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  • St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

    St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson makes his mark

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/04/2009

    A day later than usual because of the bye week, the Rams looked at game film of Sunday's 17-10 triumph over Detroit. Take it from center Jason Brown, when it came to watching running back Steven Jackson, it was like watching a video game.

    "You know on video games where they have the special moves?" Brown said. "You can hit the 'turbo' button. You can hit the 'spin' button. You can hit the 'juke' button. Well, Steven has all of those buttons. And when you think that that juice is about to run out, he will continue to surprise you."

    Jackson had 149 yards worth of surprises against the Lions, the last 25 of which came on the game-winning touchdown at Ford Field. With the help of his blockers, Jackson was a human video game against Detroit. And Brown missed one button in his description: the "bam" button. Jackson bounced off tacklers like a pinball or ran over them.

    "Seventeen games is a long time," Jackson said, referring to the Rams' losing streak before Sunday's victory. "And that game was too close to let get away. I was willing to just give my all. If I would have fell down in that end zone, it would've been worth it. I was willing to give everything I had to make sure we won the game."

    Brown says quarterback Marc Bulger helped stoke that competitive fire in the huddle at the start of that game-winning drive.

    "It started with Bulger," Brown said. "He was stroking Steven's ego a little out there. He said, 'Hey guys, you've got the best running back in the league. You all do your job, he's definitely going to do his job.'

    "And you know what? That last drive we just kept pounding the rock."

    These days, few in the NFL pound the rock as well as Jackson. At the midpoint of the 2009 season, he's tied for the NFC rushing lead with Minnesota's Adrian Peterson with 784 yards. And he's tied for second overall in the NFL, trailing only Tennessee's Chris Johnson, who has 824 yards.

    Add his 186 receiving yards, and Jackson trails Peterson by a scant 3 yards — 973 to 970 — for the NFL lead in yards from scrimmage. There can be no doubting that he's at or near the top of the NFL pecking order at running back.

    "He's a premier back," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

    Even in the throes of a 1-7 season in St. Louis, Jackson seems to be earning respect nationwide. One such sign came at halftime of "Monday Night Football," when ESPN's Chris Berman awarded Jackson his weekly "game ball."

    It's not as if getting a "game ball" from a studio host equates to a lifetime achievement award. But it did show that on a weekend full of highlights and big performances around the NFL, Jackson's work is being duly noted.

    "It's meaningful," Jackson said. "But we still have a lot of work to do around here. We want to be a winning organization. We don't want to get kudos sparingly. We want that to continue to happen week in and week out. And not only focus on what we're doing as an individual; we want to focus as a team. Because we have some talented guys around here. We've just got to grow up. We're a team that's learning how to win."

    Jackson, at 26, has done some growing up himself. With so many new faces on the roster this season, and so many old leaders gone, Jackson wanted to show he was a leader in 2009. His leadership resonates throughout the locker room.

    "He's a guy that I've always had a lot of respect for," tight end Daniel Fells said. "I know as a team, we look up to him. He is the leader of this team."

    That leadership shows itself in many ways:

    — In Jackson's frequent compliments directed toward the offensive line or fullback Mike Karney.

    — In the way he bought in to the Spagnuolo regime from its first day.

    — In his refusal to complain about or criticize the state of affairs at Rams Park in the midst of an agonizing 0-7 start.

    "When you've played for five different men, you get tired of starting over," Jackson said. "So I'm kind of at the point now where we're going to make this work. And we're going to make it work now. ... I'm welcoming the challenge of helping to turn this organization around."

    The five men Jackson was referring to are former Rams head coaches Mike Martz and Scott Linehan, interim head coaches Joe Vitt and Jim Haslett, and Spagnuolo.

    But even Jackson concedes there are times when the less mature side of him wants to come out, like during his sideline conversation with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur late in the third quarter in Detroit.

    "Well, that was the old classic — I guess, the younger Steven," Jackson said, laughing. "Not speaking third person, but I just told him don't forget I was in the backfield."

    Shurmur didn't. Neither did the Lions.

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

    Brown says quarterback Marc Bulger helped stoke that competitive fire in the huddle at the start of that game-winning drive.

    "It started with Bulger," Brown said. "He was stroking Steven's ego a little out there. He said, 'Hey guys, you've got the best running back in the league. You all do your job, he's definitely going to do his job.'

    "And you know what? That last drive we just kept pounding the rock."
    What do you know, inspiring leadership on the field of play, without any yelling or screaming.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

      Wait...I thought you had to throw chairs to be a leader?
      "I've been saving the Universe for over a thousand years. I figure it owes me just this once."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

        But even Jackson concedes there are times when the less mature side of him wants to come out, like during his sideline conversation with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur late in the third quarter in Detroit.

