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  • Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Jul. 30 2005

    On reporting day, Rams running back Steven Jackson was issued his equipment
    with the rest of his teammates. To his surprise, he was handed a yellow jersey.

    "I didn't know if it was for a photo shoot or something," Jackson said.

    The yellow jersey was for use in practice, and both Jackson and Marshall Faulk
    got one Wednesday on the eve of training camp. The jersey signifies that
    defensive teammates must keep their hands off Jackson and Faulk in practice.

    Yellow means caution.

    Three days into camp, Jackson is running with anything but caution. To wit:

    * He basically ran over defensive end Anthony Hargrove on Thursday
    during a nine-on-seven run period.

    * Next, he shoved defensive back Michael Stone away when Stone made
    a little too much contact with that yellow jersey - and Jackson.

    * The topper came Saturday when Jackson and safety Adam Archuleta
    got into a scuffle after Archuleta thumped Jackson hard, too hard for Jackson's
    liking.

    "They're two competitive warriors, and they love that part of the game,"
    running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said. "It's me against you. . . . And
    Steven's going to show you he's not going to shy away from any contact."

    As he begins his tenure as the Rams' starting running back, Jackson isn't
    shying away from anything.

    "It's early, but I would say 'Big Train' is working hard," Montgomery said.
    "It's like he's picked up right where he's left off in minicamp. He came back
    with the right attitude. The intensity is great. He's focused. He wants to be a
    young leader. He's showing a lot of toughness right now."

    He's showing all that and more. Almost all elite runners in the NFL have a
    certain confidence about them, and Jackson has that air about him as well.

    "But he's been that way since he got here," coach Mike Martz said. "He has that
    aura about him of a guy like Marshall and Isaac (Bruce). He has that special
    way of carrying himself, and that quiet confidence that makes him special."

    Martz believes Jackson has the makings of something special. Otherwise, he
    wouldn't have named him the starter way back in February.

    "I just have visions of him doing great things. I really do," Martz said. "I
    think Steven's capable of being a dominant back, ultimately. Obviously, he's
    not there yet.

    "He has the quickness, the agility of that little guy. And he's that power
    runner as well. He can run through those arm tackles and be very physical. We
    can play power football with him down after down. He can take that punishment."

    And at 6 feet 2 and 231 pounds, he can give it out.

    Just a month after the Rams' playoff loss to Atlanta, Jackson was in his
    hometown of Las Vegas when he learned he was named the team's starter in 2005.
    He saw it flash across the screen on television. Almost immediately, his phone
    started ringing off the hook.

    The "promotion" was not unexpected. Jackson started ahead of Faulk as early as
    Dec. 5 of last season before being slowed by knee problems. Nonetheless,
    Jackson didn't expect to be anointed heir apparent to the mighty Marshall five
    months before the start of training camp.

    "At the same time, it gave me time to prepare myself mentally coming into
    this," Jackson said.

    First off, Jackson had to get right physically. On Jan. 27, he underwent
    surgery on his right knee.

    "It was just a cleanup," Jackson said. "It was one of those things where the
    ligament had just a slight tear in it. The (medical) staff here treated me well
    this offseason. They continue to do so.

    "The rehab was about 10-12 weeks; we took it slow. There's no need to rush in
    the offseason. They wanted to make sure that I had every function, every
    muscle, fast-twitch - everything - going at the same time, making sure that
    when we got to this point here, that I wouldn't have to slack off of anything."

    The same couldn't be said a year ago. Jackson had underwent knee surgery after
    his final college season at Oregon State and wasn't totally healthy entering
    his rookie season in the NFL.

    "Oh, the knee was bothering him," Montgomery said. "Without a doubt."

    According to Montgomery, the quadriceps muscle in Jackson's right leg was a
    couple of inches smaller than his left at the time camp started, and that's
    never a good thing.

    "That was the reason for some of the slow development," Montgomery said.
    "Because in this offense, you've got to take reps, and he wasn't getting a lot
    of reps."

    That's not the case this camp. Not that Faulk is an afterthought; he will play
    a significant role in the offense this season. It's clear, however, that
    Jackson is being groomed for a heavy workload. It's Jackson's time, and he
    appears up to the challenge of replacing a future Hall of Famer.

    "It's one of those things where now I feel I'm ready to start and pursue my
    dream," Jackson said.

