Julian Peterson is familiar with the St. Louis Rams having played them twice a year from 2000-08 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers (2000-05) and Seattle Seahawks (2006-08). Peterson’s teams had a 10-5 record against the Rams over that span.
Because of his familiarity with the Rams’ offense, Peterson understands the importance of stopping their top threat, RB Steven Jackson.
Peterson: “The biggest thing is you’ve got to stop Steven Jackson. You’ve got to make sure you bottle him up because he is pretty much their offense. They’ve got some good players out there but what I see is Jackson running hard. He is doing a good job running regardless of what their record is, so our biggest thing is bottling him up.”
Jackson has yet to score a touchdown this season, but has been productive despite a tough stretch from a team standpoint. He ranks third in the league in rushing with 635 yards on 143 carries (4.4 average), trailing Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson (720 yards) and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (687 yards).
Peterson: “He does everything. He can catch and run. He has the ability to rush for 1,000 yards and has the ability to catch close to 100 passes in a season. He’s a multi-purpose guy.”
Head Coach Jim Schwartz has been impressed with that production and also sees him as the key to stopping the Rams offensively.
Schwartz: “When you’re an 0-7 team, it’s hard to continually rush the football. What happens (when you’re behind) is: (you’re) not able to stick with the run. It says a lot about Steven Jackson that he can be where he is rushing the football – he’s strong, he can run inside, he’s got the speed to run outside, (and) they’re using him a lot in the passing game. (He’s a) very, very talented player.”
Being aware of Jackson’s running style is helpful for a defense because you can come up with ways to counter it. Peterson knows this more than anyone.
Peterson: “The biggest thing with him is you can’t let him just come at you full steam because that when he’s at his best. You need to stop him before he gets started and try to slow him down at the line. You have to get him to chop his feet.”
Tags: Jim Schwartz
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