Steven Jackson's back is less photogenic than Sam Bradford, and makes less money, and is also just a part of a body, but the Rams' season is as much dependent on its continued health after offseason surgery as it is on the development of the team's new star quarterback.â†µ
Stephania Bell of ESPN.com hashes out his back surgery in a detailed injury analysis piece, but for my money the most interesting part of it--which otherwise more or less says "his back is better, but it could still get worse again"--is this quote from Steven Jackson about the new structure of Rams training camp:â†µ
According to Jackson, the entire structure of camp has changed to ensure that players are fresh to start the regular season. Jackson noted that last year the team "felt like we were sluggish and tired, beat up still from training camp." And this year? "I can really see that [Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo] made a concerted effort to make sure we still play physical football," Jackson said, "but he's made sure that we still are going to be able to go out and compete at a fast tempo."â†µ
I'm always happy to see a team (and a coach) do something that goes against the physically excruciating stereotypes of football when it means a chance at playing better in the regular season; it's good to see Steve Spagnuolo maintain an open mind in areas that have long been dominated by coaching stereotypes.