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  • Jackson to see more action

    Wed Oct 6, 2004 --from FFMastermind.com

    The News Democrat reports St. Louis Rams rookie RB Steven Jackson will be used more as the season progresses according to HC Mike Martz. Jackson rushed a season-high 10 times for 46 yards and one touchdown in the Rams' 24-14 win over the San Francisco ***** on Sunday night. "He's getting better, and we're going to use him," Martz said of Jackson. "When Marshall (Faulk) comes out, we put Steven in, and we don't change anything that we do." Jackson is averaging a robust 5.5 yards per carry this season. He's gained 121 yards on 23 carries compared to 313 yards on 69 carries for Faulk. Martz said Faulk has impressed upon Jackson the importance of blocking. Martz was especially pleased with Jackson's blocking on a 14-yard pass completion from QB Marc Bulger to WR Isaac Bruce to keep alive a touchdown drive in the second quarter against the *****.

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  • RamWraith
    Jackson is playing key rushing role
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Oct. 19 2004

    When Rams running back Marshall Faulk bulled into the end zone from the 1-yard
    line in the second quarter Monday night, it marked the 100th rushing touchdown
    of his 11-year NFL career.

    That's 99 more than rookie Steven Jackson has recorded. But despite that
    disparity, Jackson more and more is becoming an important contributor to the
    team's attack, as he and Faulk increasingly share time in the backfield.

    "Coach (Mike) Martz and his staff are doing a great job in involving me in the
    offense," Jackson said after the Rams turned aside Tampa Bay 28-21 at the
    sold-out Edward Jones Dome. "They want to utilize my talent, so every
    opportunity I get out there, I try to make something happen."

    Faulk and Jackson split the ball-carrying duties virtually down the middle
    against the Buccaneers. Faulk had 15 attempts for 40 yards, and Jackson carried
    13 times for 48 yards. Each also had three receptions, Faulk picking up 29
    yards and Jackson 30.

    Jackson rambled 28 yards with a short pass on a third-and-14 play early in the
    fourth quarter that kept the Rams' game-winning drive alive. The play took them
    to the Tampa Bay 42-yard line, and three plays later quarterback Marc Bulger
    connected with wide receiver Torry Holt for a 36-yard touchdown and a 28-21
    lead.

    "We needed the drive to keep going," Jackson said. "I caught the ball, I saw
    the yardstick, and I knew I had quite a ways to go. I just had to make a hard
    run out of it."

    Jackson had 10 carries for 46 yards two weeks ago in the Rams' 24-14 victory in
    San Francisco. Last week in Seattle, he tacked on 64 more yards on five
    attempts as the Rams rallied for a 33-27 overtime win.

    "I feel like a guy who's contributing, helping this team win, and the more I
    get in there, the more plays I can make," said Jackson, the team's first-round
    draft pick in April. "If you have to share time, I wouldn't pick any other guy
    in the National Football League."

    Faulk has served as a low-key mentor for Jackson, an Oregon State product.
    "It's on-the-job training," Jackson said. "If I make a mistake, he coaches me
    up. But he doesn't over-teach me. He lets me go out there and do what I know
    how to do."

    Fullback Joey Goodspeed said he's seen Jackson's confidence building over time.
    "He knows what he's doing, and he's a lot more aggressive," Goodspeed said.
    "Steven brings that youth and excitement, and he gives Marshall a break; you're
    able to keep two running backs fresh. And they're both different runners....
    -10-19-2004, 01:11 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams’ future is Jackson
    by RamWraith
    DARRIN BEENE; The News Tribune
    Last updated: January 7th

    The St. Louis Rams running game ain’t what it used to be – and that worries the Seattle Seahawks.
    Even though Marshall Faulk’s productivity is in decline, the Rams have suffered no dropoff in their ability to run the ball. The reason is rookie Steven Jackson.

    Faulk, 31, led the Rams in rushing for the sixth consecutive year this season, but he did it with his lowest total (774 yards) since his injury-plagued 1996 season with the Indianapolis Colts. A bruised left knee and Jackson’s development cost Faulk carries this year.

    Jackson, a 21-year-old out of Oregon State, rushed for 673 yards and showed power and speed. That presents St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz with a pleasant problem for Saturday’s first-round playoff game against the Seahawks: Faulk or Jackson?

    If that sounds like a changing of the guard, that’s because it is. Martz did not even hesitate when asked this week if he sees Jackson as Faulk’s eventual replacement.

