Coming off of eight back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons with the St. Louis Rams, Steven Jackson admits that he bought into his own hype last year with the Atlanta Falcons.
— Pro Football Wire (@ProFootballWire) July 28, 2014
Unfortunately, Jackson who struggled with a torn hamstring, then just struggled period to come up with only 543 rush yards, didn’t even come close to his hyped-up expectations as a member of the Falcons.
Jackson had this to comment about his first year with the Falcons as reported by The Atlanta-Journal Constitution (via NFL.com).
When I came here last year, I kind of believed my own hype. The team was so close to going to the Super Bowl and I thought I was going to be the missing link. Then reality slaps you. It’s still a team sport. This year I know I don’t have to shoulder the burden of carrying the franchise. I’m not the missing piece, I’m just one piece. I feel comfortable knowing that I can still compete at a high level. But all of the unnecessary stress is gone.
Perhaps 2014 will return some of the hype as the Falcons have improved their offensive line by drafting Jake Matthews and signing guard Jon Asamoah. Julio Jones will be returning healthy too, all of which should ease the pressure on Jackson.
If he can’t seem to get his game in gear with these improvements, then running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman will be there to back the 30-year-old Jackson up. However it all plays out, the Falcons as a whole are surely eager to move on from their horrid 4-12 2013 season.
Then again, Jackson suffered a hamstring injury on Monday and missed practice on Tuesday. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come in Atlanta.