The man that Steven Jackson succeeded at running back in St. Louis, Marshall Faulk, enters the Hall-of-Fame this weekend and Steven is sure to be watching.
Marshall Faulk and SJ39 run through drills in training camp prior to Steven's rookie year.
When Steven entered the league in 2004 as the 24th pick in the draft by the Rams, the writing was already on the wall. But No. 39 is thankful for all that Marshall Faulk did to make the transition smooth in St. Louis.
"You know, it was just an honor for me to be able to come in as a young guy, and be able to see how you're supposed to handle yourself on and off the field," Steven told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "How to prepare yourself in the playbook and in the film room.
"I had a backstage (pass) to all of that. And I think it really helped me going into Year 3, especially when Marshall officially retired. It helped catapult me into my career."
Steven said he and Marshall still talk from time-to-time and Faulk has called to congratulate him on numerous honors.
"Our relationship now is fine, it's great," Jackson said. "He's always one of the first guys to call me when I accomplish things. Like when I passed E.D. (Eric Dickerson, on the Rams career rushing list.) He was the first person to call me when I was drafted with the Rams."
Marshall Faulk understands better than most that the responsibility that comes with being the premier back in St. Louis is a hefty one, where expectations are always high. He's pleased with the way Steven has handled it:
"Steven's done great," Faulk told the Post-Dispatch. "I understand what it's like in this business when you carry a team. And now that he's getting help with Sam Bradford, and when you look at the offensive line (improvements), and now the receivers that they drafted this year. All of that stuff is going to make Steven a better player."
Faulk set the bar high by winning a Super Bowl with the Rams. It's a mark SJ39 hopes to match one day soon and there's no place else he wants to do it, as he told the Post-Dispatch:
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to finish here. I do want to finish here I can honestly say — and I hope no one takes this the wrong way — but I've been a beast in transitioning this organization from the dark days to now, the days of Sam (Bradford). I don't want all my hard labor to go for nothing.
"On that day when we hold up the Lombardi Trophy, I want to be part of the St. Louis Rams holding it up, because I feel that next to the hometown fans, I put a lot into this. I invested a lot into this and I want to see it through.
"I personally couldn't see myself winning a Super Bowl in another uniform and having tears of joy — you know? I couldn't see that. And I think those tears of joy would come from the heartache and pain that I've been through here and now seeing it through."