, Jackson said, is good. In July, he held a free football camp at his high school, Las Vegas' Eldorado, for 125 kids. Also in the offseason, the Rams installed FieldTurf at the Edward Jones Dome -- good news for Jackson's knee, which suffered a partially torn ligament and bruise on the dome's Astroturf last season.

                  To top it off, Jackson, the No. 24 pick in the 2004 draft, was named the Rams' starter in the offseason. Not bad for a guy who turned 22 last month.

                  "It's special," Jackson said. "Coming into the NFL, everyone dreams of not only getting there, but once you get there, wanting to be a starter. So I'm happy that it happened as soon as it did for me. It helped me prepare this offseason knowing I was going to be the starter, not to have to look over my shoulders. . . .

                  "I really feel like now I'm starting to live out my dream."

                  Jackson shared duties with Faulk last season, running for 673 yards to Faulk's 774. Jackson started three of the Rams' 16 regular-season games and played in both playoff games.

                  But now the starting position is Jackson's, along with the attention that goes with the title. Jackson said fans greeted him warmly last season.

                  He said no fan had gotten particularly crazy in his or her devotion, but "I had a couple of fans offer to cook dinner and invite me over," he said. "That's something I can't do, though."

                  Jackson said Faulk, who has gained almost 12,000 yards in 11 seasons, has not had a problem with his replacement.

                  "Marshall's not that kind of guy," Jackson said. "He understands that the game's going to go on. He's so advanced and so smart with things that he wants to pass the knowledge down to me so that one day I'll be able to do the same thing for another young guy."

                  Faulk's best advice to Jackson? Be yourself.

                  "Don't go out of my way trying to do things that he does, because we're two...
                  -08-19-2005, 01:57 PM
                • RamWraith
                  Camp tour: Rams' tough Jackson takes torch from aging Faulk
                  by RamWraith
                  Aug. 27, 2005
                  By Pete Prisco
                  CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer



                  ST. LOUIS -- For all the yardage and points the St. Louis Rams have put up during the Mike Martz era of offensive football, they've always been viewed as one of the softer teams in the league, a pretty point-machine that didn't have the toughness to pound the ball when it needed to do so.
                  When you finish a season ranked 29th in the league in rushing, which the Rams did in 2004, that's a hard reputation to shake.

                  That is about to change.

                  Martz still prefers the pass -- and for that he is to be saluted -- but there are 231 reasons why he's about to lean more about the power running game than at any time in his tenure with the team. That number 231 is the weight for starting running back Steven Jackson, who takes over in that role from veteran Marshall Faulk.

                  Faulk is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he will get there with an amazing cutting ability and speed that allowed him to turn what should have been a 12-yard run into a 70-yard touchdown.

                  Jackson is all about power, which is something the Rams haven't had in their backfield since the Jerome Bettis days.

                  Finesse is about to go bye-bye.

                  "He brings the power," Rams receiver Torry Holt said. "He's a hard, tough back. He's like Eddie George with more speed and burst. He brings another air of toughness to our side of the ball."

                  Looking at Jackson, it's clear he's going to be a heck of a tough runner to tackle for opposing defenses. At 6-2, he is thick and looks even bigger than his listed height and weight. Thinking of him coming at you full speed isn't a soothing thought.

                  St. Louis Rams
                  Out of Nowhere Man
                  DB Corey Ivey
                  When the Rams brought Corey Ivey into camp, they weren't too sure he'd make their team. As it turns out, he might be their nickel back. He has made a lot of plays in camp, and has been one of the pleasant surprises. At 5-8, he's spent six years in the league without much fanfare, playing for New England and Tampa Bay. He doesn't have a career interception, but that may change in 2005.

                  As a rookie last season, he showed the toughness to run inside, but he also showed the burst to rip off the long runs. Martz stuck with Faulk as his starter -- some said it was because he has a soft spot in his heart when it comes to Faulk -- but eventually Jackson became the starter before knee problems limited him late in the season.

                  Martz officially named him the starter in the spring -- Jackson learned about it while watching television from his home in Las Vegas -- but Jackson said the transition was made last season.

                  "The transition took place long before you guys knew it," Jackson said. "Look at the game last year. I was playing...
                  -08-27-2005, 09:14 PM
                • general counsel
                  Dissapointment with steven jackson
                  by general counsel
                  I am disappointed with steven jackson, especially the mental errors. I recognize that he is very young and that the blocking has been spotty. I am not suggesting he has been lousy, only that he has not lived up to my hopes and expectations for this year.

                  I dont see him breaking tackles at the line of scrimmage. I dont see him cutting back effectively in the hole. I see a guy who when he gets the first block and can get past the line with some space does some major damage in the secondary and who certainly runs hard, but i dont see a guy that looks like he can carry a team on his back or even close to it.

                  I see passes hit him in the hands in the flat that he drops. I see fumbles. I see a horrible flip to mcdonald on the play at the goal line.

                  I see faulk cutting back through the holes MUCH faster than jackson and running almost as hard. I am not saying that faulk should be the starter, but am suggesting that jackson has a LONG LONG way to go before someone compares him to marshall faulk.

                  I realize jackson and faulk are different kinds of backs, but i just dont see jacksons speed until he gets into space. I see a LOT of running sideways and not cutting up the field quickly enough. Watch faulk dart in and out of space, and that is at age 32!

                  any thoughts from the group?

                  Ramming speed to all

                  general counsel
                  -10-07-2005, 12:53 PM
                Working...
                X