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Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

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  • Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

    09.02.2009 1:16 pm
    Is Jackson among game’s elite RBs?

    By Roger Hensley

    QUESTION: It’s been three years since Steven Jackson totaled 2,300+ yards rushing and receiving back in 2006. Two injury-marred seasons later, does Jackson still belong in the discussion as one of the game’s top running backs?
    WIthout a doubt. Jackson levels the playing field for the Rams. He’s one of only three NFL running backs with at least four straight seasons of 1,000-yard rushing yards entering 2009. (The others: Thomas Jones of the New York Jets and LaDainan Tomlinson of San Diego.) Jackson just needs to stay healthy. In each of the past two seasons, he has missed four games entirely and most of a fifth because of injury.
    Here are the stats: over the past three seasons, Jackson is 5th in the NFL in rushing yards, 4th in yards from scrimmage. That’s a Top 5 running back. But Jackson’s star power has dropped, nationally, for a couple of reasons. Primarily it’s health and the perception that he misses a lot of time because of injuries. (He has missed games, but the same is true of most RBs; only four backs had more rushing attempts than Jackson from 2006-2008). But as former NFL personnel guy Michael Lombardi said at The National Football Post, Jackson is a blue-chip talent who doesn’t have blue-chip durability. Moreover, Jackson’s employer has been so hopelessly bad over the last couple of years, it’s lowered his profile. Other backs — such as Steve Slaton in Houston — get more attention now. Jackson should reclaim that Top 5 status this season.
    No question that he does. Although he missed a total of eight games during 2007 and ’08, he topped 1,000 yards rushing both seasons and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. That’s only a bit off his ’06 pace of 4.4 yards per carry. Plus, he remained a receiving threat out of the backfield, with 78 catches. Jackson’s still the same guy; he just needs to stay healthy.
    A lot of top backs, like Jamal Lewis and Thomas Jones, are getting some miles on them. Others are having to share the load as more teams go with a two- or even a three-back arrangement. So, yes, Jackson is in the top six or seven RBs in the league. Despite his injuries he has stacked up 1,000-yard seasons. He is also one of the elite pass-catching backs in the NFL. He may never meet the expectations fans have for him, but he’s still superior to all but a few backs in the league.
    When healthy, Jackson certainly does belong in the conversation of the game’s top backs. He’s big, fast, strong and elusive, and he is in the best shape of his life and in a new offense that will highlight those skills.
    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    Absolutely, yes. None of the injuries he’s dealt with have been the serious kind that saps a player of his abilities over time — no knee reconstructions or anything like that — and when healthy he’s the Rams player other teams scheme against. He’s still big and he’s still fast so if the Rams line can open up some holes for him he’s going to have a monster season in ’09. To me the only concern with Jackson is whether or not the players around him will be good enough to give him a chance to post big numbers. He’s one of the Top 5 running backs in the NFL.
    One of the game’s better running backs? Sure. One of the games elite? I’m not so sure. I can think of at least a handful of runners that I’d rather have on my team than Steven Jackson. That list would include: Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams and perhaps even Maurice Jones-Drew. And if you’re talking about this season only, I might even take old-timers like LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook over Jackson. If the question were is Jackson one of the game’s most-talented running backs, that would change my answer. I believe he is that. But his inability to stay on the field the past two seasons has to knock him down a few pegs in my book.

  • #2
    Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

    Hensley sounds like a Jackson basher, or he doesn't know the meaning of the word "elite". He'd take Matt Forte over Jackson? They had nearly the same numbers last year with the exception of games played. Forte took 16 games to do what Jackson did in 12.

    I'd put Peterson ahead of Jackson, although I think Jackson is the better all-around back. If Jackson stays healthy this year, I would expect my ranking to switch.


    • #3
      Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

      Considering what Jax has had to run behind for the last couple of years I would say he is in the elite catagory. The yards he gets are "tough" yards for sure, not sure I would put him ahead of AP but he is a solid 2nd in my book for sure.


      • #4
        Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

        Originally posted by makersncoke View Post
        Considering what Jax has had to run behind for the last couple of years I would say he is in the elite catagory. The yards he gets are "tough" yards for sure, not sure I would put him ahead of AP but he is a solid 2nd in my book for sure.
        I agree with you totally. With the OL he's been running behind, he earned every yard he got.


        • #5
          Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

          i too agree with what makersncoke says..

          all other top tier Running backs have played behind a superior O-line than ours and even with AP its hard to say if he`s actually better than SJ because he has the greatest guard in the NFL to open up lanes for him...only Forte has played behind a line anyway near as bad as ours has been and lets see how good he is in 4 years time if he`s still playing behind that poor line..all the others have good lines and in just about all cases atleast 1 top tier O-lineman to run behind.

          this season SJ should have an O-line atleast a lil bit closer to the standard of the other O-lines the other top RB`s have played their entire careers lets just money is on him having the best season of his career to date.


