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  • Next target for Wilkins is to score his 1,000th point

    Next target for Wilkins is to score his 1,000th point
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    09/19/2004

    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."


    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamWraith
    Next target for Wilkins is to score his 1,000th point
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    09/19/2004
    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...
    -09-19-2004, 08:33 AM
  • RamDez
    Wilkins keeps getting his kicks for the Rams
    by RamDez
    Wilkins keeps getting his kicks for the Rams
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Oct. 02 2004

    Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins is returning to the scene of the crime.

    On Dec. 27, 1998, after a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Bono to
    running back Amp Lee, Wilkins' extra-point try sailed wide left.

    It happened in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 38-19 loss to the ***** in San
    Francisco.

    Since then, Wilkins has been perfect: He will carry a streak of 247 successful
    PAT tries into Sunday night's game.

    Don't tell Wilkins, though. When asked if he realized how many extra points
    he'd made in a row, he said: "Nope. Don't want to know."

    Chris Massey, the Rams' long snapper, said: "We try not to think about any
    streaks. Every time somebody starts talking about it, something happens and
    kind of jinxes everything."

    It's not really a superstition thing, Wilkins said. He simply prefers to
    concentrate on upcoming challenges rather than past accomplishments.

    "You've got to approach every kick the same," he said. "You can't ever just
    think that it's good. As soon as you do that, you're in trouble."

    Wilkins, 32, has a similar philosophy when considering his NFL-leading 163
    points last season and the growing list of franchise records he holds.

    "When I'm done playing, I'll sit back and think about them," he said. "Right
    now, I'm just going to get that next kick and keep it going."

    A long way to go

    His next made PAT still will leave Wilkins 123 short of the NFL record of 371
    in a row, set by Denver's Jason Elam from 1993 to 2002. But consider that when
    Wilkins misfired in '98, he had connected on his previous 100. But for that one
    miscue, he'd be at 348 and counting.

    Interestingly, Wilkins' last miss came in San Francisco, where he spent two
    years early in his career. He still holds the ***** record for field goals in a
    season, with 30 in 1996. Returning to the Bay Area will "always have a little
    sentimental value to it, just because that's kind of where I got my start,"
    Wilkins said.

    Wilkins has been the Rams' regular kicker since arriving in 1997 as a free
    agent. He said he has never performed better than he has recently.

    He reached 1,001 career points with a 53-yard field goal and two PATs in last
    Sunday's overtime loss to New Orleans.

    "There are times when you're kicking really good, and I've had that over the
    last couple of years," said Wilkins, who is in his 11th NFL season. "Definitely
    my confidence level this year and last year is at an all-time high."

    And confidence,
    ...
    -10-02-2004, 11:44 PM
  • Nick
    Wilkins does his job, ends game on FG - PD
    by Nick
    Wilkins does his job, ends game on FG
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Jan. 02 2005

    Jeff Wilkins nearly missed his cue in overtime Sunday.

    "I was actually over warming up; I wasn't expecting it on first down," said
    Wilkins, the Rams' veteran kicker. "Next thing I hear is, 'Field goal, field
    goal,' and I look out and see my snapper running out there. So, I figured it's
    time."

    A 22-yard gain on a swing pass from Marc Bulger to rookie running back Steven
    Jackson gave the Rams a first down at the New York Jets' 13-yard line. Coach
    Mike Martz decided that it was time for Wilkins to send the Rams into the
    playoffs. And Wilkins delivered.

    Wilkins' 31-yard field goal in overtime produced a 32-29 victory. The Rams
    (8-8) earned a wild-card berth and will begin the postseason Saturday at NFC
    West champion Seattle (9-7).

    Wilkins, an 11-year pro, is the franchise scoring leader, with 878 points in
    eight seasons. He has kicked eight winning field goals with the team.

    "That's my job, to come through in these kinds of situations," he said.
    "Obviously, if we blew a team out 40-0, that'd be great, too. But when it comes
    down to it and you're able to come through, it's a great feeling."

    With three more extra points Sunday, Wilkins extended his streak to 275, a Rams
    record and the third longest in NFL history. He has connected on 19 of 24 field
    goal tries this season.

    Wilkins also has recorded eight special-teams tackles. He tripped up Jerricho
    Cotchery on a second-quarter kickoff Sunday, perhaps saving a touchdown. Later,
    Cotchery raced 94 yards with a kickoff to the end zone.

    Long returns have been a problem much of the season. But despite their
    shortcomings, the Rams are in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.

    "It's unbelievable," Wilkins said. "You're sitting at home last week thinking,
    'Wow, this is amazing, that we could actually get in.' But I like the way the
    team's coming together. Obviously, we all didn't play great - special teams let
    down a little bit - but for the most part, we've never given up."
    -01-02-2005, 10:21 PM
  • RamWraith
    Retirement Right for Wilkins
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    By Brett Grassmuck
    Staff Writer

    It was a quick decision, but it was the right decision for Jeff Wilkins when he decided to hang up his kicking shoes on February 29 after 14 seasons in the NFL, 11 of those with the St. Louis Rams.