    “I think that there is a bit of that going on. No question about it,” Martz said. “Steven is on his way, I think, to a brilliant career. We just need to make sure we do it the right way with him.”

    The right way involves taking it slowly with their first-round draft choice (24th overall pick). Faulk had more carries than Jackson in each of the Rams’ first 10 games, but over the past six games, Jackson has 28 more carries than Faulk.

    Jackson said he’s soaking everything in and trying to learn from Faulk.

    “Some people don’t even get to play on a team with a Hall of Famer and here I am, in my first year, sharing a backfield with one,” Jackson said. “It’s only going to help me later on in my career having seen the things he does, how he conducts himself on a daily basis.”

    Jackson gained over 100 yards twice in the season’s final six games, including a 148-yard effort on Monday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles that cemented his claim as the Rams’ future.

    The present, however, is what concerns Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. If Jackson – who has been battling a knee injury – is healthy, and Faulk is rested, how do the Seahawks stop that in addition the Rams’ passing game?

    “Thanks for reminding me,” cracked Holmgren earlier this week. “They are a very good offensive team. It’s a challenge for our defense. We’ve been scrapping and trying real hard, and we’re going to do the same thing on Saturday.”

    The Seahawks haven’t had much success against Faulk or Jackson this season. In the first meeting – the one the Rams rallied from 17 points down to win, 33-27, in overtime – Faulk and Jackson combined for 115 yards rushing on 20 carries on a day when quarterback Marc Bulger threw for 325 yards.

    The rematch saw Faulk have his best game of the season – 139 yards rushing...
    -01-07-2005, 05:53 PM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson sets sights on 2,500 total yards
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Jun. 08 2007

    First, he took Marshall Faulk's job. Now, Rams running back Steven Jackson is
    going after Faulk's records.

    "My goal is 2,500 total yards from scrimmage," Jackson said Thursday. "And how
    I get it doesn't matter. But I want to get to that number."

    If he does, Jackson would replace Faulk as the NFL's single-season
    record-holder. Faulk piled up 2,429 yards in 1999 — 1,381 rushing, 1,048
    receiving — a season that culminated with a Rams Super Bowl championship.

    Only Faulk, Tiki Barber (2,390 in 2005), LaDainian Tomlinson (2,370 in 2003),
    and Barry Sanders (2,358 in 1997) have topped the 2,334 yards that Jackson
    amassed last year.

    "Some people may feel that I'm reaching," Jackson said of shooting for 2,500.
    "But I believe goals are to be set, and then you just go after them."

    Jackson fell slightly short of his goal of 1,600 rushing yards in 2006, but he
    supplemented his 1,528 yards by catching 90 passes for 806 yards. The breakout
    season earned Jackson a Pro Bowl selection in just his third year after the
    Rams drafted him in the first round

    (No. 24 overall) out of Oregon State.

    "Once Marshall was unable to play last year, I thought Steven took full
    advantage of the added opportunity and showed everybody why he was a No. 1
    draft pick," coach Scott Linehan said. "He proved a lot to a lot more people
    than just his coaches and teammates. He's one of those guys that teams have to
    try to find a way to stop."

    Although his numbers had been declining, Faulk remained the Rams' primary back
    when Jackson arrived. Their relationship was cordial, if not overly friendly.
    Jackson bided his time edgily.

    "For quite a long time, I kept pleading my case, saying that I believe in my
    own capabilities," he said. "I thought since Day 1 I could be a top back in
    this league. I felt last year was the first time I had that chance to ... state
    my case."

    Jackson, who will turn 24 next month, rushed for 673 yards and had 19
    receptions for 189 yards as a rookie. Faulk, who had cemented his Hall of Fame
    credentials, ran for 774 yards and added 30 catches for 310 yards. But signs of
    wear were obvious as his 12th NFL season wound down.

    In February 2005, coach Mike Martz announced that Jackson and Faulk would swap
    assignments. That season, Jackson gained 1,046 yards on the ground and 320
    through the air, but the Rams slumped to 5-11. Martz was fired after the season
    and Linehan brought an offensive system that stressed more balance between the
    run and the...
    -06-08-2007, 04:23 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson was ready, but didn't play
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/19/2004

    TEMPE, Ariz. - One of the more bizarre occurrences of an increasingly bizarre Rams season was the sight of Steven Jackson - the first running back selected in the 2004 draft - standing on the Rams' sidelines.

    All day long.

