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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