Steven Jackson is well aware of the stigma associated with running backs approaching their 30th birthday.
That could be why Jackson, who just finished his seventh straight 1,000-yard season with the St. Louis Rams, said he'd understand if the Rams used their sixth-overall pick in next week's NFL draft on Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
"The Rams are going to do what's best for the Rams, I understand that, it's a business," said Jackson. "All I can do is try to be there for the young guy and if he's receptive I'll help him. And if not you've just got to compete, and I'm not backing down."
Jackson told reporters Wednesday that he believes he can play for several more years. Using Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen and Thomas Jones as examples, Jackson said he just has to make sure he stays healthy.
"You do hear the echoes and the whispers," Jackson said Wednesday as the Rams wrapped up a two-day voluntary minicamp. "It's doable, I just have to make sure I continue to take care of myself the way I have, and continue to believe in myself."
Jackson contends he's a better back than when he was a rookie first-round pick out of Oregon State in 2004. He said he is just as physical and has a much better feel for the game now.
He is also excited about getting a chance to play for new coach Jeff Fisher, under whom the likes of Eddie George and Chris Johnson thrived in Tennessee. Fisher likes to grind things out, calling more runs than passes in several of his seasons with the Titans.
"I feel like I'm in my prime, I'm excited about what I can do in this offense," Jackson said. "Coach Fisher has a track record of having some great running backs and I hope to add my name."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.