When the St. Louis Rams hired Jeff Fisher to be the team’s new head coach, many believed that would mean a continuation of the heavy workload that running back Steven Jackson has shouldered over the past seven seasons. Fisher’s run-heavy mentality bodes well for Jackson as he looks to build on the success that he has enjoyed during his career with the Rams.
Jackson visited PFT Live for a chat about the upcoming season and was asked several questions including some about second round draft pick Isaiah Pead. On that subject, he said: “Yeah. I actually see him being a backup. If it’s the way I want it, to continue to live out the legacy of my career, I will continue to be the workhorse. He can relieve me at times during the game, or when we need a change of pace against the defense.” Jackson has been quite concerned about his ‘legacy’ this offseason and that has to be somewhat disconcerting for Rams’ fans looking for a winning team rather than a ‘me first’ attitude.
Perhaps the headline from Jackson’s visit with PFT was the comment that he figures to get “25 to 30 touches” per game in 2012. Clearly Fisher is going to put on emphasis on the running game with a team that has a developing quarterback in Sam Bradford and a young group of receivers, but at 29 years of age, that is an awfully lofty touch total. Some actually see Pead sharing the load with Jackson as the year progresses, but the incumbent back fails to acknowledge that as even a possibility.
As Jackson nears the end of his contract with the Rams (just two years remaining) and the end of his days as a feature back, this could be a transitional year for the club at running back. Durability has been a trademark of Jackson throughout his career with the team, but his legs aren’t as young as they used to be. Don’t be surprised if his estimated workload is a bit lighter than expected and the team tries to shift some of those touches to Pead as the year moves along.
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