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Jackson: ‘no excuse’ for two lost fumbles

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  • Jackson: ‘no excuse’ for two lost fumbles

    By Bill Coats
    Monday, Dec. 08 2008
    GLENDALE, ARIZ. — Late Sunday evening in Henderson, Nev., Steve Jackson
    received his weekly phone call from his son. Rams running back Steven Jackson
    knew what he'd hear even before he dialed the number.

    "He'll tell me to keep my head up, but make sure that I take care of the ball,"
    he said. "That's what a running back has to do."

    Fumbling is a rare offense by Jackson, but he lost two in the third quarter
    Sunday that contributed to Arizona's NFC West-clinching 34-10 victory.

    Trailing 20-7, the Rams were driving to make it a one-score deficit when
    Jackson coughed up the ball, with linebacker Karlos Dansby recovering at the
    Cardinals' 22-yard line. On the Rams' next series, defensive tackle Darnell
    Dockett scooped up another Jackson bobble and ran 11 yards for a touchdown that
    made it 27-7.

    Linebacker Gerald Hayes, who forced both fumbles, said, "When I looked back and
    saw Dockett was going to score, it was like a sigh of relief. You make one play
    and then it turns into an even bigger play."

    Playing on an improving right leg, Jackson rolled up 48 yards on eight carries
    in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. "I was really excited
    coming into the game, knowing that the leg was starting to feel really good,"
    said Jackson, who had come back the previous week after missing four games and
    most of a fifth with a strained thigh muscle.

    "Steven's a monster," said Adam Goldberg, who started at right tackle. "It's an
    honor to block for him, because you know that he'll pound out the tough yards
    and he'll work just as hard and play just as physically as you do up front."

    The Cardinals are 10th in the NFL in total defense, and Jackson rarely had much
    room to operate. "I knew it was going to be a tough game," he said. "They have
    a defense that's really physical."

    In addition to a strong and active front seven, the Big Red secondary is stout
    against the run, Jackson pointed out. "Their corners do a good job of keeping
    containment and forcing the run to stay within the tackles," he said. "And
    their linebackers and their safeties do a good job with gap protections."

    Jackson finished with 64 yards on 19 carries.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger has been sacked just once in the last two games, and
    it's no coincidence, wide receiver Dane Looker stressed.

    Jackson's presence "poses a threat for the defense," Looker said. "They really
    have to make sure that they stop the run. ... A good running game opens up
    everything else in the offense."

    With the Rams down 20 points after three quarters, Jackson's impact was
    lessened in the fourth: 20 of the Rams' final 24 snaps were pass plays.

    "He made some incredible runs early on," Bulger said. "And then, again, you get
    behind and you kind of take him out of the game because you've got to start
    throwing the ball."

    The two lost fumbles played a big role in forcing the Rams into that untenable
    situation, Jackson acknowledged.

    "I was trying to make things happen. But that's still Football 101 for running
    backs: protect the ball," he said. "I was fighting for extra yards and the ball
    slipped out. There's really no excuse."

    Steve Jackson, a retired Marine who served in Vietnam, is a source of "wisdom
    and knowledge," his son said. "When times are really tough like this, I have a
    tendency to get really down. Sometimes I just need that fatherly advice. He'll
    point the good things out, and he'll definitely point the bad things out. ...

    "He keeps it honest with me, but he makes sure that I don't let it affect the
    rest of my play."

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Jackson likes running he ball any chance he gets
    by RamWraith
    Martz and Bulger agree on putting ball in his hands

    ST. LOUIS - After scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the St. Louis Rams' 17-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, running back Steven Jackson got down on one knee in the end zone and acted like he was rolling dice.

    "That's my signature now," Jackson said. "Vegas, baby."

    Jackson is a native of Las Vegas. His father is a retired pit boss at the MGM Grand hotel.

    Despite growing up in a gambling Mecca, Jackson isn't a big advocate of gambling.

    "I am not a big gambler at all," Jackson said. "I learned over the years to stay away from that. Keep your money, kids, in the bank account."

    Jackson has rushed 153 yards on 37 carries this season as the Rams' No. 1 running back.

    Admittedly, Jackson would like to carry the ball more, but he figures he'll be toting the ball more often as the season progresses.

    "It's a long season, so I'm not going to push or campaign for carries just yet, and I know as long as we are winning, I won't complain at all," Jackson said.

    Rams coach Mike Martz called for Jackson to run the ball on five of the Rams' final eight offensive plays against the Cardinals.

    "In situations where you are up and you only have a touchdown lead and your trying to keep them off the field, that's what any coach would do, run the ball," Jackson said. "Hopefully, we can do that better."

    Martz said he truly wants to get the ball in Jackson's hands more often, especially late in games when they are trying to protect a lead.

    "We're trying to make a real effort to get him the ball," Martz said. "We feel like giving him the ball, we can win the game."

    Jackson said his perfect game would include 25 carries for 130-plus yards and a couple of touchdowns.

    Asked whether he'd like to get 40 carries in a game, Jackson said, "No, no, that's too much. Twenty-five carries is an ideal day for Steven. I'll also take a couple of screens."

    Jackson caught two passes for 16 yards against the Cardinals. He had a 35-yard gain on a screen pass called back on a questionable holding call against wide receiver Torry Holt.

