Here's something to parse at the water cooler this morning: what kind of running back should the Rams get to backup/split time with Steven Jackson?
One need the Rams have to save wear and tear on feature back Steven Jackson. No. 39 has spent some time on the bench because of injuries; however, playing behind a wall of wet toilet paper for an o-line the past couple of years have, in my opinion, had a lot to do with that, except maybe for Jackson's ill-conceived notion to try and play against Arizona this season when his thigh wasn't 100%. Ideally, a number two back would complement Jackson's strengths and pick up enough carries to be something slightly more than a backup, mirroring the trend we're seeing in the NFL recently with the two RB systems, like Carolina.
Jackson at 6'2" 235 lbs is a powerful runner who can move through traffic well and punish would-be tacklers, but more impressive is his ability to see the field so well, waiting for blocks and using his footwork and burst of speed to move the ball. How else could he rack up 1,000 yard seasons with the Rams recent o-lines? He's also one helluva pass catcher. Besides marginal pass blocking, the he lacks that open field acceleration of a true speed guy.
So maybe a speedy guy, not quite the bruising runner that Jackson is. That seems to be the conventional wisdom on the twin runners philosophy. We thought we might have had that in Antonio Pittman, but he just doesn't seem to be quite at that level. Maybe he'll improve with better blocking.
In his article updating the Rams free agent activity today at the PD, Jim Thomas mentions a few free agent RBs still out there. Then there's always the draft, where the Rams might be able to get a second RB on the second day. We mentioned a few names in this post during the Combine.
So, I throw it out to you TSTers, we know as well as anyone, what kind of RB do the Rams need behind Jackson? Is it a guy we can draft? Is it a free agent? Is it someone already on the roster?