Rams RB Jackson a world traveler in offseason
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Steven Jackson isn’t much for sitting around during the offseason.
The St. Louis Rams running back, known for his exotic travels, visited Brazil, Argentina and Peru earlier this year and plans on hitting the road again once the Rams’ three-day mandatory mini-camp ends Thursday.
“I’ll be going somewhere, doing something,” Jackson said. “Just not sure what it’s going to be.”
It’s a good bet it will be something exciting.
By his own count, Jackson has visited 15 different countries over the past four years.
He has attended World Cup Soccer matches in South Africa, viewed the Mona Lisa painting up close at the Louvre in Paris, and walked through the catacombs of the Roman Coliseum. He visited Australia and New Zealand on one trip after the 2010 season and followed that up with a jaunt through England, Italy and France several months later.
Jackson says he loves living life to the fullest.
“I just like to do different things,” he said. “Do the tourist things, see as much as I can.”
Wide receiver Danny Amendola is envious of Jackson and his desire to trot around the globe.
“He does some crazy things, but I’d eventually like to do stuff like that,” Amendola said. “The things he sees — pretty amazing.”
The 28-year-old Jackson is again expected to come up big on the field this season.
Despite his seventh consecutive year with 1,000 yards rushing, the Rams went 2-14 in 2011. Although he racked up his usual impressive numbers (1,145 yards on the ground, 333 receiving), Jackson is looking to bounce back from one of the most painful seasons of his eight-year career.
So far, the Rams have looked sharp under the direction of new coach Jeff Fisher, who led his club through a spirited workout on Tuesday. Fisher is hoping to build confidence in his squad. He says the team accomplished a lot during last week’s organized team activities and he was impressed with the tempo on Tuesday, as well.
“It was a good day,” Fisher said. “It went well. Basically, we’re continuing on with the OTA practices. We got a lot done with our walk-through. We got a lot more (plays) put in.”
Jackson, who ran for a career-best 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2006, feels the team has accomplished what it set out to do during the offseason.
“I think we’re moving at a pretty good pace,” Jackson said. “The guys are really grasping the schemes. We have some talent.”
Jackson says the new faces, including 10 draft choices, will make for some strong competition when training camp begins July 29.
“There’s a lot of turnover from last season to this season, it’s an entirely new team, new staff,” he said.
Jackson is looking forward to the six-week vacation that will begin Friday. The Las Vegas native isn’t going to release his travel itinerary, but he promises to have some interesting stories to tell when he gets back.
NOTES: The Rams have signed eight of their 10 draft choices. CB Trumaine Johnson, a third round pick out of Montana, and CB Janoris Jenkins, a second-round choice from North Alabama, remain unsigned. WR Brian Quick, a second round choice out of Appalachian State, is the latest to sign. … C Scott Wells, a nine-year veteran from Tennessee, will miss the mini-camp due to personal reasons. Fisher called it “an excused absence.”