Rams new Offensive Coordinator Al Saunders has big plans for Steven Jackson and he may be able to implement them. But for now it may be a backfield by committee. Rams Prez Jay Zygmunt just said the team has made Steven its final offer and will now begin fining him for every day of camp he misses. This is not the way Scott Linehan wanted to open camp in a make or break year.
I'm told that we could expect a lengthy holdout based on what Jackson's agent Eugene Parker is asking for. I don't know specific numbers but I'm told it's much more than the Rams are willing to pay. Much more.
A lengthy holdout will certainly test Saunders' ability to create offense. He was planning on building it around number 39. The Rams have no real replacement on the roster, only guys like Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard who are conisdered complementary backs. Of course until a guy like Pittman gets a chance you never know. But it would be a stretch to think he could even come close to duplicating what Jackson can do.
Keep this in mind, too. The Rams receiving corps is no longer explosive or deep. After Torry Holt, you don't have proven game breaking talent. So it's not like Saunders can just start chucking the ball all over the field. Especially with a big question mark attached to Orlando Pace and the rest of the o-line.
Not a great start to camp but it's early. The good news is if the Jackson issue does get resolved, he isn't likely to be adversely affected by a limited training camp. In fact, it could even help him in the long run.