If you listen carefully you’ll hear it. The grunts in the background along with the rhythmic clinking of weights as St. Louis Rams’ running back Steven Jackson is getting himself ready for another season.
Jackson knows there is a lot at stake. The team just drafted what could be his eventual replacement in the second round of the draft and he will be 29 years old when the 2012 season begins.
Traditionally running backs don’t do so well once they start to near their 30’s. Jackson though is determined to beat the odds and is working to get even better entering his ninth season in the league.
Jackson has always been a workout warrior and has one of the most chiseled physiques in the league but he is even more hyped this year to be playing for head coach Jeff Fisher.
Fisher has a history of leaning on his running backs and Jackson acknowledged in an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat that he wanted to add his name to that list.
Fisher has an affinity for big backs and Jackson’s size and build are similar to former Tennessee Titans’ running back Eddie George who was instrumental in helping the Titans reach the Super Bowl during the 1999 season.
Jackson is a more elusive back than George was though which is important if he plans on playing past the age of 30. George was a bruiser but he didn’t miss a game in the first eight years of his career.
George carried the ball a lot during that time too. He had over 300 carries in each of those eight seasons and even topped 400 carries during one of those seasons.
But with the poor passing games that the Titans had during his time there, defenses were able to key in on George and dare the Titans to throw the ball. George averaged less than four yards-per-carry in six of those eight seasons.
Despite the lack of receiving talent in St. Louis, the Rams aren’t nearly as bad of a passing team as the Titans were. Sam Bradford is a solid pocket passer and the Rams are hoping that 2nd round pick Brian Quick will provide Bradford with a consistent target to throw to.
But if history is any indication then the Rams’ offense will be centered around their workhorse running back Steven Jackson. You can be sure that Fisher has his saddle ready because Jackson is primed for a big season.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.