Next target for Wilkins is to score his 1,000th point
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch

Jeff Wilkins
(NFL Photos)

As record-breakers go, it was hardly a chip shot for Jeff Wilkins.

"I was joking with (snapper) Chris Massey, saying the same thing," Wilkins said. "First kick of the year, and it's for the record, and we've got to start off with a 50-yarder."

No problem. The 13th field goal of 50 yards or more of Wilkins' NFL career put him into the Rams' record books as the leading scorer in franchise history.

The kick, which opened the scoring in the club's 17-10 victory last weekend over Arizona, pushed Wilkins ahead of Mike Lansford among Rams.

Entering the game, Wilkins was tied with Lansford with 789 points.

Lansford kicked for the Rams from 1982-90, and still lives in southern California. In a nice touch, the organization flew Lansford in for the Arizona game.

"He was down on the sidelines, and I got to talk to him pregame and during the game," Wilkins said. "He's a great guy. I was picking his brain. I love talking to kickers and seeing if I can pick anything up from them.

"And then going out and breaking a record that he held for a while, it's a great honor."

Before the game, Wilkins forgot about having someone retrieve the record-breaking ball. But team equipment assistant John Welby, dubbed "The Playmaker" by Rams players several years ago, made it happen. "Johnny ended up running down there and catching it off the net for me," Wilkins said. "The Playmaker made another big play."

Equipment manager Todd Hewitt is having the ball painted with the date, score, etc.

"That'll be special to have the exact ball," Wilkins said.

As for the record itself, Wilkins said, "It's one of those things where right now, I try not to think about it too much. But like the Super Bowl win we got, when I'm done playing and I sit back and look over my career, it's something I'll definitely be proud of."

Next stop for Wilkins - 1,000 points.

"That's too far (away) for me to think about," Wilkins said. "I'm just trying to get the next point, and the next point, and keep it going."

A thousand points as a Ram may be a couple seasons away, but it's right around the corner for Wilkins in his NFL career.

Counting the 1995 and '96 seasons he spent with San Francisco, Wilkins has 991 career points.

For openers

Undrafted rookie cornerback Dwight Anderson went from the practice squad Sept. 9 to his first NFL regular-season game three days later against Arizona.

He was one of five Rams rookies to make their NFL debuts against the Cardinals. The others: linebacker Brandon Chillar, defensive end Anthony Hargrove, defensive tackle Brian Howard and running back Steven Jackson.

Recurring nightmare

Rams defensive captain Tyoka Jackson began his NFL career in 1994 as an undrafted rookie with Atlanta, but spent only eight weeks on the Falcons' practice squad before being signed to Miami's active roster.

"Bill Kollar was the scariest coach I'd ever played for at that time," Jackson recalled. "I was a rookie, and he just scared the (bleep) out of me every single day the way he yelled and screamed at me."

Seven years later, Jackson signed with the Rams, only to find his position coach again was Kollar.

"It was a little less scary, but still pretty scary," Jackson said. "Over the last four years though, he's gotten less and less scary. He's like the monster under the bed, now. I kind of know the monster's not there anymore."