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  • Jackson likes running he ball any chance he gets

    Martz and Bulger agree on putting ball in his hands
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS - After scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the St. Louis Rams' 17-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, running back Steven Jackson got down on one knee in the end zone and acted like he was rolling dice.

    "That's my signature now," Jackson said. "Vegas, baby."

    Jackson is a native of Las Vegas. His father is a retired pit boss at the MGM Grand hotel.

    Despite growing up in a gambling Mecca, Jackson isn't a big advocate of gambling.

    "I am not a big gambler at all," Jackson said. "I learned over the years to stay away from that. Keep your money, kids, in the bank account."

    Jackson has rushed 153 yards on 37 carries this season as the Rams' No. 1 running back.

    Admittedly, Jackson would like to carry the ball more, but he figures he'll be toting the ball more often as the season progresses.

    "It's a long season, so I'm not going to push or campaign for carries just yet, and I know as long as we are winning, I won't complain at all," Jackson said.

    Rams coach Mike Martz called for Jackson to run the ball on five of the Rams' final eight offensive plays against the Cardinals.

    "In situations where you are up and you only have a touchdown lead and your trying to keep them off the field, that's what any coach would do, run the ball," Jackson said. "Hopefully, we can do that better."

    Martz said he truly wants to get the ball in Jackson's hands more often, especially late in games when they are trying to protect a lead.

    "We're trying to make a real effort to get him the ball," Martz said. "We feel like giving him the ball, we can win the game."

    Jackson said his perfect game would include 25 carries for 130-plus yards and a couple of touchdowns.

    Asked whether he'd like to get 40 carries in a game, Jackson said, "No, no, that's too much. Twenty-five carries is an ideal day for Steven. I'll also take a couple of screens."

    Jackson caught two passes for 16 yards against the Cardinals. He had a 35-yard gain on a screen pass called back on a questionable holding call against wide receiver Torry Holt.

    Jackson jokingly chided Holt about the penalty.

    "It was fortunate it came back," Jackson said. "I told him good thing it's not a run."

    Holt said if Jackson has success, it will make things easier for the Rams' passing attack.

    "We feel that if we can establish that run game, a dominance up front with Steven coming out of the backfield with the way he is feeling and the way he is running the football, that is just going to open things up for everybody," Holt said. "Everybody can win. Everybody knows how important the run game is in the National Football League. I think you win games running, and I think you win games if you stop the run."

    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger also doesn't mind handing the ball off to Jackson.

    "I'm the biggest fan (of running the ball)," Bulger said. "If we can keep running, that would be great. It takes so much pressure off of the passing game, and toward the end of the game, if we have the lead, we can use some of the clock. It's a nice luxury to have with those two backs back there."

    The Titans rank 19th among the NFL's 32 teams in rushing defense this season, but they are traditionally tough against the run.

    "I'm looking forward to it," Jackson said of the challenge of playing the Titans. "This is probably one of the best (defensive lines) we'll face all year. They have a very active linebacker corps. It's going to be interesting. They do a lot of things to try to confuse your blocking scheme. They want to set the tempo and intimidate you. It's going to be a lot of fun for me in the running game because we pride ourselves here on moving the ball down the field on the ground."

  • #2
    Re: Jackson likes running he ball any chance he gets

    "I'm the biggest fan (of running the ball)," Bulger said. "If we can keep running, that would be great. It takes so much pressure off of the passing game, and toward the end of the game, if we have the lead, we can use some of the clock. It's a nice luxury to have with those two backs back there."
    I am big fan of the running game, but I'll bet Bulger is a bigger fan.

    :clanram:
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    • RamWraith
      Jackson eager for his chance to shine
      by RamWraith
      Running back hopes to be a workhorse
      BY STEVE KORTE
      News-Democrat

      ST. LOUIS - Running back Steven Jackson has been anxiously awaiting the St. Louis Rams' opener against the San Francisco ***** on Sunday ever since coach Mike Martz announced that he was the team's No. 1 running back this spring.

      "It has been a while," Jackson said. "This Sunday here is going to be a thrilling assignment for me. I have a lot of people coming up from Las Vegas and Oregon, so I'll have the family support that I need."

      Jackson, a Las Vegas native who played for Oregon State, shared playing time with Marshall Faulk as a rookie last season and has lofty goals for his second NFL season.

      "Fifteen hundred yards would be an excellent year," Jackson said. "Me personally, I want more than that."

      Jackson paused for a second, and then gave a more humble objective.

      "If I could break 1,000, that would be good," Jackson said. "I've never done that yet either. I have a lot of goals that I haven't accomplished yet, and I plan on starting it off this Sunday."

      The Rams ran the ball 381 times last season. Only Oakland (328 rushes) and Philadelphia (376) had fewer rushing attempts.

      Jackson said he was confident that Martz would be more committed to the running game this season.

      "You never know what to expect from Mike," Jackson said. "As long as I keep putting up the numbers that I have been putting up, we can have the argument -- and by we, I mean the media -- that you can hand the ball off a little bit more.

      "It's up to me. I have to make something happen when I run with it, and that's what I plan on doing."

      Jackson isn't going to be bashful about asking for the ball if he's only got a half dozen carries at halftime.

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

      "I also understand that when we have the likes of Torry (Holt), Isaac (Bruce), Kevin (Curtis) and Mac (Shaun McDonald), we do want to spread the ball out to those guys, too. You have to be a little selfish, and at times, you have to be a little giving."

      Martz said he can appreciate Jackson's self-confidence.

