Following the season-ending injuries sustained by LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis, the New England Patriots are indicating that they would like to explore other options at running back beyond current in-house options James White and Brandon Bolden. As originally reported by ESPN’s Ed Werder, the team is meeting with veteran running back and free agent Steven Jackon today.
As Werder notes, current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the coordinator of the 2011 St. Louis Rams offense, which featured Jackson at running back. Things went, well, pretty poorly that season, with the Rams finishing 2-14 and scoring a league-worst 12.1 points per game. Jackson got his reps in, though: on the season, he received 260 rushing attempts and accumulated 1,145 yards.
McDaniels returned to coordinate the Patriots offense immediately after that season, and has achieved success with other unlikely members of that 2011 Rams offense. Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd caught 74 passes for 911 yards for the Patriots in 2012. New England also signed Ram WR/KR/PR Danny Amendola before the 2013 season, and Amendola is third on the Patriots in all-purpose yards since that time despite missing significant amounts of games due to injury.
Jackson was the primary running back for the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 and 2014, the first time in his career that he averaged less that four yards a carry in consecutive seasons.