          • #6
            Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

            to me Adrian, then Jackson. But if our O-line gel's and become's stout, Uh oh watch out everyone.


            • #7
              Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

              He does deserve to be among the elite. He's performed above and beyond for a mediocre team. The only nick to the armor is his blitz pickups.


              • #8
                Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                He did have the most yards from scrimmage per game last year. I would take a healthy Steven Jackson over any back in the league.


                • #9
                  Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                  Matt Forte over S Jax LOL.


                  • #10
                    Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                    Personally, I like shifty backs that are under 6' tall. Teams with RB's that look like linebackers, like Steven Jackson, Willis Magahee, Marshon Lynch, Lawrence Maroney, etc... typically need a third down type back on the roster as well, whereas LT, AP, Michael Turner, (Marshall, Barry Sanders) etc... are ALL down backs and more versatile. I think those are the one's that become elite.

                    Was Bettis Elite?

                    Jackson and Avery are probably the only 2 offensive players that any other team would be interested in, but not sure he's earned any Elite status based on his performance to date.


                    • #11
                      Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                      Peterson thus far is far from an every-down back. Don't think I'd use Turner as an example either

                      Funny to see Sjax grouped with McGahee, Maroney

                      Safe to say, I disagree.

                      Top 'all-around' backs (in my opinion) in no order:
                      LT, SJax, Portis, Westbrook (healthy)

                      -Everyone else
                      Last edited by Guest; -09-03-2009, 05:33 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                        Originally posted by renrawtruk View Post
                        Personally, I like shifty backs that are under 6' tall. Teams with RB's that look like linebackers, like Steven Jackson, Willis Magahee, Marshon Lynch, Lawrence Maroney, etc... typically need a third down type back on the roster as well, whereas LT, AP, Michael Turner, (Marshall, Barry Sanders) etc... are ALL down backs and more versatile. I think those are the one's that become elite.

                        Was Bettis Elite?

                        Jackson and Avery are probably the only 2 offensive players that any other team would be interested in, but not sure he's earned any Elite status based on his performance to date.
                        AP and Michael Turner aren't 3rd down backs. Chester Taylor and Jerious Norwood go in for them on 3rd downs where Steven Jackson had 90 catches in 2006. I would also say that Jackson putting up the 5th most yards from scrimmage in NFL history and leading the league in that statistic in 2006 is enough to put him in elite status.


                        • #13
                          Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                          Originally posted by renrawtruk View Post
                          Personally, I like shifty backs that are under 6' tall. Teams with RB's that look like linebackers, like Steven Jackson, Willis Magahee, Marshon Lynch, Lawrence Maroney, etc... typically need a third down type back on the roster as well, whereas LT, AP, Michael Turner, (Marshall, Barry Sanders) etc... are ALL down backs and more versatile. I think those are the one's that become elite.
                          See, I would argue that there's a middle ground there. You've got plenty of "shifty" backs who come out in short yardage situations because they don't have power. Even Tiki Barber--a very good example of this type of player--was paired early in his career with Ron Dayne and later with Brandon Jacobs. Then you've got some "power" backs who come out on third downs either because they can't catch or they lack top end speed. And then you've got some who have a rare blend of both speed and power that would qualify in your "ALL down" back category. I would suggest that Larry Johnson and arguably Adrian Peterson--both 6'1"--would fall into this category alongside Steven Jackson.


                          • #14
                            Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                            I don't think there's anything lacking in SJ that a 16 game season behind a stable O-line won't cure.

                            I watched some of those youtube videos of the '06 games. His best year to date & he doesn't look anything like as good as he did in the last few games of '08. He now runs lower to the ground,just punishing defenders violently, and is noticeably bigger but still astonishingly fast. Watching him turn the corner on an outside run is like watching Bolt run the bend in a 200 meter race.


                            • #15
                              Re: Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                              Is Jackson among the NFL's Elite?

                              YES !
                              sigpic :ram::helmet:


                              Related Topics


                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Blog: Should The Rams Be Worried About Steven Jackson?
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Should the Rams be worried about Steven Jackson?
                                by VanRam on Nov 18, 2010

                                Don't be alarmed, yet, but St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson is having a rougher season than observers might have imagined.

                                Jackson has started in all 9 of the Rams' game this season. Through that time, he has 192 carries for 757 yards and 3 TDs. As a receiver, he has 25 catches for 236 yards and 0 TDs. Not bad numbers. However, he's averaging 3.9 yards per carry, the lowest total of his career. In 2008, he averaged 4.1 YPC, rushing for over a 1,000 yards in 11 starts.

