WR Terrell Owens continues to receive interest from the Bengals, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Rams have decided not to sign him.
The Rams aren't expected to be contenders in 2010, but Owens is familiar with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer and coach Steve Spagnuolo from their time together in Philadelphia in 2004-05. But the Bengals have appeared to be the frontrunner for T.O's services. Cincinnati chose to sign Antonio Bryant in free agency, then drafted Jordan Shipley and Desmond Briscoe, but the Bengals have reportedly been less than thrilled with Bryant's offseason work. And if Owens were to be signed, Bryant would likely slide to the inside slot position.
Bengals owner Mike Brown confirmed on the team's Twitter account Monday that the Bengals were interested in Owens.
Said Jackson, "It's kind of hard. I could see why they'd want to protect their $50 million investment and wait until the offensive line has jelled. But I'm going to be selfish right now, with me being in year seven. If he's the best guy, he needs to play now. I don't want to wait four years like the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers. I don't know if he'll be the best guy, but if he is, I want him in there now."
As for how Bradford reacts under NFL pressure, Jackson said, "I'm more interested to see him take a hit from a blitzing linebacker or safety -- not only his shoulder, but to see how he reacts as a leader and as a quarterback."
Jackson, who turned 27 Thursday (July 22), said he doesn't worry about the advancing years and the toll it can take on an NFL running back.
"I understand I'm taking a huge amount of abuse right now, but it's funny, I don't feel like my career's wasting away," he said. "I find inspiration from Thomas Jones. To see him still putting up 1,400 yards rushing at 31, that's tremendous. So I'm not in panic mode."
A spectator at OTAs because of April 15 back surgery, Jackson liked what he saw from some young receivers. Jackson said, "I think we're going to have a passing game again. We have two young receivers that have really impressed me -- they're both rookie free agents."
Asked who they were, he paused and said, "Ummm ... believe it or not, I don't know. I just know their numbers: No. 15 and No. 83."
--In addition to QB Sam Bradford, the Rams are also working to sign tackle Rodger Saffold, the team's second-round pick. Saffold is recovering from a minor knee injury suffered during OTAs.
Tight end Fendi Onobun, a sixth-round pick, agreed to terms on a four-year contract with a signing bonus around $129,000.
--Added to the coaching staff as a consultant is Frank Verducci, who has had several stops as an offensive line coach in the NFL. Verducci was the line coach at Notre Dame last season.
The Rams did not replace Art Valero, who was the team's assistant line coach last year and went to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We want that unit to be cohesive, and the one thing John does is, he does go over and snap the ball once in awhile. We need versatile guys, who can play center and the two guards. We're expecting John to do that. Hank, here he is a veteran guy working with the second and third, and doesn't complain one bit. I'll watch him rallying those young guys together and pumping guys up. We need that." -- Coach Steve Spagnuolo on the roles of offensive linemen John Greco and Hank Fraley.
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