Monday, June 23, 2008

Steven Jackson Leader Or Just Loud Mouth?

Steven Jackson did an interesting interview with Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports this week, called Down and dirty. Within this interview Steven Jackson once again spoke his mind. Love him or hate him, as he says we all do, a part of you has to love that he actually tells you what is on his mind. The below quotes from Jackson are in the article by Silver.
"It's a one-year bid for everybody," Jackson says. "It could be Scott's last year, and my last year, and even the franchise is in jeopardy – the team could get sold and leave St. Louis. There's a lot riding on this year, and we all know that. Just as much as the Rams need me, I need them."

"I predicted a number based off of a perfect season," Jackson says. "I learned something – things will come up. Two things killed me: My offensive line was just decimated, and our receivers didn't block. You look at Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson or anyone who has a ton of yards, and those guys on the perimeter block. For me, I wasn't only looking at eight in the box, but if I happened to get through the line and out to the perimeter, the defenders were all over me."

When Jackson flashes back to a pair of dismal defeats to Green Bay and Pittsburgh last December at the Edward Jones Dome, he doesn't hold back, saying, "You've got to love those Rams fans who showed their loyalty by selling their tickets to Packers and Steelers fans, so half the people in the stadium were rooting against us. It was like playing road games. We ran out of the tunnel and got booed. It was ridiculous. I was livid. In St. Louis, it's one of two things. They either love me or they (expletive) hate me. I'm not a diva, but if I'm pissed, (the Rams' PR staff) won't let me talk, 'cause they're scared of what might come out of my mouth."

So let's see, Jackson is not happy with the O-line, the receivers blocking, or the fans, and believes everyone on the team including even the team may be leaving St. Louis soon. There is a lot to tackle here. I put Steven Jackson on the same list of players as Curt Schilling, Brett Hull, and Jeremy Roenick. We all want players and coaches to just tell it like it is but when these players are outspoken we chastise them. Why is this? Would you rather Steven Jackson just keep his mouth shut and play football?

As for Steven's first point all items are true. This should be Scott Linehan's last year, he does not appear to be a quality NFL coach. The St. Louis Rams could quite possibly be sold this year, and Steven Jackson is in the last year of his contract. If Steven Jackson puts up 1500+ yards he will likely become the top paid back in the NFL in 2009. Will the St. Louis Rams spend that kind of money to keep him? Will the Rams regret passing up Darren McFadden with their first round pick in the 2008 NFL draft?

Jackson's second point about the receivers blocking and the problems with the O-line are probably just an excuse and him also trying to tell the players on the Rams that if they perform better he can be even greater. It should be easy for fans to believe the lack of receiver blocking since for years when they catch the ball they just fall down on the ground or run out of bounds. That has to improve for the Rams to get better.

The clinching statement that will once again get fans in an uproar is Jackson's problem with the fans selling their tickets to Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers fans. This is an easy one but fans need to think about both sides of the issue. I believe Jackson always wants the fans to be supportive. However...St. Louis Rams fans will NOT allow a multi-million dollar athlete to tell them what to do with their money and tickets. When you are 3-10 and 3-11 heading into these games true fans will still show up, but we owe Steven nothing! If you are making 10-20$ an hour and using your money to see this product, and help to pay his salary and you want to sell your tickets for a $100+ dollars to Packers and Steelers fans than so be it. The fans bought PSLs, paid extra taxes for a stadium, help pay player salaries, and purchase merchandise, you will NEVER be able to tell us what to do with our money.

Overall I believe Steven Jackson is a very good player, that wants to be a team leader, and just wants to win. He may not go about it the correct way, or the way you would like him to go about it. However I do believe if the Rams had 53 players that cared about winning as much as Jackson they would be a much better team. What are your thoughts?

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St. Louis Rams Lose To The Seahawks Again!

If you like mascots there is a pretty cool mascot competition going on over at CBS Sports. However if you are a St. Louis Rams fan then you must know that the Rams do not even have a mascot! According to Forbes the St. Louis Rams are worth about $908 million dollars. You think for that kind of scratch we could pay some fan a few bucks an hour to dress up in a Rams suit, hell fans pay to get in and dress up already. Let's get a mascot, this is sad. However Seattle Seahawk fans may find it sad that the Rams were able to get 36% of the vote over their sorry bird. We received 36% of the vote and we don't even have a mascot!

