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Scouting report: Rams' running offense

Oct. 21, 2012
 
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Here is Pete Dougherty's scouting report on the Rams' rushing offense based on interviews with NFL coaches and scouts:

New coach Jeff Fisher hired former New York Jets coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to run his offense. Schottenheimer runs an Air Coryell system he first learned in the late 1990s as an assistant with the Rams, though he also names as influences some of the assistants who ran a West Coast system for his father, Marty, including Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Rams rank No. 28 in yards, tied for No. 26 in points and No. 16 in rushing. Far more than Mike Martz, another famous Coryell disciple, Schottenheimer likes to run the ball and prefers a power attack.

He has a true power back in Steven Jackson (6-feet-2, 240 pounds), who has been one of the NFL's best runners between the tackles going on nine years, though he's getting old for the position (29) and has a history of nagging injuries. He had a strained groin early in the season that limited him but in the past couple of games has been breaking tackles and carrying tacklers more like his old self. He ranks No. 30 on the NFL's all-time rushing list (9,416 yards) and this season is averaging 3.6 yards on 89 carries.

The change-up No. 2 back isn't second-round draft pick Isaiah Pead (5-11, 200) but another rookie, Daryl Richardson (5-10, 196), a seventh-round pick from Abilene Christian who is a quick, pick-and-slide runner and also has good hands as a receiver. He's averaging 5.2 yards on 47 carries.

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