                                Calculating Jackson's totals over a complete season, he's on pace for 1,345 yards, which would be his third highest total, less than last year's 1,400+ yards. More of a red flag for the Rams front office is Jackson's pace for total carries. Extrapolating his average attempts per game, 21.3, out over the rest of the season, Jackson is on pace for 341 attempts. That would be his second highest total. He had 346 carries in 2006, and then missed 4 games the next season with injury issues.

                                He's on pace for 45 receptions (third highest total), 419 yards (second highest), and has an average YPC of 9.4, a number consistent with his best YPC totals through the years.

                                That Jackson's rushing numbers have slowed from expectations as well as historical norms should concern fans and the team alike. In part, you can blame some weaknesses in run blocking this season, though Jackson's had to contend with lesser offensive lines than this one. FB Mike Karney is also having a down season, likely slowed by age and the physical nature of what he does. A renewed emphasis on the pass has changed the nature of the offense that used to only feature Jackson, but it's not as though Sam Bradford's passes are taking reps from Jackson.

                                The biggest concern is with Jackson himself and natural decline of players in his position who feature that physical style of running. Of course, he's been a one man show for the Rams offense over the years, which has accumulated in extra wear and tear. Injuries have kept Jackson off the field only once this season, when he left early with a groin injury in the Rams week 3 win over Washington. However, that groin injury bothered him for a few games following that one. He's had to contend with a broken hand since then as well. Neither injury has kept him on the bench, but they both raise big red flags about Jackson's health in the weeks ahead, not to mention the next season.

                                The most concerning sign of all might be the noticeable lack of lengthy runs Jackson has this season. He has just 4 runs of 20 yards or more. He had 12 in 15 games last season. Using more advanced stats, the Rams running game, i.e. Jackson, has an open field yardage number (runs 10 yards beyond the LOS) of just 0.54, the 23rd lowest in the league. Last season, that number was 0.88, the 11th ranked in the league.
                                -11-18-2010, 11:54 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Steven Jackson is hitting his stride
                                by RamWraith
                                By Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                Steven Jackson has a number in mind, but he's not telling. At least not now.

                                "When I hit it, I'll let you know," Jackson said last week. "I promise, I'll let you know."

                                Those remarks were made prior to last Sunday's Rams game against Arizona, when Jackson topped 1,000 yards rushing for the second year in a row. Jackson enters Monday night's game against Chicago with 1,028 rushing yards. But that's not the magic number, either.

                                "I'm not at that number yet," Jackson said. "But it's an even number, and hopefully by Week 17 we'll be there."

                                Jackson may never make Rams fans forget Marshall Faulk. But with four games to play, he's putting up Faulk-like numbers. Jackson is on pace for 1,371 yards, which would be just 11 yards shy of Faulk's career-high 1,382 rushing yards for the Rams in 2001.

                                Throw in Jackson's receiving yards, and he's on pace for 2,200 yards from scrimmage, a total Faulk surpassed only once in St. Louis with his NFL-record 2,429 yards from scrimmage in 1999.

                                Safety Corey Chavous has played with and against some top flight running backs in nine NFL seasons with Arizona, Minnesota, and now the Rams. He ranks Jackson with the top backs in the game today.

                                "He is, in my opinion, one of the top three running backs in professional football, if not the top back," Chavous said. "When you start looking at his numbers, and what he's been able to do."

                                By the numbers, Jackson deserves to be mentioned among the game's elite backs this season. He ranks third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,650); sixth in rushing yards; is tied for third in first downs gained (77); and is tied for third in receptions (72).

                                Short yardage, you say? Jackson and Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants share the league lead with 10 first downs on third-and-1.

                                The only category where Jackson falls short of elite backs such as San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Kansas City's Larry Johnson is touchdowns. Jackson has scored a modest six times this season, well short of Tomlinson's 26 or Johnson's 15.

                                The biggest surprise with Jackson in 2006 has been his pass catching. He's on track for 96 catches, which would break Faulk's franchise record for catches by a running back — 87 — set in 1999.

                                "I don't know if it's a surprise," coach Scott Linehan said. "It's kind of an untapped resource that I think has been utilized based on him playing full time now. He's taking full advantage of it."

                                In terms of receptions, Jackson and Torry Holt form the top receiving tandem in the NFL, with 142 catches between them.

                                "I approached this year knowing that I'm going to be the guy,"...
                                -12-08-2006, 01:35 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Hadley on Jackson
                                by RamWraith
                                Friday, November 10, 2006
                                JACKSON DESERVING OF KUDOS

                                GIVE 39 HIS PROPS

                                Steven Jackson has elevated his game in ‘06...

                                I’ve never hidden my disdain for the actions of Steve Jackson during the 2005 season and during the offseason.

