When you hear "Save the Running Back" it probably evokes imagery of helmet-to-helmet hits and the very serious discussions in football about traumatic brain injury. That's not what Steven Jackson is talking about though. He wants running backs used even more, with more carries, more hits and for a longer time.
Jackson has launched Savetherunningback.org, a grassroots movement that asks fans to lobby their team to stop using a multi-back system. This is the letter he's asking you to put your name on as part of a petition:
Dear Team Representative,
I am writing you on behalf of SaveTheRunningBack.org, an organization founded by Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson, to express my dissatisfaction with the way that running backs are being treated in professional football today.
Running backs aren't all the same. They're not interchangeable. I yearn for the days of yesteryear, when players like Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Emmitt Smith were allowed to run free. The NFL was built on the carries of men like them.
Please value the running back position in the way that it was meant to be valued. Because when we do, everybody wins. Learn more at http://www.savetherunningback.org.
There's little doubt the stud back concept is dying, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It means less hits on individual players, which in turn increases the length of their career and quality of life. Not everyone can have a 11-year career with multi 300-carry seasons like Jackson.
Check out his video on the initiative. He even wrote a poem.