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  • Jackson is playing key rushing role

    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.
    Marshall's more agile and makes you miss; Steven's a hard-nosed, just
    hit-the-hole guy. It keeps defenses on their heels, keeps them guessing."

    Guard Scott Tercero said that with the backfield tag-team perking, "Our running
    game's that much better. Steven's going to be a great player, and he's getting
    so much better every week."

    Only six players in NFL history have scored 100 rushing touchdowns, and Martz
    said the team would organize some sort of celebration to mark the milestone.
    Martz was especially tickled that Faulk got No. 100 on a gritty surge just over
    the goal line.

    "How about that?" Martz said. "We're going to do something special for that."
    For now, just being 4-2 and in first place in the NFC West is special enough.

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  • 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, 06:53 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, 05:23 AM
  • 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
    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
  • RamWraith
    Jackson is getting his chance to shine
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/04/2004
    It may be for just one Sunday. It may be for the next 10 years. Or somewhere in between.

    But Steven Jackson is replacing the great Marshall Faulk at running back Sunday against San Francisco.

    "I'm very excited," Jackson said Friday. "This is something I've been waiting on since I joined this organization. I feel there's a lot of pressure on me right now, but I think I'm going to stand tall, and I'm going to handle it pretty well."

    Pressure? Well, Faulk is a certain Hall of Famer and arguably the best all-purpose back in NFL history. As for the Rams as a whole, they've reached a critical stage of the season. At 5-6 and losers of four of their last five contests, they desperately need something to jump-start them out of their funk and into the playoffs.

    Can Jackson help provide that spark?

    "We need a change-up, and I'm going to have an opportunity to do that," Jackson said. "To give this offense and this team a different approach."

    At 6 feet 2, 231 pounds, Jackson is a different style back than Faulk. He's 20 pounds heavier and more of a power runner. But he's no slowpoke. Jackson has shown an ability to turn the corner and the quick feet to jump-cut and change directions quickly.

    He was a workhorse in college at Oregon State, the kind of back who got stronger as the game progressed.

    "We're all kind of anxious to put him in that kind of a role, and see what he'll do here," coach Mike Martz said.

    Jackson believes he's up to the task.

    "That's my style of play," Jackson said. "I'm willing to get those knickknack yards at the beginning of the game. But then as the game progresses, I wear down the defense. That's where my big gains come. So as long as we can stay in the ballgame, and we can run the ball successfully, I think that's something that can very well happen."

    No, Jackson doesn't lack for confidence. He's self-assured, but not ****y. And he has been respectable of Faulk all season, taking spot duty when it comes and waiting for his time.

    "It's been difficult," Jackson said. "At the same time, it's given me a chance to get my feet wet. I've been able to participate in all the games this year, so it's not something where I'm coming in with cold feet.

    "I know what to expect. I had a good game against these guys earlier this year, so I'm going into a situation that's fairly easy for me."

    Easy, as in comfortable. Jackson carried 10 times for 46 yards when the Rams defeated San Francisco 24-14 on Oct. 3, scoring his first NFL touchdown. During that Sunday night game, San Francisco cornerback Mike Rumph made the mistake of trying to bring down Jackson in the open field with...
    -12-05-2004, 07:29 AM
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