    Jackson jokingly chided Holt about the penalty.

    "It was fortunate it came back," Jackson said. "I told him good thing it's not a run."

    Holt said if Jackson has success, it will make things easier for the Rams' passing attack.

    "We feel that if we can establish that run game, a dominance up front with Steven coming out of the backfield with the way he is feeling and the way he is running the football, that is just going to open things up for everybody," Holt...
    -09-24-2005, 04:12 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson hauls larger load
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Monday, Sep. 24 2007

    TAMPA, FLA. — There was no sideline tirade this week by Steven Jackson. Chances
    are, he was too weary to raise a ruckus.

    A week after noisily venting his frustration near the close of a one-point loss
    to San Francisco — and later apologizing to his teammates — Jackson was
    unleashed Sunday against Tampa Bay.

    Jackson carried 30 times for 115 yards and caught four passes for 18 yards. But
    in the end, little changed for the woebegone Rams. Again, their offense fizzled
    with the end zone in sight, and they limped home toting a punchless 24-3 loss
    and a feckless 0-3 record.

    "(Jackson) ran hard," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "The first half he was
    getting a ton of touches, and that was good to see, because as the game goes on
    he gets stronger. It was working. Unfortunately, we still couldn't put it in
    the end zone."

    Jackson led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2006, averaging 145.9 per game
    rushing and receiving.

    But in the first two games this year, he'd produced a meager 157 yards total;
    that ranked 38th in the league. He was shackled partly because the coaches
    called twice as many pass plays as runs.

    It was different vs. the Bucs: Of 61 Rams plays, 34 — or 55 percent — were

    "That was a huge emphasis," center Brett Romberg said. "Steven Jackson is one
    of the prime backs in this league, and to have him have nowhere near what he
    wanted to have, it's pretty embarrassing on our part."

    Said Jackson: "We kind of figured we were going to be able to pound the ball on
    them, go up and down the field. And in the red zone, we wanted to be able to
    execute. That's where we came up short."

    The Rams ventured inside the Bucs' 20-yard line twice. The first trip ended
    with an interception in the end zone; the second resulted in a field goal. For
    the season, the Rams have produced just two touchdowns in eight red-zone tries.

    What's the problem? "I don't know, but it's not from lack of trying," Bulger
    said. "We're trying as hard as we can, but ... trying only gets you so far.
    Maybe in high school or grade school it works. But in the NFL, it's about
    productivity, and we're not getting it done."

    Nobody in the dreary visitors' locker room, however, was questioning Jackson's
    effort. "He's really a delight to block for, because he'll make the most out of
    everything," said tackle Adam Goldberg. "It's nice to have No. 39 behind you."

    Even nicer would be to put a few touchdowns on the scoreboard.

    "You've just got to show your character...
    -09-24-2007, 04:59 AM
  • 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, 05:11 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson runs for 148 yards in his return
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Dec. 28 2004

    This time, Steven Jackson did play.

    The Rams' rookie running back took a handoff from quarterback Marc Bulger on
    the second play of the game Monday night and ripped off a 28-yard gain around
    left end. And that was just the beginning.

    Jackson, the team's first-round draft pick in April, carried six times on the
    Rams' opening possession, picking up 46 yards on their 10-play, 73-yard drive
    for a 7-0 lead against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Edward Jones Dome.
    Jackson scored on a 5-yard run.

    By halftime, Jackson already had moved into triple figures, rushing for 114
    yards on 13 carries.

    Jackson finished with 148 yards on 24 attempts in the Rams' 20-7 victory. He
    left midway through the fourth quarter after reinjuring his right knee. Coach
    Mike Martz said Jackson had suffered a bone bruise and would have an MRI today.

    "It was a statement game," Jackson said. "I hadn't had a chance to be out there
    in two weeks, so it was a big statement. I wanted to make up for lost time."

    Turn back the calendar a week. There was Jackson, recovered from the bruised
    knee that kept him out Dec. 12 at Carolina, on the sideline at Sun Devil
    Stadium. Marshall Faulk started, and Jackson waited for his chance.

    And waited ... and waited ... and waited ...

    When the game ended, Arizona had steamrolled the Rams 31-7. And Jackson hadn't
    played a down. This, against a Cardinals outfit that ranked near the bottom of
    the league in run defense.

    Work in Faulk's ineffectiveness - he gained only 22 yards on 10 carries - and
    Jackson's absence seemed even more puzzling. The final chapter in this bizarre
    saga was added by Martz, who said after the game - and repeated again Monday -
    that he hadn't realized during the action that Jackson didn't move off the

    This time, Jackson got most of the workload in the backfield, as the Rams
    gashed the Eagles for a season-high 209 yards on the ground. He had career
    highs in carries and yards, and averaged a whopping 6.2 yards an attempt.

    "We wanted to come out and run the ball," Jackson said. "We haven't done it too
    much this season. Once we got off to a fast start, we knew it was something we
    wanted to keep on doing."

    The emphasis on the run game at the outset "was important, because we got into
    a rhythm," tackle Orlando Pace said. "We had some success with the running
    plays, and it got the ball rolling for us."

    As for his individual performance - especially after missing the last two games
    - Jackson said:...
    -12-28-2004, 04:34 PM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson sets new standard
    by RamWraith
    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...
    -11-27-2006, 10:27 AM