        "Well, that was the old classic — I guess, the younger Steven," Jackson said, laughing. "Not speaking third person, but I just told him don't forget I was in the backfield."

        Shurmur didn't. Neither did the Lions.
        Now sometimes players get criticised for demanding the ball, especially if they go about it the wrong way. But to be quite honest, someone had to go and say something to Shurmur about getting the ball in Jackson's hands. The amount of times we have got in the redzone and then used stupid pass happy tactics which have resulted in nothing is ridiculous. Just give it to Jackson and let him run over people.
        @EssexRam_

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post

          "Well, that was the old classic — I guess, the younger Steven," Jackson said, laughing. "Not speaking third person, but I just told him don't forget I was in the backfield."
          Funny, everyone on this board was screaming the same thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

            But even Jackson concedes there are times when the less mature side of him wants to come out, like during his sideline conversation with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur late in the third quarter in Detroit.

            "Well, that was the old classic — I guess, the younger Steven," Jackson said, laughing. "Not speaking third person, but I just told him don't forget I was in the backfield."

            Shurmur didn't. Neither did the Lions.
            What does this say about Shurmur? I just don't get a good feeling about him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson Makes His Mark

              Just dont forget you got the best rb in the nfl on your team...thats all im saying oc!

              Comment

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              • eldfan
                Steven Jackson Set To Carry St. Louis Rams Once Again
                by eldfan
                by Seth Boster Correspondent Written on June 24, 2010


                If you visit St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson's Web site, sj39.com, you can watch in wonder as Jackson leg presses 225 pounds 90 times in two minutes.

                In between all the snarls and winces of pain as his quads surely scorch, amidst the relentless beads of sweat that drop from his mean dreads to his brow, Jackson appears motivated.

                Motivated, probably because he knows every rep that he pounds out in the two-minute crunch is essential. Just like every minute, every carry, every catch, every block that is expected of Jackson from the Rams is essential. Jackson's performance is the team's only chance of improving on a one-win season.

                In St. Louis, the team really has no option but the 26-year-old Jackson, who has become the league's premier workhorse.

                In Jackson's breakout year of 2006, the Rams handed the ball to him 346 times, and relied on him plenty through the aerial assault. The result: the league leader in yards from scrimmage and the team's leader in receptions.

                Since then, Jackson has carried the ball a painful 814 times. Also, in the past three seasons Jackson has missed nine games because of nagging injuries.

                Bumps and bruises have followed Jackson throughout his career as he's taken a heavy workload. Without a stable offensive line to protect him, or a passing game to support him, or even a worthy backup to grant him a break, Jackson has been the primary focus for opposing defenses.

                Naturally, the Rams' finely-tuned machine has slowly been breaking down.

                Or at least that's what it seemed. Jackson has battled through pain and, just this past year, couldn't have shone brighter as the lone star in St. Louis.

                In 2009, Jackson played the final five of six games with a herniated disc in his back. He finished the season as the NFC's rushing leader, even after competing against eight- or nine-man boxes.

                Jackson carried his team past the Lions after posting 149 yards rushing and a TD in the team's only win of the season. He later became the Rams' all-time leader in rushing attempts.

                After a gutsy campaign, Jackson was given his second career Pro Bowl nod.

                "He's just a class guy," head coach Steve Spagnuolo told the media after his prized runner received the honor. "I always held him in that regard, that kind of caliber player."

                Currently, Jackson is en route to eclipsing another team record in rushing yards, needing 1,954 more. Most likely, that record is not part of Jackson's focus right now, though.

                It is summer and the months are heated by the drama that emanates from the NFL offseason.

                There are those players like Albert Haynesworth who are disgruntled even with the biggest jackpot of a contract.

                There...
                -06-26-2010, 12:30 AM
              • MauiRam
                NFL: Jackson is the ultimate decoy ..
                by MauiRam
                THE TELEGRAPH, ALTON, ILL. | RON CLEMENTS


                Dec. 03--ST. LOUIS -- Steven Jackson is willing to sacrifice some rushing yards for wins.

                "Absolutely," the Pro Bowl running back for the St. Louis Rams said Thursday. "At this point I understand that a lot of my role now is to keep a defense honest.

                "I'd love to get 100 yards and have a big game, but at the same time, if a defense is that focused on the running game, I think we come out with a win already."

