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Jackson runs for 148 yards in his return

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  • Jackson runs for 148 yards in his return

    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: "It was something that I wanted. It's something that I needed.
    We need to get in the playoffs. It's a must-win game, and I'm glad I had an
    opportunity to do it."

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Rams' Jackson becoming multithreat
    by RamWraith
    / Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS (AP) - Steven Jackson joked after his biggest multithreat day in the NFL that he had become a big Marshall Faulk.

    It's clear the St. Louis Rams are finding new ways to utilize the third-year running back, who has taken over Faulk's spot on a full-time basis for the first time this season. Jackson opened the season with a pair of 100-yard rushing games in coach Scott Linehan's new balanced attack, and when the Lions crowded the line last week he totaled 146 yards rushing and receiving.

    The 240-pound Jackson is second in the NFL with 367 yards rushing with more power but less shiftiness than Faulk, and he's first in the league with 531 yards. The back-to-back 100-yard rushing games were the first for the team since Faulk, out for the season with a knee injury that could end his career, did it in three straight games in 2003.

    "It's all the same," Jackson said Thursday. "Once you get the ball, you're a running back anyway. So it doesn't matter."

    It doesn't matter to Linehan either, as long as Jackson gets his touches.

    "He does a lot with it once he's got it in his hands," Linehan said. "The sensible thing is to figure out more and more ways to get it in his hands if you can."

    Jackson had 81 yards on 22 carries, scoring the first rushing touchdown all season for the Rams (3-1). He added six catches for 65 yards in a 41-34 shootout over the Lions and is third on the team with 15 receptions and a 10.9-yard average.

    Jackson, a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time last season, totaled 73 catches his first two seasons.

    "I've always been able to have these talents," Jackson said. "They just didn't pop up overnight, it's just the fact that I'm able to put up the stats now.

    "That's what all look at, I guess."

    Jackson was the first running back taken in the 2004 draft. He believes what's happening now is just a natural progression.

    "Coach has opened the offense up a little bit because after those first two weeks, how the run offense took off like it did, we faced a lot of eight-man boxes geared to stop the run," Jackson said. "If we can't get it in the running game, we can get some short passes and it's kind of a running game."

    The Rams scored four touchdowns last week after totaling two the first three games. Besides Jackson's big day, wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each had 100-yard days and Marc Bulger threw for a season-high 328 yards.

    "We're finally on one page," Jackson said. "Whoever's going to get the job done, I think egos are put to the side and we're going to ride that person out."

    Jackson may get a chance to run behind an offensive line at full strength. Offensive tackle Orlando...
    -10-06-2006, 04:59 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson holds his own in loss
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Tuesday, Dec. 12 2006

    With the high-flying Chicago Bears in town, incentive came in many forms for
    the Rams’ Steven Jackson.

    • The “Monday Night Football” stage provided Jackson with a chance to showcase
    himself to a nationwide audience. “I’m here trying to prove that I’m No. 1”
    among NFL running backs, Jackson said during preparations for the contest. “I
    know that it’ll come over time as the yardage racks up, but right now I’m
    striving to be No. 1.”

    • Jackson went into the game needing just 19 yards to top his career high of
    1,046 rushing yards, established last year in his second season. “It was a goal
    of mine to try to reach 1,000 yards fast so I could start getting into the
    teens, you know, 1,300 or 1,400 yards,” he said. “For me to accomplish that
    last week (with 96 yards vs. Arizona) was a huge milestone, and now I’m looking
    forward to further down-the-line goals.”

    • And a big game by Jackson loomed as the Rams’ best hope for an upset. The
    Bears went into Week 14 ranked second in total defense — No. 2 vs. the pass but
    only 12th vs. the run.

    A solid ground game “helps slow the pass rush down,” said Jackson, the team’s
    first-round draft choice in 2004 out of Oregon State. “We can help protect Marc
    (Bulger, Rams quarterback), take the hits off of him and keep those guys
    playing honest. It doesn’t allow the defense to pin their ears back and come
    after us in blitz frenzy.”