NFL Mascot Competition



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2008 NFL Odds To Win NFC West

Well some odds for the upcoming 2008 NFL Season are being released. If you check out Onlinesportshandicapping you will see that they have the St. Louis Rams slated for 3rd place in the NFC West for 2008. The Rams are currently 11/2 to win the NFC West, which is just slightly better than the San Francisco 49ers who are at 6-1. I can't say I am surprised, until someone finally is able to knock off the Seatlle Seahawks, everyone else will just be playing for 2nd place. Hopefully the St. Louis Rams will put together a healthy offensive line, and give Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson time and space to do their thing.
St. Louis Rams- Franchise has been in the league for 70 years now, and only three teams of this franchise have finished with three or fewer wins. The Rams finished last year with a 3-13 record and in a special place in that dishonorable group. Now the team is preparing for training camp there is a new mind set for this year, and according to coach Scott Linehan. "It's easy to say, 'Hey, forget about last year, focus on this year.' But getting them to do it ..." Linehan said. "Our players have made a concerted effort to embrace that concept and really focus on what's good about getting to the 2008 season, and not on what we've got to do to make amends for the 2007 season." The 2008 NFL Odds to win NFC West at have St. Louis Rams 11/2 to win 2008/09 NFC West Division.

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Chris Long Has The Moves

I have to admit that I am a little worried that Chris Long has still not signed a contract with the St. Louis Rams yet. However it is only late June and we still have a few weeks before training camp opens in Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin. Yahoo sports has a short article this week called Inside Slant which talks about how well Chris Long is doing in camp, and how the St. Louis Rams might be able to use his abilities in the 2008 season.
Said coach Scott Linehan, “We’ve thrown a lot at Chris, and that was the objective. He’s seen a lot of offense since he’s been here. Once that starts to click in with him, I know he’s going to really take off.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been impressed and looks forward to the different ways he will able to utilize the rookie.

Haslett said, “I think he’s very good in run defense. He does a great job in hand placement and getting off blocks. He looks like his father from that standpoint. You can tell his dad coached him when he was young because he’s got the Howie moves.”

The Rams will need Chris Long to have an impact on the overall play of the defense. A pass rush will do nothing but help the lack of depth at linebacker, and help the secondary play a little more aggresive. Chris should be able to provide a pass rush while playing the 3-4 because he will be lined up over a TE from time to time. When Jim Haslett switches to the 3-4 Chris should be even more comfortable. I expect much more impact from Chris Long than the Rams were able to get from Adam Carriker.

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St. Louis Rams Go From Worst To First

kool-AidNo, Stlvinnie is not drinking the Kool-Aid, we are just reading a new article on Fox Sports by Peter Schrager. The article 15 burning questions (and answers) for NFL offseason includes some interesting information under #3.

3. Which team has the best chance of going from worst to first in its division?

Since the NFL realigned its divisions in 2002, at least one team every season has jumped from last place to first in its division from one year to the next. It was Chiefs in '03; the Falcons and Chargers in '04; the Bears and Buccaneers in '05; the Saints in '06; and the Buccaneers in '07.

The team to watch in '08? The St. Louis Rams.

I know, I know, we've all fallen for the Rams before. But this year, St. Louis is truly a legitimate darkhorse. Banged up by injuries all of last season, St. Louis should be healthy and much improved come the start of the 2008 campaign. Chris Long adds a demon on the end, and Marc Bulger, Orlando Pace, and Steven Jackson are all back on the offensive side of the ball. Seattle should be strong and Arizona is a wild card, but St. Louis could be the squad to watch in the NFC West.

As you can see in the last 5 seasons, 7 teams have went from worst one season, to first place the next season. Just like the Philadelphia Flyers 2008 playoff Matto "Why Not Us", St. Louis Rams fans should also be saying why not us. Peter does make some good points and the NFC West should once again be up for grabs. The Seahawks are ageing, and dumped Shaun Alexander. The Arizona Cardinals, well are the Cardinals and still can't even decide on a QB between the church driven Kurt Warner or beer driven, partying Matt Leinart. The San Francisco 49ers added x-Rams Isaac Bruce and Mike Martz, but they still have major holes. "Why Not Us"?



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Stlvinnie's Power Rankings: June 18th, 2008

Fan-Sided Blog Power RankingsWe know that it is very early to be doing NFL Power Rankings, however the Fan-Sided Blog Network is bringing you even more early season football information. Below you will find my current Top 10 heading into training camps. We welcome your opinion. All members of the Fan-Sided Blog Network have pooled their Top 10 together to find the consensus list at:

1 New England Patriots
2 San Diego Chargers
3 Indianapolis Colts
4 Pittsburgh Steelers
5 Jacksonville Jaguars
6 Dallas Cowboys
7 Cleveland Browns
8 Philadelphia Eagles
9 Green Bay Packers
10 Seattle Seahawks

Fan-Sided Blogs Power Rankings

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