    Jackson has tons of respect for Faulk. That will never change.

    "You can never know more than the teacher," Jackson said. "I'm going to keep
    watching, keep asking questions. I'm only in Year 2. He's, what, in Year 12? So
    I still have a lot of things I can learn from him. . . . He's the master right
    now."

    At the same time, Jackson adds: "(Faulk) has a lot of records that I plan on
    trying to break."

    There's that confidence.

    "I'm coming to camp this year with a lot more confidence than I did last year,"
    Jackson said. "I know what to expect, and I know the offense. I'm feeling
    comfortable with my teammates, and it's something where I already gained their
    trust.

    "So now it's just moving on, proceeding and getting the chemistry down between
    me and Marc (Bulger) and the rest of the guys."

    And, right knee willing, seeing where that takes Jackson and the Rams' offense
    in 2005.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

    The Big Train That Could... :football:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

      The BIG TRAIN is coming lets take a ride to the superbowl

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Yellow is Jackson's signal to speed up

        Jeez, nicknames today are so lame.

        Jackson is nothing but a stud and with his frame and speed will have no problems this year.

        Comment

        Related Topics

        Collapse

        • 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
        • 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
        • RamDez
          Jackson Ready for Action
          by RamDez
          Friday, July 29, 2005

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer
          As Steven Jackson relaxed in his hometown of Las Vegas earlier this summer, he kicked back and flipped on the television, flipping to ESPN to catch up with the day’s activities in the world of sports.
          Then, out of nowhere, he saw his name flash across the bottom of the screen. The words that surrounded his name to form a sentence came as a surprise, the kind of surprise Jackson has waited his whole life for. Yes, Jackson was named the Rams’ starting running back.
          “I was on vacation at the time and I saw it come across on ESPN and when I did see it come across, the phone started ringing off the hook,” Jackson said. “It was one of those things I was pleased to hear. I didn’t expect it as soon as it was, but at the same time it gave me time to prepare mentally coming into this (training camp).”
          As Jackson enters his second training camp and first as the starter, the expectations for what he could do are mounting. Those expectations stem from the glimpses of greatness Jackson provided last season.
          In 2004, Jackson ran for 673 yards and three touchdowns on 134 carries, an average of 5 yards per chance. Along the way, Jackson showed an unusual combination of speed and size that could make him a superstar in the NFL.
          Perhaps the moment most remember Jackson for in 2004 was the fourth game of the year at San Francisco. No, Jackson didn’t break any records in that game, but he did break something.
          On what appeared to be a normal run up the middle, Jackson burst through the line and headed toward the secondary. As cornerback Mike Rumph dived toward Jackson’s leg, the rookie runner didn’t trip and fall. Instead, Jackson shed the tackle and continued to the next level. Rumph’s arm was broken and he was out for the season.
          That is the kind of damage you are capable of when you’re 6-feet-1, 231 pounds and run in the mid to low 4’s in the 40-yard dash. It’s also the kind of damage that can earn you the nickname “Train,” which is the moniker that hangs above Jackson’s locker at Rams Park.
          Although Jackson’s first season was impressive for the most part, it did not go off without a hitch. Jackson battled knee injuries, many of which he blamed on the AstroTurf surface at the Edward Jones Dome.
          Because of the knee problems, Jackson was forced to have a cleanup surgery on the knee. So Jackson used most of his offseason for rehabilitation, taking 10-12 weeks to recuperate.
          “Physically I am bigger than probably the majority of running backs in the league so that’s not something I had to worry about it,” Jackson said. “It was just making sure I had the trust and strength in my knee that I once had.”
          Jackson got more good news when the Rams announced that the playing surface at the Edward Jones Dome would change from AstroTurf to FieldTurf, which is easier on his knees.
          With rehab out of the way and the assurance that he...
          -07-30-2005, 01:37 AM
        • thoey
          Football Diehards: Steven Jackson
          by thoey
          Confident, Conditioned Jackson Ready For Featured Role...

          Written By Bob Harris | Football Diehards | Posted 11-Aug-05 @ 23:00 PM PT


          As Belleville News Democrat beat man Steve Korte recently framed it, "Steven Jackson felt like Lance Armstrong donning the yellow jersey in the Tour de France after being handed a bright gold No. 37 jersey at the start of the St. Louis Rams' training camp."
          "We had to report and get our jerseys and grab our equipment, and they handed me that one," Jackson said. "I didn't know if it was something for a photo shoot or what."

