The St. Louis Rams haven’t participated in a playoff game during Steven Jackson’s seven-year tenure as the team’s starting running back. The 2004 first-round pick out of Oregon State is a two-time All-Pro, but he’s never been surrounded by enough talent to experience success in the win column.
Despite the fact he’ll be 29 this season, Jackson remains optimistic that the young Rams will compete for a Super Bowl before he walks away from the game. And in order to get there, he’s hoping that the team helps his cause by selecting a prospect ready to contribute ASAP with the No. 6 overall pick in this Thursday’s NFL draft.
Steven Jackson joined KFXX in Portland to discuss the Rams’ struggles in recent seasons, who he’d like them to pick Thursday with their first round pick, and the “marijuana scandal” at Oregon.
On the team’s lack of success during his prime years:
“It’s frustrating. It has its peaks and its valleys. The one thing I can say: this is a organization that drafted me at a time where they really didn’t have to. They thought forward in the future to have someone to replace Marshall (Faulk). They gave me an opportunity to come in right away, learn from someone that was great and then take over a rich tradition at the position in this organization. You mentioned Eric Dickerson, you had Marshall Faulk, and the list goes on in this organization of great running backs. So, they gave me an opportunity to prove myself as an individual and how good I can be as a running back. And I do believe, towards these next couple of years, we can be back in the picture of the glory days and hopefully I can cap it off with the Super Bowl.”
Who he’d like to see the team take with the No. 6 pick Thursday night:
“Who’s ever best available. We have a lot of needs, like I just said. … If he’s able to add value to our team, I mean, we draft that person.”
On if the Rams should draft a deep threat:
“Well, definitely. Me personally, I think that’s the way we should go in the first round … adding some more tools and talent around Sam (Bradford) so he can definitely show his ability to be an elite quarterback. But if that guy’s off the board, then you have to play GM — you gotta think what’s the best available, what’s best for us? So anyone that can be an impact player right away, I think that’s what’s gonna suit best for us and best for Sam.”
On the story alleging that about half of the players on the Oregon football team use marijuana:
“Marijuana usage in America is something that I think is really prevalent and a lot of people don’t realize it. But I think we also understand that it may be something you think everyone is doing and you may be able to get away with and no one knows. But it all takes a toll at the end of your life, and I think we should all understand and think about the longevity of how long you want to be on this planet and what the impact you want to leave.”
If he thinks the estimate of 40-to-60 percent players using marijuana is accurate:
“No, I don’t think so. I think that’s a little high.”