                What's helped the Rams go from a 1-15 record last year to a 5-6 mark this season has been the play of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford . The former Heisman Trophy winner became the first person since Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson in 2007 to be named the NFL's offensive rookie of the month in two straight months.

                "Rookie MVP," Jackson said of Bradford. "He's putting together a nice season. We have a chance at the postseason, to win the division, and a lot of it has to do with his play."

                The Rams played just three games in November because of a bye week, but in those games, Bradford completed 79 of 121 passes for 792 yards with six touchdown passes and only one interception for a passer rating of 96.8. He also set an NFL rookie record of 169 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

                "When you have a quarterback that can execute, then (defenses) obviously have to be willing to defend the pass," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "Run and pass go hand-in-hand. Sam's success playing quarterback is a big key to having success, but we have to be able to run the football."

                Shurmur said last Sunday's 36-33 win over Denver was probably the most balanced the Rams offense has been this season. The Rams had 37 pass plays and 35 rush attempts.

                Jackson had just 72 yards on 29 carries, and average of only 2.5 yards per attempt. He has a 3.8 yards-per-carry average on the season. Shurmur said Jackson continues to run hard, but the offense needs to "do a better job of getting yardage" on the ground.

                Jackson doesn't mind being a decoy as long as it leads to points, citing a touchdown pass to a wide-open Billy Bajema against Denver as an example.

                "Last week the big play to Billy was a run-action and he was wide open," Jackson said. "You have those plays because of the respect of the running game."

                Jackson's 873 rushing yards rank 10th in the NFL. He said he is the "freshest" he's been in three years this late in the season. With only 117 yards to go, he'll have his sixth straight 1,000-yard season.

                "I'm a little off pace from where I want to be, personally, but I'm very proud of that," he said. "Thousand-yard seasons, no matter how they come, are very impressive."
                ...
                -12-04-2010, 01:11 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Burwell: Rams Fans Finally Can Appreciate Steven Jackson
                by r8rh8rmike
                Rams fans finally can appreciate Steven Jackson

                Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                11/04/2009

                On Tuesday afternoon as he went rummaging through the bottom of his locker room stall to find his shoes and socks, Steven Jackson really didn't look any different from how the big Pro Bowl running back has for most of his six years as a Ram: same long, flowing dreadlocks, same toothy smile, same oversized middle linebacker's body that has been tenderizing defenses on a weekly basis since he became this team's go-to offensive weapon.

                But there was something different.

                At long last, Steven Jackson seems to be accepted.

                "I think (the public) has had a chance to get to know me and I have had a chance to get to know them," Jackson said. "Some of the things I may say now might not take them aback as much as it would have in the past. I'm growing up too."

                The folks who used to hate him, who used to think he was either too flamboyant or too brash or too outspoken — but mostly just too ... too ... something — finally are on his side.

                The silly "trade him" talks have diminished to a whisper. They no longer want to measure him against Marshall Faulk. They don't want to pick him apart for not running hard enough (he always ran hard), or for holding out (he was justified), or for complaining about the bad music in the Dome (he was right) or the lukewarm support of the fans (right again). They have put all that aside.

                And all it took was a monster game against the Detroit Lions to finally close the deal and open their hesistant eyes and hearts.

                In one of the worst and most difficult years in Rams history — in a game that was considered to be potentially one of the most embarrassing to the franchise — Jackson was an intimidating, dominating force of nature in that 17-10 victory that ended a 17-game losing streak. It was his most impressive performance as a Ram, and not just because of the numbers — 149 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was the style and substance of what Jackson did that seems to have finally connected him to a public that has been reluctant to embrace him for any number of reasons.

                Jackson didn't talk his way into their hearts and minds.

                He ran his way in there.

                What made him so stunning on Sunday?

                For all those Jackson haters who kept saying he wasn't a tough inside runner, how's this for destroying that silly notion? After a lengthy film review of Sunday's game, it was determined that Jackson gained a staggering 125 yards after contact (the first hit by a defender). That means that Jackson averaged 5.6 yards rushing against the Lions after the first Detroit defender made contact with him.

                He kept slamming into people, pushing them back, stiff-arming them or just flat out...
                -11-04-2009, 12:15 AM
              • RamWraith
                Rams' Steven Jackson finishes with 1,000-yard season
                by RamWraith
                By Bill Coats
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                Monday, Dec. 29 2008

                ATLANTA — If the numbers that Rams running back Steven Jackson amassed Sunday
                were replicated throughout a 16-game season, the NFL record book would take a
                nasty beating.

