Rams downplay need for running back

Adding depth at running back and finding a possible successor for Steven Jackson has become an occasional topic around here as the St. Louis Rams head toward the draft.

The Rams sound more inclined to seek a complementary back than an eventual replacement.

"In our minds, (Jackson) is still playing at an extremely high level," general manager Billy Devaney told reporters Tuesday. "So, we don't feel like, 'Gosh, we'd better start looking down the road.' This kid is as good as there is. We don't feel any pressure to start lining somebody up to take Steven Jackson's place."

That is the politically correct thing to say and, most likely, the truth as well. Coach Steve Spagnuolo cast the Rams' search for a running back in the "complementary" mold.

"People call them 'third-down backs, sub backs, change-of-pace backs,' " Spagnuolo said. "There’s all those kinds of things you could throw in there. The one thing, you guys that know (coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) a little bit and his history, he’ll take what’s given to him and work around it. So, we’ll see what we have when all of this putting together is finished."

McDaniels' teams have drafted six running backs over the years: Knowshon Moreno and Laurence Maroney in the first round, Cedric Cobbs in the fourth, Justise Hairston in the sixth and two backs, Spencer Nead (fullback/tight end) and Antwoine Womack, in the seventh.

Excluding Nead, most were at least 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds.