Steven Jackson’s chiseled frame stands six foot-two and two hundred and forty-two pounds of solid man with only 5% body fat. He has very good initial quickness to press LOS (line of scrimmage) out of stance, with burst and acceleration to bounce and turn corner with speed to finish. An inside runner with feet to skip & skate with vision to backside cut and burst. He runs slightly upright, but lowers pad level on defender approach, with power and leg pump to drag pile and finish. He is a straight-line open field runner, lacks shake and back elusiveness, despite COD (change of direction) ability to string several cuts together on a single run. He would rather use speed to defy angles to run away from defenders, along with a powerful stiff arm to the face mask of a defender. He is a good route runner and can create separation from linebackers. He has soft hands with good ball skills and track with RAC (run after catch) skills. He has the size and explosiveness in pass protection with the FBI (football instincts) to bend and strike blitzing linebackers, safeties, or corners off the edge. SJ39 has the heart of a warrior, running mentality of a mad dog that doesn’t like to be tied up.

A lot of people mistake his competitive nature as selfishness. As a fifteen year personnel executive in the NFL, I want those types of players around me, those that want the ball in their hands when the game is on the line. Sam Bradford is that player, Steve Smith (Carolina) is that player, and Kurt Warner was that player. Last Sunday’s game against Washington Redskins, looking thru my binoculars from the press box, I could see SJ39 barking at coaches wanting the ball, something that I’ve seen before. There is a fine line between competitive selfishness and disrespect towards your coaches, I could not hear what was said obviously, but body language speaks volumes. As one of the 2010 captain’s you have to pick your moments, and speak your mind while not becoming a distraction.

SJ39 is the most productive running back from the line of scrimmage from 2006 to present. This includes rushing and receiving production. For all that production, he has also missed several games due to his running style and temperament to attack the defenders with collision and explosive movement. The average career for a running back in the NFL in four seasons. Longevity is the key. While Jackson has missed several games in his tenure with the Rams, he has also earned two Pro Bowl honors while putting fear in the eyes of defensive backs and in the minds of defensive coordinators that spend hours drawing up a game plan.

The Captain and workhorse carried this team on his back in 2009 – literally, which resulted in back surgery during the off season. Because of his running style, number of touches each game to extend his longevity in the NFL, it is best that the Rams brain trust and personnel department add another running back that can produce the same numbers if not very close. SJ39 will go down this season. The question is how long will he be out? And the bigger question is this – who will step in and fill the void of a pro Bowl running back on a consistent basis to complement their franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford?

This player in my opinion is not on the current roster, a #3 role player and rookie running back is a major stretch. Yes, you want to develop players through experience, but winning over the long haul is critical for a young team and your fan base.