Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant (79) during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Jackson: Not Being Atlanta Falcons Offensive Focal Point Will Make Things Easier

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Steven Jackson left the only franchise he has ever played for, the St. Louis Rams, to join the NFC Championship runner-ups Atlanta Falcons. For many years Jackson had to carry the Rams offense, which literally ran through Jackson. Now he joins a championship contending team with a quarterback, Matt Ryan, in the “elite” conversation, and just one of many weapons like Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, and Julio Jones.

“That definitely will make my job a little easier. I know that I’m not the focal point,” Jackson said on WCNN in Atlanta, via Sports Radio Interviews. “This is Matt’s offense and his team. I’m just another tool that’s out there on the field. With the explosive players that we have on the outside I’m sure a lot of teams will be more concerned about getting beat over the top than within the box. So I’ll probably have some favorable fronts and I have to take advantage of it and do my job and continue to be the player that I have the last nine years.”

With a defense spread thin covering all of Atlanta’s weapons Steven Jackson’s stats could see an improvement while teams try to cover everyone. That point though, if true, shows you how really unproductive Michael Turner was.

And with teams focusing on Jackson and him still managing to average 4.1 yards per attempt, that numer could go up as well. As most running backs decline after their 30th birthday, Jackson could actually improve by taking advantage of the new offense.

“I’ll continue with the same work ethic that I had … and I’ll be working hard and continue to maintain a healthy diet,” Jackson said. “But, as well, I went out and sought advice from older guys that have been successful in this league after the age of 30 and what way they adjusted and what the mindset that I need to prepare myself for it.”

While things have changed more drastically on the defensive side of the ball for Atlanta, Jackson says they still have the same goal.

“We’re a new team. We’re different from the team that was here last year,” Jackson said. “But the success that these guys have had together and the leadership that the coaches have, I believe that we can be a very potent team. But we gotta go out there and do it ourselves on the field, we can’t just keep talking about it.”

 

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