On Monday the New England Patriot added former all-pro running back Steven Jackson to the roster. The move was one that was predicted if not expected as the Patriots had Jackson in for a work out last week. While Jackson may not be the same back he was, he adds a veteran presence who can run the ball well and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Jackson released this tweet, he looks to be in really good shape.
I’m back. pic.twitter.com/rjd0JDXgPi
— Steven Jackson (@sj39) December 21, 2015
In Jackson the Patriots are rolling the dice that he will have fresh legs to lead the rushing game into the playoffs. The learning curve for the offense will not be as steep as it would have been for other players, as Jackson played under Josh McDaniels in St. Louis in 2011. Jackson ran for 1145 yards that season.
Jackson came into the league in 2004 as a first round draft pick of the St Louis Rams. The Patriots had been linked to the talented prospect out of Oregon State. However two days before the 2004 draft the Patriots traded a second round draft pick to the Cincinati Bengals for Corey Dillon. Then big Vince Wilfork slipped down the draft boards and the Patriots stole him at pick number 21. Jackson went three picks later.
This is a no lose situation for the Patriots. They are bringing in a proven back for the stretch run. The Patriots who travel to play the Jets this weekend, have at most five games left in the season should they make the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick and his staff may have uncovered the perfect player to help them get the job done. Much like last year, the Pats have made some good in-season acquisitions. The Patriots traded for Aikem Hicks earlier this season. They also traded for Jon Bostic, and in the last two weeks have brought in Corner Leonard Johnson, Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and tackle LaAdrian Waddle.
Jackson could be the best of the bunch, as he will most likely take over the lead “big back” role in the Patriots offense. The Patriots used both Brandon Bolden and Joey Iosefa in the role on Sunday to the tune of 87 yards on 24 carries. Jackson as stated also can catch the ball well, which will allow the Patriots to be more diverse with Jackson on the field, than with a player such as Legarette Blount. Last season Jackson ran for 707 yards and six touchdowns for the Falcons.