    Wilkins fought through one of the toughest seasons of his career in 2007, not just on the field, but off the field as he battled a back injury and possible nerve damage. He began contemplating retirement following the season and decided to go that direction in order to preserve himself and the St. Louis Rams.

    “It got to the point where I didn’t want it to get worse and hurt myself or hurt the Rams if something happens in a year,” Wilkins said. “I sat down with my family and we discussed it, and it was just the best time to do it with everything that was happening with my family.”

    He also knew that the Rams were entering free agency, and he knew the team needed an opportunity to go out and find his replacement. His timing was perfect as the Rams were able to snag their No. 1 rated free agent in Josh Brown.

    “They knew at the end of the year that I was contemplating some stuff,” Wilkins said. “Then it was getting close to free agency, and they needed to know, and I kind of was ready to make my decision. We just kind of got together and talked it over. Whatever I wanted to do, they were for it. Once I mentioned (retirement), they said ‘ok.’ They obviously had to go get somebody, and they got a great kicker in Josh.”

    Wilkins can walk away from the game knowing he was one of the best ever at his position and the most prolific kicker in Rams history. He is the Rams all-time leading scorer (1,223 points), and led the Rams in scoring for nine seasons, from 1999-2007. His 265 field goals as a Ram (307 in his career), 328 field goals attempted and 80.8 career field goal percentage all rank first in Rams history. He also holds the record for longest field goal in Rams history, a 57-yarder at Arizona on September 27, 1998.

    His streak of 371 consecutive points after touchdowns is tied with Jason Elam for best in NFL history and is the Rams franchise record. He is tied for highest field goal percentage in a single season in NFL history (100 percent, 17-17; 2000) with Tony Zendejas (100 percent, 17-17; 1991).

    “I have not been here for most of his career, but Jeff has been one of the best kickers that I have ever seen,” coach Scott Linehan said. “We will miss him here, but we also wish him well in retirement.”

    Wilkins is happy with the success he had on the field, which is why he was comfortable with walking away from the game at this point in his life. He had the opportunity to do something a lot of players don’t, and that’s play in and win a Super Bowl, but the camaraderie and friendships with his teammates make up his greatest memories.

    “The...
    -05-29-2008, 05:38 AM
  • RamWraith
    Wilkins still puts best foot forward
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Sep. 09 2007

    Earlier in his NFL career, Jeff Wilkins would take a couple of months off after
    the season and then start kicking in March.

    "Then March turned into April and April turned into May," Wilkins said.

    Wilkins' right leg has carried him through 13 seasons, including the past 10
    with the Rams. He's the franchise leader in scoring and holds virtually all the
    team's place-kicking records.

    So, if giving his meal ticket more rest between seasons keeps him at the top of
    his game, Wilkins, 35, is more than willing to do so.

    "You've only got so many bullets in the chamber," he said. "I'm just trying to
    use them for the right times."

    For that reason, Wilkins has kicked sparingly in exhibition games. He appeared
    in just one this year — Aug. 24 at Oakland — then settled back to await the
    regular season.

    That begins Sunday, when the Rams take on the Carolina Panthers at Edward Jones
    Dome. Wilkins conceded he'll be anxious, as he is every year.

    "You just never know," he said. "You always question yourself, and then after a
    couple of kicks, you're like, 'Whew, still got it.'"

    That provides relief for the Rams, too. Wilkins has been their leading scorer
    for the past eight seasons. His 82.5 percent success on field goals ranks fifth
    among active players, and he hasn't missed an extra point since 1998.

    Coach Scott Linehan is particularly appreciative of Wilkins' ability to hit
    from long distance. He's 32 for 42 from 50 yards and longer.

    "There really is no limit to taking a shot at three points," Linehan said. "As
    soon as you cross the 50, the consideration is there. He knocks it through when
    you need it the most."

    In fact, Wilkins has become even more accurate on deep kicks as he's grown
    older. He has made 15 of his last 17 from 50 and beyond, including all three he
    attempted last year.

    "I just try to stay aggressive with it, and fortunately they've been going
    through," he said.

    Dane Looker, Wilkins' holder since 2003, said more than good fortune is
    involved.

    "It's kind of like in golf. When you see a guy really try to reach for one, a
    lot of times he either hooks it or slices it," Looker said. "'Wilky' has so
    much power he can really still swing smooth."

    And, Wilkins emphasized, he's privileged to have a stable kicking "team." In
    addition to Looker, Chris Massey has been the Rams' long snapper since 2002 and
    is widely regarded as one of the best in the league.

    "He snaps the same, Dane...
    -09-09-2007, 05:25 AM
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