Steven Jackson didn't necessarily expect the biggest news of the St. Louis Rams' turbulent offseason -- the hiring of coach Jeff Fisher -- to break during his Friday morning flight to Los Angeles, but as soon as his plane touched down, the number of text messages buzzing on his phone told him something big was in the works.
|Steven Jackson said he is "jumping for joy" over the hiring of Jeff Fisher, Jackson's fourth head coach in nine seasons with St. Louis. (Gary A. Vasquez/National Football League)|
"As soon as I landed, I had a ton of text messages and one of them being from Sam Bradford," Jackson told NFL.com Friday afternoon as he prepared for his appearance on NFL Network's "Around the League." "He's saying, 'Steve have you heard or do you know if it's true that Jeff Fisher is our head coach?' And I said, 'You know what? I can find out really fast -- hold on one second."
And being the modern media maven that he is, Jackson turned to his trusted social media outlet -- over even his own agent -- to find out if the Fisher news was true.
"I put it out on Twitter-land," said Jackson, who posted his seventh-consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season in 2011. "And of course came overwhelming (responses) saying it was announced. And then I called my agent ... and I found out it was true. That he's going to be the head guy."
It was at that time that Jackson finally allowed himself to get excited. As a player who's seen coaches come and go all too often during his eight-season career, Jackson said he had grown fatigued by the endless speculation intertwined with any coaching search and chose to ignore the chatter of, "Will Fisher chose St. Louis, or will he opt for the open Miami Dolphins gig?"
"Quite frankly, I did ignore it. I didn't pay attention to it," Jackson said. "The reason I didn't is because I've been through this far too many times. This is my fourth head coach, I've had two interims. Anticipating where Jeff was going to go, or who's going to be the next guy was something that I wasn't spending my days pondering and wondering."
Jackson began his Rams career in 2004 with Mike Martz and since has seen Joe Vitt, Scott Linehan, Jim Haslett and the recently fired Steve Spagnuolo take their turn as head coach. Fisher, however, coached the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans for 17 consecutive seasons before he was fired following the end of the 2010 season.
"I think it's become too redundant," Jackson said of the coaching turnover throughout his career. "Someone may go through one or two coaching changes through their whole career -- this is now No. 4 for me going on my ninth season. Just the excitement of it all that goes into finding a new coach; I've kind of been there, done that.
"Now that I have confirmation that Jeff is going to be the guy, I'm very excited. I've only heard good things about him. ... Now I'm jumping for joy"