Jim O photograph
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Let’s play general manager tonight – yup, let’s play WWTTD – What would Ted Thompson do if he was presented with the option of selecting either former New York Giant Ahmad Bradshaw or Ram Steven Jackson to join his team.
We’ve said here many times that we’re glad we don’t have to make these personnel decisions, but hey, this is for fun, so let’s have at it.
First of all, we have to believe that both players are on an even health plane. Both have had their health issues over the years, but it is probably Bradshaw who has had the most issues. But since we’re pretending tonight, let’s just say that both are healthy.
Let’s start with Jackson. The 6-2, 240-pounder with incredible speed has been a star for a reason – he’s simply really difficult to bring down. Jackson, in nine seasons and 131 games with the Rams, has run for 10,135 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry; compare that with Bradshaw who has played six years and 83 games, rushing for 4,232 yards – a 4.6 yard average.
Jackson has 56 career touchdowns, Bradshaw has 32.
December 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) is chased by Philadelphia Eagles corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (23) during the first quarter of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Both of these guys have also been very valuable as pass receivers. Given his size, when Jackson catches the ball out of the backfield, he presents unique challenges for defenses … and he’s done it a long time. He has caught 407 passes for 3,324 yards, but only eight of them have gone for touchdowns. Bradshaw, with his 132 receptions for 1,087 yards equals the same average – 8.2 yards per catch.
Jackson has recorded eight straight 1,000 yard seasons – a brute who seems to have broken all the rules of durability for running backs. In an age of pass-first, Jackson has set his own standard and done it well for nearly a decade.
December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) runs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The question is, how much does he still have in the tank? Given the average length of service among running backs in the league, Jackson has far surpassed the expectations.
The same could be said about Bradshaw, though his time in the training room has been much more than Jackson and any GM who might be looking to improve their team and considering Bradshaw, they would have to wonder how long he would be able to maintain what he has done for his first six years.
Nobody can question either one of these players’ toughness, but if I were Ted Thompson and was making a choice between these two players, I would have to go with Bradshaw for a coupe of reasons. The first being price. Bradshaw would command much less than Jackson just because of experience; the second reason is years of service. I would think that, despite his injury history, that I would select Bradshaw because I would think the upside and longevity would be on Bradshaw’s side.
So, our first foray into the field of personnel ends with our first choice – Ahmad Bradshaw.
Below are the career statistics for Jackson and Bradshaw …