    The theory was sound, but the Bears scored twice on kickoff returns by rookie
    Devin Hester and pummeled the Rams 42-27 in front of 66,234 at the Edward Jones

    Still, Jackson scored two touchdowns and had another productive outing. He
    carried 18 times for 81 yards and added 10 receptions for 58 yards. For the
    season, Jackson has rushed for 1,109 yards and added 680 receiving yards on 82

    “It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s going 100 percent,” rookie guard Mark
    Setterstrom said. “As an offensive line, you appreciate that. He’s always out
    there battling.”

    Jackson sputtered a bit at the outset, picking up just 11 yards on four carries
    in the first quarter. He found his stride on a 72-yard touchdown drive midway
    through the second quarter.

    On the first play, Jackson started up the middle, juked to the outside and
    rumbled down the right sideline for 21 yards, reaching 1,060 for the season and
    surpassing last year’s total.

    Jackson carried five more times on the drive. He scored on a 2-yard run, again
    starting up the middle, encountering traffic, then bouncing out to the right
    and into the end zone.

    -12-12-2006, 04:32 AM
  • RamWraith
    Jackson: ‘no excuse’ for two lost fumbles
    by RamWraith
    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."
    -12-09-2008, 11:16 AM
  • RamWraith
    Steven Jackson's numbers tell the story
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats

    AIMING HIGH • The running back exceeded by far his projection of 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

    BACKING IT UP • Rams coach Scott Linehan praises a 'commitment to having a great year.'

    Steven Jackson kept his promise.

    Earlier in the year, the Rams running back disclosed that he'd set two personal-yardage targets for this third NFL season. He wouldn't divulge them then, but he pledged to at the end of the year.

    After Sunday's 41-21 win at Minnesota, Jackson revealed that those numbers were 2,000 and 1,600 — as in 2,000 total yards from scrimmage and 1,600 yards rushing.

    "You shoot for the moon, and you never know what will happen," Jackson said. "I just came up a little shy."

    With a strong push — 545 yards in the last three games, all Rams victories — Jackson surged ahead of San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and wound up No. 1 in the NFL in yards from scrimmage. Jackson finished with 2,334 yards to Tomlinson's 2,323.

    Jackson's 1,528 rushing yards ranked him fifth in the league; Tomlinson was the leader, with 1,815.

    Although Jackson didn't come close to matching Tomlinson's record-breaking touchdown total (31), he did score seven times in the final three games and wound up with 16 TDs. Only Tomlinson and Kansas City running back Larry Johnson (19) found the end zone more often.

    "Steven backed up his commitment to having a great year and has taken his game to another level," coach Scott Linehan said. "He made improvement unlike anyone else in the league, in my opinion, from where he was going into the year to where he is now."

    At first glance, Jackson's preseason goals might have seemed ambitious. They required a significant upgrade over his previous highs — 1,366 total yards and 1,046 rushing yards, both achieved in 2005, his first season as the team's primary ballcarrier.

    But after getting 297 touches — 254 carries and 43 catches — in '05, Jackson was called on 436 times this year, with 346 carries and 90 catches. Overall, the Rams advanced 5.4 yards every time the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Oregon State product, a first-round draft pick in 2004, had the ball in his hands.

    A breakdown of Jackson's carries indicates that he consistently wore down defenses. His overall average per attempt was 4.4 yards, but he averaged nearly a yard more on carries 20 through 33 (his season high).

    "It was just a matter of allowing me to be comfortable and do what I'm used to doing," Jackson said. "I knew that given the opportunity to touch the ball 20 to 25 times a game, I'd be able to (emerge), and I think I've proven so."

    Jackson stressed that Linehan deserved credit for keeping his word to balance...
    -01-03-2007, 04:57 AM
  • RamWraith
    Steven Jackson is hitting his stride
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas

    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