                                Jackson basically sold-out some teammates, and coaches last season. Jackson failed to run with authority refusing to look in the mirror.

                                Simply stated, from a personal standpoint… I have no respect for Jackson.

                                From a professional standpoint… I applaud the effort of Steven Jackson this season.

                                Jackson has moved upwardly in virtually every aspect of his role as the lead running back.

                                Prior to the season on The Big 550 (KTRS), I stated that Jackson had “talk the talk without walking the walk.”

                                In the first eight games of this season… he’s walkin’ miles ahead of his talkin’.

                                Forget the traditional numbers… allow me to present more focused, detailed and in some cases much more pertinent numbers.

                                The following facts and stats illustrate how Jackson has significantly increased his performance in key situations:

                                THE LAST 10...

                                Justly, many fans and analysts (including moi) chided Jackson for his lack of efficiency in the red zone and more important from the opposing 10-yard line to the goal line. His performance last season and in the first three-plus games this season demanded perplexity. In 2006, Jackson’s first eight touches inside the opposing 10-yard line resulted in a total of negative two yards… that’s right eight touches for a negative two yards. Since that point, he has been a legit factor bordering on dominate prior to a fumble this past weekend.

                                *Jackson has scored a touchdown from inside the opposition 10-yard line in four of the last five games.

                                *Jackson has 14 straight touches without a negative play inside the opposing 10-yard line.

                                *He has gained 50 percent or more of the yardage necessary for pay dirt six times his last 12 touches inside the opposing 10-yard line.

                                *He has gained, collectively, 74 percent of the necessary yardage for pay dirt over his last 12 touches inside the opposing 10-yard line.

                                Conclusion: Jackson has become a legit factor when the Rams penetrate deep into opposing territory. A key has been the fact that the play-calling diversified. The coaching staff ran Jackson “right” his first six carries inside the opposing 10-yard line (and eight of 10). Since that point, he has run up the gut three times, ran left three times, ran once to the right in addition to catching three passes. Simply stated, improved effort by Jackson and creative play-calling has equated into success.

                                THE FIRST 19...

                                The most underrated barometer for analyzing power runners is performance efficiency deep in...
                                -11-11-2006, 06:22 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Thomas: Jackson Closing In On 1,000 Yards Again
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Jackson closing in on 1,000 yards again

                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                Friday, December 16, 2011

                                With 105 yards rushing Sunday against visiting Cincinnati, Steven Jackson would reach 1,000 yards for the season. At first, Jackson tried to downplay the feat at his regular Thursday media session.

                                "It'll be nice to eclipse that," Jackson said. "But first things first. We've got to make sure that we execute the offense and get us in the flow of things. I'm pretty sure they'll be determined to stop the run."

                                But reaching 1,000 yards in 2011 isn't really the story of what Jackson could accomplish against the Bengals. It's the fact that it would make it seven consecutive 1,000 yard seasons for Jackson. When that milestone was mentioned, Jackson went from somewhat disinterested to NFL historian.

                                "Only five others have done it," Jackson volunteered, with a measure of pride.

                                Close, but actually it's six other players who have seven or more consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards rushing. And what a list it is: Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, and Eric Dickerson are all in the Hall of Fame; Curtis Martin is retired and became Hall of Fame eligible last year; LaDainian Tomlinson is still playing but is all but a Hall of Fame lock.

                                "It's a special group to be a part of," Jackson said. "I think it shows that not only are you productive but you can sustain it season after season. I'm pretty sure those guys have played through injuries. It just marks that you're a tough guy, a gritty guy that a franchise can hang their hat on."

                                So on a Sunday when former Rams great Marshall Faulk will be honored for his Hall of Fame induction and will be added to the Ring of Honor at the Edward Jones Dome, Jackson could achieve an impressive career milestone.

                                Getting to 105 yards rushing Sunday won't be easy for Jackson, because the Bengals have a fast, snarling defense. Although they've struggled some lately, the Bengals still rank seventh in the league in run defense.

                                "Very aggressive — that's what sticks out," Jackson said. "They have multiple looks where their secondary will be blitzing from different depths. And their linebackers are downhill and play with intimidation."

                                No doubt Jackson would trade yards for more victories. As he completes his eighth season in the NFL — all spent with the Rams — Jackson has never experienced a winning season. The best he has done is 8-8 in 2004 and 2006. The only playoff games for him came as a rookie in '04, when he shared time with Faulk in the backfield and the Rams squeaked into the postseason as a wildcard.

                                As his career has unfolded, surely Jackson has asked himself: Why did I have to be here at this time, with all this losing?

                                "That was a question I asked myself maybe...
                                -12-16-2011, 02:03 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Pasquarelli on S. Jackson...
                                by MauiRam

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

                                By Len Pasquarelli

                                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, 09:56 AM