Had it not been for the recent acquisition of Corey Dillon, Steven Jackson may have been drafted by the New Englad Patriots in 2004. With a need at running back, Jackson, a Las Vegas native who played at Oregon State, appealed to head coach Bill Belichick.
On Wednesday, Belichick had nothing but praise for the St. Louis Rams veteran running back. Belichick even met with Jackson in his hometown.
"I went out there and met with him, and spent pretty much a whole day out there," Belichick told ESPNBoston.com "He was a very impressive individual. Obviously [a] big, strong kid that runs well, catches the ball very well. Very good in the passing game. I think he's probably a little underrated in that area. Good in blitz pick-up, a smart guy... He's really had an outstanding career, and he definitely was a guy that we were very much interested in, and [as] I said, I personally spent quite a bit of time with him... That was kind of one of those things, it kind of worked out that way. It's easier to go to Vegas than it was to go to Oregon. But there's been plenty of guys, some of them we bring in, some of them we go see, it just happened to work out with the schedule that way. He was an impressive guy coming out and he's obviously had an outstanding career."
Belichick also told reporters that he liked Jackson's versatility.
"It's impressive, it's real impressive," Belichick told ESPNBoston.com. "He's had a thousand yards it seems like every year, right? Close to it, whatever it is. But he dishes it out, he probably gives out as much as he takes, and it's not like that with all backs. He's got the quickness to be elusive on the second level and avoid guys, and he's also got the power to put his shoulder down and run through guys. He's a hard guy to tackle... As I said, his production in the passing game is very good too.Not just screens, but actual route-running, going out there, beating linebackers. And he's a great target for the quarterback to throw to. It's not a little 5-8 guy you're trying to find, it's a big, tall, strong guy that's got a lot of range and a big catch radius, good hands."
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Belichick a fan of Rams' RB