      "Receivers like to tell you that they want the ball, too," Martz said. "That's just the way it is. I'd be disappointed if he didn't do that. That's what he is used to, and that's what he wants. That's what you want in there."

      Jackson rushed for 215 yards on 32 carries -- an average of 6.7 yards per carry -- during the preseason. He had 14 carries for 108 yards in the Rams' win over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.

      "He's going good," Rams...
      -09-09-2005, 02:06 PM
    • Rambos
      Jackson Ready to Carry Load
      by Rambos
      Jackson Ready to Carry Load
      Thursday, September 8, 2005

      By Nick Wagoner
      Senior Writer

      There is little doubt about the lasting impression Steven Jackson left on the ***** during his rookie season.

      And that’s not even counting his 119-yard breakout performance in the second meeting with San Francisco.

      In case any of those ***** forget this week what Jackson is capable of, they can turn to cornerback turned safety Mike Rumph and ask him what he remembers about his first meeting with Jackson.

      "I remember thinking at the time, 'Why am I doing this?'” Rumph told the Associated Press. “But I stuck out my arm to try to trip him. When I was running off the field, I didn't even want to look at it; because I knew it was (broken) pretty bad."

      This would be Rumph’s attempt at arm tackling the running back known around Rams Park as “Train.” As Jackson burst up the middle with the ball, Rumph dived at him, sticking his arm directly in the path of Jackson’s churning legs. In other words, Rumph’s arm was on the tracks as the train came through.

      The result was a broken arm and a spot on the injured list for the rest of the season for Rumph. Jackson didn’t recall the play, but said he felt bad about what happened to Rumph.

      “I don’t remember,” Jackson said. “But I remember it being brought up a lot, especially this week. Like I told the San Francisco media, you never go out and try to hurt anyone. We all understand this is our livelihood and guys do want to play and the biggest thing for me is just to protect myself at all times. What happened to Mike was unfortunate but that’s the game of football.”

      Still, even Jackson was willing to admit that arm tackling him is probably not the best approach to bringing him down.

      Rumph should get plenty of opportunities to tackle Jackson again Sunday when the Rams and ***** open the regular season at Monster Park. This time Jackson is the starting running back and will probably get more than his share of the work.

      After a rookie season in which he shared time with Marshall Faulk, Jackson will start the season as the top guy this year. In his limited time last season, Jackson ran for 673 yards on 134 carries, an average of 5 yards per attempt.

      Those numbers would have been satisfying for many rookie backs, but not Jackson who is hoping that the normally pass-happy Rams offense will make a commitment to him.

      The confident Jackson is not scared to let the coaches know when he isn’t getting the ball. So what happens if it’s halftime and Jackson hasn’t gotten the touches he would like to get?

      “I wouldn’t wait ‘til halftime to say it,” Jackson said. “I think a lot of people know how I feel about running the ball. I also understand when you have the likes of Torry and Isaac and Kevin and Mac we do want to...
      -09-08-2005, 04:12 PM
    • RamWraith
      Jackson: ‘no excuse’ for two lost fumbles
      by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      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, 12:16 PM
    • RamWraith
      Jackson glad to carry heavy load
      by RamWraith
      He's just 68 yards shy of 1,000 yards for the season
      BY STEVE KORTE
      News-Democrat
      ST. LOUIS - Though he's only 68 yards away, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson doesn't think rushing for 1,000 yards means as much anymore.

      "In this day and age, 1,000 yards is not what it used to be," Jackson said. "I do want to pass 1,000 yards this week, but I have a number in mind that I want to reach by Week 17."

      Asked what that number was, Jackson said, "When I hit it, I'll let you know."

      Jackson said the benchmark for running backs has become more like 1,200 yards instead of 1,000 yards. There were 18 running backs, including Jackson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season.

      "I would say 1,200 is a very productive year for a running back, especially with a long season and trying to stay healthy," Jackson said. "A lot of guys are playing nicked up."

      Jackson said he feels fine physically after getting 281 touches (218 rushing attempts and 63 receptions) in 11 games.

      "I feel pretty well," Jackson said. "I feel a lot better than I did the last two years."

      Jackson said watching Rams backup running back Steven Davis, who has rushed for 1,300 or more yards four times in his career, has taught him how to be a more effective runner.

      Davis runs low to ground even though at 6-foot, 230 pounds he has nearly the same body type as the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Jackson.

      "You see little backs get low, and you think that's because they are a small back," Jackson said. "Seeing a guy around my own size be able to get so low, I understand what he is saying. He showed me that a big back can get his shoulder pads down."

      Jackson, who needs to average 103 yards from scrimmage over his last five games to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage for the season, also has proven that he can be an effective pass catcher.

      His 63 receptions (for 553 yards) ties him with wide receiver Torry Holt for the team lead in catches.

      "I'm a big back so people naturally assume that I'm a downhill runner," Jackson said. "Hit the pile and move it for two or three yards. It has been good for me this year to be able to show and display my receiving ability."

      Jackson said he doesn't foresee any change in offensive philosophy with offensive coordinator Greg Olson calling the plays instead of coach Scott Linehan.

      "I think both of them do want to run the ball, they do want to be 50-50," Jackson said.

      Jackson said the Rams remained committed to the run last Sunday in a 20-17 win over the San Francisco *****.

      "Sometimes you have take the good with the bad," Jackson said. "You have to take that 2-yard run because that same...
      -12-01-2006, 04:12 PM
    • 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, 05:16 AM
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