Steven Jackson is a member of a breed that, if not dying, finds itself consigned increasingly to wildlife preserves and zoos: He's a full-time, always-on-the-field starting running back. And he doesn't want to share. It's hard to blame him; he's stuck with the St. Louis Rams through some of the ugliest seasons in recent NFL history, and he's the franchise's all-time rushing leader as of last season. But as 2011 NFL Mock Draft watchers continue to slip a Mark Ingram or Mikel Leshoure into every third or fourth Rams mock it's hard not to wonder whether Jackson realizes just how much the NFL is changing.
Teams are increasingly aware of the premium being placed on passing under the current NFL rules, but they're just as aware of the absurdly short shelf-lives that every-down backs like Larry Johnson have demonstrated in the last 10 years. That combination means running backs, both individually and as a group, are likely to see less carries in the future.
As Turf Show Times says, Jackson's been anything but disruptive about his preference, and he deserves credit for the way in which he's made it clear. But it's a preference that's becoming more difficult than ever to fulfill.