There’s no question that new St Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher likes to run the football on offense and his new workhorse back with the Rams is one of the best in the business. Steven Jackson and his accomplishments to this point in his career have gone largely under the radar due to the team’s general ineptitude. This could be the year where he breaks through and finally gets the recognition he deserves as one of the league’s elite at his position.
According to the Rams ninth-year back, the new coaching staff fits exactly what he has wanted the team to do for the past eight seasons. Of Fisher and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Jackson said: ‘So far so good. They (Fisher and Schottenheimer) are both huge advocates of running the football. They have had successful runners in the past. So I’m looking forward the opportunity to play for those two. We just got to build our nucleus we have. We have a very young team. We’ve had to hit the reset button once again. The grey hairs are growing in!”
While Jackson has yet to experience a winning season with the team that drafted him back in 2004 out of Oregon State, he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau for seven years in a row despite this coming season being under his sixth different head coach. His consistency is even more astounding given the complete upheaval surrounding him during his career. Still there is no denying the fact that he wishes winning would arrive and change the way he is viewed by the public at-large. Jackson said: “I’ve achieved a lot individually. At this point I’m thinking about what my legacy will really be. How will it read out? No-one really remembers a loser. It’s hard. You see some players who don’t have such individual talent, but they are on good teams. They get noticed and you get overlooked, so you have to deal with that.”
Nearing the scary number of 30 in terms of his age, clearly Jackson is limited by father time in terms of productive years remaining in his career. His optimism has never wavered though, especially coming into this year where he says: ‘We’ve had a rash of injuries the last few seasons and that is preventing guys from actually getting the game-time experience they need to mature. So if we can keep guys healthy, especially our quarterback Sam Bradford, I think we have a good chance in our division to be competitive.”
If Jackson thinks the Rams are ready to turn the corner and win some games in the division this year, who are we to disagree? This could be a real turning point for both the Rams’ franchise and the legacy of just how good Jackson is as a player.
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