Steve Savards Field Notes

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The Jax Factor

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on November 11, 2007 at 8:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

Steven Jackson wasn't the most spectacular player on the field today but don't underestimate his impact. At least three different assistant coaches emphasized how his prescence opens things up for the passing game. And one defensive assistant says the DEFENSE plays better when Jackson is in uniform. That's a confidence issue. It's no coincidence that the Rams have played their best football with Jackson on the field, both today and in the first quarter against Cleveland.

Good work by Defensive Coordinator Jim Halsett and Linebackers Coach Rick Venturi to create blitz packages that put pressure on Saints Q-B Drew Brees. In the first half alone, the Rams had two sacks and two other pressures that forced Brees into two interceptions. And, keep in mind that in the first eight games, the Saints had given up just five sacks. We'll likely see more of Will Witherspoon blitzing from the edge with Leonard Little out for the season. Spoon has the same kind of explosiveness.

A lot of guys played well today--too many to name. But, let's credit the makeshift offensive line with doing a solid job. Kudos to relative newcomers Nick Leckey and Rob Pettiti handling things on the right side.

Today's win doesn't come close to erasing an 0-8 start but it was badly needed and I can tell you that Jim Hanifan and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the booth. And it gives up hope that the second half of the season might be enjoyable.

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