EARTH CITY - Steven Jackson is only the leading rusher in the history of the St. Louis Rams organization. But come the 2013 season, he won’t be running out of that tunnel at the Edward Jones Dome for another year with the team.
Jackson signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason which leaves a major competition at running back this fall. Holdovers Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson join 5th round draft pick Zak Stacy from Vanderbilt.
But losing Jackson is much more about what he brought on the field. It’s about losing his presence in the locker room and in the huddle.
“It’s a lot different,” QB Sam Bradford said. “Not only in the huddle, in the locker room, in the meeting room. Obviously he was an extremely important part of this offense and this organization for a long time, not only for what he did on the field, but for his leadership skills off the field and in the locker room. There’s a void right now. I think it’s part of my duty going into my fourth year to step up and help fill that void.”
Head coach Jeff Fisher believes the same thing.
“This is our not our first time with the group, but yes. As I said from time and time, it would’ve been nice for me personally to have spent more than just one season on the sideline with him. I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the Falcons,” Fisher said.
WR Chris Givens told me there’s a leadership void to fill with Jackson gone but also quipped that the team can throw the ball a lot more than they did before. Considering the team drafted Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and signed Jared Cook this offseason, that’s exactly what you could see come September.