Jackson Ready To Start The Season

Steven Jackson

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson met with the media following Monday's practice and talked about a variety of topics, including the final preseason game, former teammate Marc Bulger's return and players stepping up with Donnie Avery out for the season.

Here is a transcript of what Jackson said:

(On if he wants to play Thursday)

"No. (laughs) That's about as up front as I've been all camp huh. But if Coach wants me to go out there, I'm fully prepared to go in there and play however long as the ones are going to be out there. But me personally, no I don't want to play."

(On if he is ready for the regular season)

"Yes, I'm really excited. I'm ready for September 12. The more days and the more, as the days go by I'm getting more anxious by the week. So, a few more short weeks and we'll be here."

(On how hungry the veterans are for a fresh start this year)

"The thing about this league is no matter if we would have had a winning season, if we would have had the season that we did have, you can't really go back and stay in the rear view mirror. You have to continue to look forward, that's how you make yourself a better professional, that's how you build a dynasty. There's always preparing each and every day for what's next and not what has happened in the past."

(On his thoughts on seeing Baltimore QB Marc Bulger coming back to St. Louis)

"Me and Marc (Bulger) we're really good friends. He was a great teammate for six years. I thought he helped me grow a lot, especially in some of the things that I've been doing, as a receiver, He's helped me build that confidence in that area of my game. I have a soft spot for Marc. Were good friends, so regardless of what uniform he has on, I know the person and that's what matters."

(On what kind of reception he thinks Bulger will get and what he thinks Bulger deserves)

"Well, you really can't play this game based on how people perceive you or how they're going to receive you. You have to got to go out there and just do your job. Everyone at some point becomes a goat, I guess, so its unfortunate that he took a lot of blame that I don't think was fair."

(On if it would be beneficial for him to play with QB Sam Bradford to further build chemistry)

"It'd definitely be beneficial in letting us to grow more chemistry, yes. But the gentlemen asked me if I want to play. (laughs) I understand, yes, the chemistry for us to play another game before the thing really counts. I do think it's probably something that Coach probably would want and I'm ready for it if it happens. I'm not going to go out there and grope about it. You know it's something that I would like."

(On if it was a confidence builder to be score more points last game in comparison to last year)

"It's definitely a confidence booster, I think, in two areas, short yardage, I think we were 100 percent and then in the red zone we were able to put touchdowns on the score board instead of three points. So that really allows for us to have a huge booster going into Baltimore and also going into the regular season. We know we're are capable of putting up points, now we have to go out there and make guys miss in open field and makes plays as they present themselves."

(On how the improved defense can make the offense better)

"I'm not quite sure how to answer that… anytime you have a lot of competition, which we have a lot at several spots on this team, that allows for everyone to get better. So just as much as the defense is improving, I think we're improving as an offense. So, I'm a little bias. I think as an offensive group, we're making great strides in the direction that were going. Especially with such a young tight end corps, quarterbacks, and we have a left tackle that's young. So as far as having so many young guys and to be able to move the ball like we have these last two preseason games, it's very encouraging. It allows us… we're going in the right direction, so I think that both sides are benefiting from the competition that we have here."

(On if being in the system for a second year is a big factor)

"Yes, it allows you to not have to worry about calls. When you're in a transition of offense, you kind of tend to go back to what you have been doing over the years previous. Now, everyone's been in the offense one year, it allows things to happen a little smoother and not so much verbal conversation where you see a look, guys are already communicating without even having to say anything."

(On if WR Donnie Avery's injury will cause someone else to step up)

"I think we have a young corps that's willing to take upon the challenge. I think we have (WR) Keenan Burton, (WR) Laurent (Robinson), (WR) Danny (Amendola), we have some good, shifty young guys, that are willing to take on the challenge. We all understand that Donnie's is a huge part of what we planned on doing this year. It's like anything else, there will be injuries throughout the year but somebody will have to step up and fill the void, and I think we have the young guys that are capable."

(On what is required of the other RBs as his back up)

"They have to continue to make plays. You want to make sure that guys are reliable and that they know what they are doing in the play book. That when a play is called that Coach and the offensive coordinator (Pat Shurmur) knows that in a blitz pick up, they know who to pick up and in the running game that they're going to play aggressively and they're going to run with a passion. I think that has been displayed though the preseason. It's going to be a difficult decision, each one have something that they're particularly good at. So it all comes down to the comfort and what Coach (Sylvester) Croom and the Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur would want."

(On if lately the team has had fresher legs on game day)

"Definitely, you can tell in our play that the team is a lot fresher. Guys are going out there and playing 100 miles per hour. Its funny, us being professionals you think that whatever card is dealt to you, you play with it. It's something about a bone, it's something when Coach gives you something, you actually want to stick your neck out there a little further for him. You have a trust that when the body is banged up, he's going to pull the reins off a little bit and I think Coach is showing that he understands. He listens to the team and when guys are banged up, when the team is moving a little lethargic, he's going to back up. But when he needs us to push, were willing to push for him."

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