    Even though his bruised right knee was deemed healthy, Jackson did not play in Sunday's 31-7 loss to Arizona.

    "He was healthy," Martz said. "They blitzed us just about every snap the first half, and you need to have a guy in there that kind of knows what's going on. We felt like with the blitz pickups, that we could use Marshall in some of the pass routes."

    So Jackson was not ready to be used in such a role?

    "No, that's not what I'm saying," Martz said. "There's nothing wrong with Marshall, I guess, is probably what I'm trying to tell you."

    Martz, who obviously was disappointed in the Rams' run blocking, then added: "Is Steven going to make the difference in that game by being in there? No. Whether Marshall loses four yards or Steven loses four yards, which one you want? It just doesn't matter at that point. Your best player's Marshall right now. How'd you like his third-and-one run?"

    In one of the few highlights for the Rams on Sunday, Faulk made a spinning move to fight for extra yardage and a first down on a third-and-one carry in the third quarter. But that was about it for the running game.

    The Rams gained a season-low 22 rushing yards on 10 carries - all by Faulk. The lack of output was particularly puzzling, because the Cardinals have one of the league's worst run defenses. Over the past six games, the Big Red have allowed 167 rushing yards per contest and 5.1 yards a carry.

    Martz says he generally leaves it up to running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery on how much Faulk plays and how much Jackson plays.

    "Marshall didn't want to come out," Martz said. "He was playing fine. ... That's not an issue to me."

    Jackson basically declined comment after the game.

    "I didn't play," he said. "I've got nothing to say."

    When asked if he was surprised that he played the entire game, Faulk said, "I didn't pay any attention to it. Things were just kind of going on out there. I didn't have time to kind of explain to (Jackson) what was going on. So I didn't want to just throw him out there and not alert him to the different things that were happening out there."

    In the early going, the Cardinals gave the Rams a lot of different looks with their defensive front seven - looks that the Rams had not anticipated. Faulk said he was trying to figure out himself what the Big Red were doing, in consultation with Montgomery.

    "They mixed it up pretty good,"...
    -12-20-2004, 05:15 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson eager to haul ball for Rams
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/08/2005

    It was a long seven months ago that Rams coach Mike Martz designated Steven Jackson as his No. 1 running back. Since then, Jackson has had the second Sunday of September on his mind.

    "It's been a while, yeah," Jackson said. "This Sunday is going to be full of excitement for me. ... Pregame, I know I'm going to have the jitters. But after a while, I'm pretty sure I'm going to calm down."

    Jackson, the team's first-round draft choice in 2004, started three times last year. But until Martz made his announcement in February, Jackson was perched behind Marshall Faulk on the depth chart.

    Now, with the 32-year-old Faulk designated for a complementary role, the Rams' running game rests in the hands of Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 231-pound Oregon State product. And he can't wait to reward Martz's trust, starting with Sunday's regular-season opener in San Francisco.

    "I have plenty of goals for this year, not only individually, but for the team," said Jackson, 22. "I think we're fully capable of accomplishing those."

    Jackson was a bit cagey when discussing his own expectations.

    "If I could break 1,000 (rushing) yards, that'd be good. I've never done that," he said. "And 1,500 yards would be an excellent year. Me personally, I want more than that."

    Despite playing on a balky knee that was "cleaned up" during offseason surgery, Jackson piled up 673 yards in 134 carries last year, a gaudy 5.0-yard average. He also caught 19 passes for 189 yards.

    In the preseason this summer, Jackson had 32 carries for 215 yards, a 6.7 average. Healthy and primed, Jackson said his first assignment Sunday would be keeping his emotions in check.

    "That's going to be the biggest thing," he said. "Of course, I want to go out there and make big plays and I want to help my team win. But when you calm yourself down and just let the game come to you, that's when things happen for you."

    But will Martz, who loves to throw the ball, truly commit to the running game?

    "You never know what to expect from Mike," Jackson said. "It's up to me, when I do have a chance to run, to make something happen. And that's what I plan on doing."

    And if he thinks he isn't getting the ball enough, Jackson said he wouldn't hesitate to confront Martz - even early in the game.

    "I won't wait till halftime to say it," Jackson said, laughing. "I think a lot of people know how I feel about running the ball."

    That's just fine with the coach.

    "I'd be disappointed if he didn't do that," Martz said. "That's what he's used to and that's what he wants. And of course, that's what you want in...
    -09-09-2005, 04:16 AM
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