Posted: 6:51 pm Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Steven Jackson wants Falcons to rank top 10 in rushing 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

 As the Falcons are set to move on to phase three of their offseason program, running back Steven Jackson, in his most recent blog posted on Thursday, said he wants to make sure that the team is ranked in the top 10 in rushing in 2014.

The Falcons start their OTAs on Tuesday and it sounds like Jackson plans to be in the house. He has been working out on his own in Las Vegas for most of the offseason, according to his blog.

Here’s what he had to say about the rushing game:

We fell short in a lot of things last year, but I was definitely most disappointed with how consistently low we ranked in the rushing game. The first thing on my to-do list is to make sure that we rank in the top 10 in rushing, and every statistical category when it comes to the rushing game.

As a group, we need to continue training hard like we all have been this offseason, and have that carry over into the fall. The areas we struggled in last season are fixable. We have the talent. It’s just a matter of us playing together.

Last season, the Falcons dipped to 4-12 after playing the NFC Championship game. It was Jackson’s first season with the team.

He was injured in the second game of the season, but came back strong down the stretch. He played in 12 games and rushed for 543 and six touchdowns. He caught 33 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons finished last in the league in rushing, averaging 77.9 yards per game.

Jackson also writes about making sure his health is balanced after suffering soft tissue injuries early in each of the past three seasons.

He’s been meditating for about 10 to 15 minutes per day. He hasn’t set his goals for next season yet.

PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Tuesday, May 27 – OTA No. 1.

–Wednesday, May 28 – OTA No. 2.

–Thursday, May 29 – OTA No. 3.

–Friday, May 30 – Strength and Conditioning plus a rookie practice

–Monday, June 2 – OTA No. 4.

–Tuesday, June 3 – OTA No. 5.

–Wednesday, June 4 – OTA No. 6.

–Thursday, June 5 – Rookie Practice.

–Monday, June 9 – Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament. Defending champs – Team Scelfo.

–Tuesday, June 10 – OTA No. 7.

–Wednesday, June 11 – OTA No. 8.

–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

28 comments
DforDawgs
DforDawgs

 I don't want to judge him yet because we had such a bad O-line last year. I think he is a very good RB and can complete the drill for us as long as we get some holes opened for him. Let's give him a chance and see how he does this fall.

58Supersports
58Supersports

He better get his act together, he was a joke last year. Hope he turns it around.

ReyB
ReyB

Barry Sanders would have had a hard time running behind the Center, Right Guard and Right Tackle turnstiles we had last season. Judge Steven Jackson by his performance this season as the line is significantly improved with the upgrades of Asomoah and Matthews. 

Leviathan
Leviathan

Everyone here knows most RBs fall off a cliff at the age of 30 and that's exactly what Jackson did. He may have gained a few more yards but the o-line woes had nothing to do with the hamstring that sidelined him. That was father time. He's a Falcon now so some will want to conjure up reasons why but the fact is he's an old back that is hanging on because he thought he would get a ring. Steven Jackson at best is a short yardage back now. Let Freemen and Quiz/Smith split the load and let Jackson pick the 3rd and 1 or 2 between the tackles. If Jackson is the feature back this season Mike Smith is an idiot.

mar1049
mar1049

Actually the whole team played bad last season. You can write about one player but I saw the games and losing was a team effort from top to bottom. 

FalconJames
FalconJames

Thank god Jackson is meditating 10-15 minutes a day! We all know how meditating 10-15 minutes a day prevents soft tissue injuries.  Sam Baker needs to start meditation 10-15 hours a day!

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

Give Jackson a decent offensive line and he'll gain 1,000 yards. Funny how Ryan's drop off in play is automatically attributed to the oline, but Jackson's off year is solely due to him getting old.  When he was healthy, he ran hard. I guess no one saw the SF game late in the season. Ask Donte Whitner whether or not Jackson ran hard.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Well that's a attainable goal, if you use three backs and the offensive line they assembled steps their game up. Even if Jackson plays at a high level this season, I'd still like the coaching staff to monitor his reps. You want a guy like that to be healthy down the stretch. Especially if this team is good enough to get into the playoffs.

SOB
SOB

As per Steven Jackson: Las Vegas is definitely where I'd go if I wanted some extended work outs!

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

If Jaxson want 2 be in the top 10 in rushung then he need 2 be bench

notPlanB
notPlanB

Different subject but how good do you think TD is at picking safeties in the third round? DeCoud and Southward. I hope he has learned.

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

Does anyone think that Antoine Smith will get a fair shot to show his wares this year?  

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

TreeRollins....you are right, Rodgers did hit the hole faster.  He just didn't gain any yards.

Intruder
Intruder

What this team needs is a schedule loaded with losers. That's about all they ever beat. Not tough enough, someone said.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

He's gained weight and gotten too slow to hit the holes on time exactly like what happened to Turner his last 2 years...

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Can we PLEASE just be honest - he was a great player who showed throughout the season last year that he is washed up! Both Rodgers and Snelling hit the hole with much more speed and quickness last year.

If he wants us to be top 10 rushing then he should mentor the new back from FSU and remove himself from the games. That's our only chance. Folks I WATCHED the games last year. He sucked! I thought he was a great back in his days with the Rams. But I thought Turner was great when we first got him also! Give it up Jackson and the Falcon's -there's nothing left in that peace pipe!

Esquire
Esquire

Last season, the Falcons dipped to 4-12 after playing the NFC Championship game.".....should read "Last season, the Falcons dipped to 4-12 after their GM had no clue as to the lack of talent on the offensive line."

ftputt
ftputt

His new backup is already putting pressure on him.  That's good.

-bigdave-
-bigdave-

I'll be satisfied if we get 10 games out of him ...

Leviathan
Leviathan

Barry Sanders did have terrible o-lines. The entire team was garbage. That's partly the reason why he retired so early. My problem in watching Jackson last season was the fact that with all of the gas he supposedly has left, he could not run any better than Quizz or Snelling in terms of ypc. Either way we judge him, 2014 will be the final chapter.

DHJohnson
DHJohnson

i saw it, one punishing hit by Jackson in how many carries?

Leviathan
Leviathan

He will if he can stop fumbling and missing pass pros in practice.

scientist2
scientist2

@RandyFalcon Maybe he can't get the playbook down. Years ago Jarvis Redwine was picked by the Vikings after a stellar career at Nebraska... he could hit the hole etc, he would play and look good but it turned out he wasn't running the play that was called and he could never get the plays down

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

@RandyFalcon  I think the main reason why he doesn't get running back reps is----- he arguably is their best special teams player.

notPlanB
notPlanB

No way. We had the perfect opportunity last year, with nothing on the line to give him about 4 games to see what he could do and saw nothing. This even after MS said he would get that chance. It may be a fluke but when a RB get 5 tries and gains 145 yds., 29 YPC and 2 TD's he should get a chance. We didn't give him that chance and may have wasted a draft pick on a RB.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I really hope so! He looked great compared to all the other guys ast year. They must have a problem with him or something because he was so much better than the rest.