FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When one NFL personnel man was asked his thoughts last week on the New England Patriots possibly signing veteran running back Steven Jackson, the response was brief.
So when it comes to taking a short-term flier on an experienced power running back to help fill the void created by LeGarrette Blount landing on season-ending injured reserve Thursday, the strong opinion from this address is that the Patriots couldn't do any better than Jackson.
Among the things Jackson has going for him are ball security (four fumbles in his last six seasons), prior knowledge of the team's offense from the 2011 season in St. Louis under current Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels, and the fact he is widely viewed as a team-first player who should easily integrate himself into the team's hard-driving culture.
His addition will allow the Patriots to play running back Brandon Bolden more on special teams, where he is most valuable. In Sunday's win over the Titans, Bolden wasn't on any special teams units because he was tapped to play a season-high 28 snaps at running back.
There is varied opinion around the NFL about how much the 32-year-old Jackson has left in the tank, and that is part of the reason he remained unsigned all year. Jackson, however, was also going to be particular about where he signed because he wanted to play for a contender.
So, in many ways, this is a marriage that suits both sides.
The Patriots needed a reliable power runner to play the brand of playoff football they sometimes adopt when the weather gets cold and elements can become more of a factor, and the risk is low to see if Jackson can help fill that void. And Jackson has craved the chance to play in a Super Bowl after having only made the playoffs once in his career (2004).
Kind of like linebacker Junior Seau first joining the Patriots in 2006, this is going to be intriguing to see what Jackson might contribute.