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Why did Brian Schottenheimer decide to ditch Steven Jackson?

The Rams abandoned the running game despite a big start from Steven Jackson. How will the curious decisions in the offensive game plan factor into offseason adjustments?

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

They did it again. The St. Louis Rams lost another game this week largely because of self-inflicted wounds. Most frustrating of all was the decision to write Steven Jackson out of the game plan early, when the Rams were still very alive in the game. It's also something to think about in the context of the Brian Scottenheimer discussions this morning.

Bernie Miklasz deconstructs the frustrating, inexplicable decision in a Monday morning blog post. Here's the choice line:

It happened again yesterday. Jackson had consecutive runs of 13 and 15 yards. He was on the way to gaining 34 yards on four first-quarter carries. But after his best series, Jackson was removed and replaced by rookie Daryl Richardson. And Richardson was ineffective again.

Jets fans were thrilled when the team parted ways with its offensive coordinator after last season. Schottenheimer faced criticism for being too smart by half, moving away from the running game and putting more emphasis on the passing game with a less-than-stellar Mark Sanchez under center.

That same tendency has cost the Rams on more than a few occasions this season, including an early season loss to the Bears that saw a Rams game plan adamant about passing the ball despite a line bookended by Barry Richardson and Wayne Hunter.

Still, the Rams have played better offensively this season. They didn't luck into those six wins. The scoring still leaves something to be desired, but improvement from the receivers and offensive line is hard to overlook.

Fisher is known to prefer a cautious offense, one that leans on the ground game. How much will he let his offensive coordinator try to force Air Coryell onto an offense clearly not geared to run it? The answer to that question could loom large behind the scenes in any talk of Schottenheimer leaving St. Louis.