                In a stirring 31-27 loss to the playoff-bound Atlanta Falcons, Jackson rushed
                for 161 yards; that would add up to 2,576 for a full season. He also had 54
                receiving yards; that's 864 for a full season and an outlandish total of 3,440
                yards from scrimmage.

                Of course, Jackson came nowhere near those totals. He missed four games and
                most of a fifth with a strained thigh muscle, then was hampered by a sore
                hamstring down the stretch.

                Still, he finished with 1,040 yards on the ground and 379 through the air.
                Jackson is the first Rams back to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive
                seasons since Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1983-86).

                "It means a lot. I look up to Eric Dickerson … I look up to a lot of backs that
                have been a part of this franchise," said Jackson, a fifth-year pro. "It's been
                a rough couple of seasons for me, just being banged up. Still being able to
                reach 1,000 yards in 12 games, I think there's something I can take from it. …

                "We're talking about individual things right now, and that's all great. But at
                the end of the day, I want to be in the playoffs and I want to be in the Super
                Bowl, and hopefully win one."

                The Rams, ranked 27th in the 32-team NFL in rushing coming into the game, piled
                up a season-high 201 yards on the ground. They averaged 5.5 yards per attempt
                despite playing without both first-team guards.

                "Ever since I came in, my personal goal was obviously to play well, but also to
                get (Jackson) what he deserves," center Brett Romberg said. "He's a hell of a
                running back in this league, definitely the best that I've played with in the
                NFL. His opportunities are endless."

                Getting Jackson past the 1,000-yard mark "was something we wanted to do for
                him," guard Adam Goldberg said. "Steven is a real special player, and it's our
                honor to block for him."

                Actually, Jackson topped 1,000 twice. A 2-yard pickup with 5½ minutes left in
                the third quarter got him to 1,001. But he fell back to 999 when he lost 2
                yards on his next try. He moved to 1,000 with a 1-yarder up the middle two
                plays later — and he stayed in four figures the rest of the way.

                Still, Jackson's most eye-popping play came on a short toss from quarterback
                Marc Bulger on third-and-9 early in the final period. Jackson reached back and
                made the catch with one hand, turned upfield and hurdled a would-be tackler
                ...
                -12-29-2008, 05:37 AM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Jackson Energized By Adventurous Offseason
                by r8rh8rmike
                Jackson Energized by Adventurous Offseason
                Tuesday, September 7, 2010

                By Nick Wagoner
                Senior Writer

                Lying on an operating table following back surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in early April, Steven Jackson couldn’t help but let his mind drift to the idea of football mortality.

                In his six years in the NFL, Jackson had never suffered an injury serious enough that he had to undergo offseason surgery let alone feel any pain of any kind that extended beyond a normal three to four week rest period in January.

                But for the first time, Jackson was going to have an offseason quite different from any of his previous ones.

                It was then and there that Jackson decided to cut it loose and take a different approach to how he’d spend his summer vacation.

                “I had uncertainty in my health for the majority of the offseason and was not really enjoying myself,” Jackson said. “It allowed me to really think about the NFL and sometimes you think you can play this game forever. It was a reality check, one that I was probably taking for granted because I have always been healthy for the most part. This time I had to rehab, go through the operation. I was constantly working and not enjoying myself in my down time. Once the back was feeling good and I was feeling physically fit, I wanted to take advantage of my opportunities to enjoy myself.”

                OUTSIDE THE LINES

                Each offseason, Jackson makes it a point to try to see at least one new country, if not more. Long before the surgery, Jackson had already planned to venture to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.

                In addition to South Africa, he’d also planned to make stops in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Along the way, Jackson initially figured he’d see the historical sites, tour the land and sample the local food.

                At some point during the back issues, Jackson morphed into the Vinnie Chase character from Entourage who used a back injury of his own to develop a desire for thrill seeking adventures.

                So Jackson called his travel agent and added shark diving, three safaris and sand dune hikes to his itinerary.

                “I just kind of wanted to go into overcoming fears and living outside the lines and boundaries,” Jackson said. “You hear people all the time say that your mind traps you in fear. I kind of tried to step outside of myself and mimic somewhat of a daredevil. This year, I told my travel agent ‘let’s walk on the wild side a little bit.’”

                Of all of the heart pounding exploits on his trip, it was the first one that really set the tone.

                On his first day in Cape Town, Jackson hopped on a boat and was ferried to an area known as Seal Island, where great white sharks are known to congregate in large groups.

                After a bit of trepidation, Jackson climbed into a cage, was hooked up to an...
                -09-07-2010, 04:53 PM
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