Tidbits From The ‘Looo

From St. Louis, Missouri

Steven Jackson is the Ernie Banks of his football generation.

Banks became Mr. Cub over his Hall of Fame playing career, where he played 2,528 games without appearing in the post-season. No World Series, no National League pennants for the man who became famous for the saying “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame, let’s play two.”

Jackson’s career with the St. Louis Rams has not yet had the longevity of Banks’ tenure with the Cubs. And in his rookie season back in 2004, he actually got a taste of the NFL playoffs, playing in two games that year for St. Louis.

Since then, he’s become the Rams featured back and it’s come at a time when the franchise has gone through an incredibly bad stretch, so bad that it has obscured just how good he has been – possibly the NFL’s best running back over the last decade.

“I thought it would be an every-year thing,” Jackson said this week. “I thought the playoffs would be something I would be accustomed to. God willing, we make it back this time, I won’t take it for granted. I’ll take every play like I won’t be back.”

The Rams have a chance this year in the awful NFC West; they may win the division title with a losing record. Jackson and his teammates could care less about the record if it means a trip to the playoffs. Since 2005 when he replaced Marshall Faulk as the team’s leading running back, the Rams have gone 26-67, including a 6-42 record over the most recent three seasons.

Through it all, Jackson has run the ball. Last week he became the 11th player in NFL history with six consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Backs like Faulk, Eddie George, Tiki Barber, and Edgerrin James had five straight 1,000-yard seasons; they couldn’t reach six in a row. Some of the other backs who did were guys like Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis and Ricky Watters.

He’s been an offensive force as a receiver as well. He’s big, fast and athletic. And also tough. He played the last six games of the 2009 season with a herniated disc in his back that required surgery after the season. That was a season where the Rams went 1-15.

“We cannot give him seams because if you give the guy a seam he gets double-digit runs whether the seam is inside or outside,” said Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “If you give him a seam he can get through the seam and he runs aggressively at the second level. He can make people miss and so that eight-yard gain turns into an 18-yard gain. That is the thing that we have to prevent.”


Every NFL head coach has a member or members of his staff that he designates as his “get back” coach. This came into discussion this week after the Jets assistant strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi interfered with a Miami Dolphins player who came out of bounds on punt coverage.

Alosi has been fined and suspended by the Jets. The NFL has alerted all NFL teams of sideline rules and decorum, and the coaches who patrol the sidelines and keep players back off the playing field will be loud and visible this weekend.

“We always have two, coach (Mike) Clark and coach (Brent) Salazar are always on it,” said Todd Haley. “I take great pride in our sideline. They get mad at me, Brent and Mike, because I don’t let them watch the game much and I keep after them because that’s always a chore – keeping everybody back – but as the head coach I take great pride in our sideline.”

4 Responses to “Tidbits From The ‘Looo”

  • December 18, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Maybe the NFL rules committe will address having gunners running down the field out of bounds this off season. This is so ridiculous. These guys should be trying to get back on the field rather than running down the sideline. Short of the knee, every team should line guys up on the sideline to restrict the gunners open space.

  • December 19, 2010  - RickyP says:

    There is, actually, a rule regarding a player running down the sideline out of bounds. Member of the Kicking Team Voluntarily Out of Bounds During a Punt is a five yard penalty. A player must make an effort to return to the field of play ASAP. I’ve been wondering why that hasn’t been brought up by the media regarding the Dolphin player making NO attempt to return to the field BEFORE he made contact with the assistant coach. From what I saw the player was never even forced out in the first place.

  • December 19, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    Good point RickyP, it looked like the same to me. Sadly, I’m not sure that really matters. Tripping a guy up like that is just stupid and wrong. Players always talk about pounding the other team physically, but when someone gets injured seriously you always see them band together. To see a coach act like that… the dude loses his job. Like some have said, it shouldn’t be the end of his career, but he should be taught a lesson and the NFL should act on this.

    Also, I should mention that “loo” is used to refer to the bathroom in England. Let’s just hope that the Chiefs don’t play like $h1t.

  • December 19, 2010  - RickyP says:

    Not saying in any way that what the assistant did was justified….but it never would have occurred had the player followed the rules.
    Was only making the point to aPauled that there is, indeed, a rule against the gunners running down the sidelines out of bounds.

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