          Jackson and fellow running back Marshall Faulk are wearing yellow jerseys as a reminder to their teammates to keep any contact to a minimum. Not that Jackson has spent much time in camp avoiding contact.

          In fact, as he begins his tenure as the Rams' starting running back, Jackson isn't shying away from much of anything.

          "It's early, but I would say 'Big Train' is working hard," running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said of the former first-round draft pick. "It's like he's picked up right where he's left off in mini-camp. He came back with the right attitude. The intensity is great. He's focused. He wants to be a young leader. He's showing a lot of toughness right now."

          And according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas, Jackson is showing all that and more. Almost all elite runners in the NFL have a certain confidence about them and Jackson has that air about him as well.

          "Steven came in here with that certain air about him that great players have," head coach Mike Martz said. "He's very confident without being cocky. His feeling is just give him the ball and put it on his shoulders just like Jerome Bettis. Marshall has helped him with that."

          "I'm sure he knows he still has stuff to learn, but from where he was at this point last year, it's obvious that he feels comfortable and he has that attitude that all good backs have," quarterback Marc Bulger said of Jackson. "They want the ball every down. Even in practice, he's starting to be a lot more vocal in the huddle. It's great to have that."

          Of course, the passing of the torch from Faulk to Jackson comes as the Rams try to revive a running game that tied for 25th among the NFL's 32 teams last season. They averaged only 4.3 yards per carry and had only 11 rushing touchdowns. Bulger believes the more physical Jackson will allow the rushing game take some pressure off the passing attack this season.

          As Martz put it: "[Jackson] has the quickness, the agility of that little guy. And he's that power runner as well. He can run through those arm tackles and be very physical. We can play power football with him down after down. He can take that punishment."

          As a first-year...
          -08-21-2005, 01:12 AM
        • RamWraith
          Jackson still has much to learn
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          08/09/2004
          MACOMB, Ill. - Before Steven Jackson arrived in Macomb two weeks ago, the running back's NFL experience consisted of one weekend at the Rams' post-draft rookie minicamp.

          So he's way behind. Behind the other rookies; behind the younger running backs on the depth chart; and light years behind Marshall Faulk. Two weeks into his first NFL training camp, Jackson still is playing catch-up.

          "With this offense, my head's probably going to be spinning for a while until I really get comfortable in it," Jackson said. "Once I get comfortable with this offense, that's when my true talent can take over. But until then, I'm going to be thinking and trying not to mess up."

          By NFL rule, Jackson couldn't participate in offseason work with the team, other than the rookie minicamp, until his college's senior class graduated. In the case of Oregon State, Jackson's school, that didn't happen until mid-June.

          By then, the Rams were shutting down their offseason program for the summer, giving players and coaches some down time before heading to Macomb.

          Much to the chagrin of Martz, Jackson also decided to skip a rookie session held at Rams Park just before the start of training camp.

          In any event, Jackson arrived cold - stone cold in terms of knowing the playbook.

          "He's still green at it," running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said. "He's got a lot to learn. The adjustments are coming. We're going to ride him really, really hard, because we want him to be at his best."

          A lot to learn

          For now, the Rams want Jackson humble and hungry. So far in camp, Martz hasn't missed a chance to prod Jackson whenever he felt it was necessary.

          During one practice session, when Jackson apparently lined up in the wrong spot, Martz bellowed: "What are you doing out here, sleepwalking?"

          On Friday, during the joint practice sessions with the Bears, Martz hardly proclaimed Jackson game-ready.

          "We still have to give him run reads, and let him know what's going on with some things," Martz said. "He's a long ways away. He is a long, long, long, long - let me say that one more time - l-o-n-g ways away from lining up and being effective."

          Jackson has taken the rookie hazing in stride.

          "I prepared for it mentally and physically this offseason and summer," Jackson said. "I had my dad yell at me a couple times."

          Jackson laughed at his joke, then added, "Everything that he's thrown out to me, I'm dealing with it pretty well. I know it's for the best. When he stops yelling at me, that's when you start worrying."

          Some of Martz's bombast is done as a way of keeping the first-round draft pick's...
          -08-10-2004, 06:52 AM
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