NFC West: Bernie Miklasz

101ESPN St. Louis audio: Miklasz Show

February, 19, 2013
Bernie Miklasz asked for an opinion on Steven Jackson's future during our conversation Tuesday on 101ESPN St. Louis.

Jackson is the Rams' career rushing leader. If any one player represents the soul of the Rams, Jackson would be the one. He's put together a string of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for a team that hasn't given him near enough help most of the time.

The Rams had nine players start on their offensive line last season. That total ranked tied for fourth-highest in the NFL. The team had nine starters on its line in 2011 as well. Seven of those nine did not start for the team in 2012. That's 16 different starters on the line over two seasons. The 2012 Rams got eight combined starts at three positions on the line from Shelley Smith and Joe Barksdale, players the team claimed off waivers in September.

Back to Jackson. What does his future hold? The odds seem in favor of the Rams and Jackson parting amicably. The Rams are getting younger and building through the draft. Jackson is scheduled to earn $7 million in salary this season. He can opt out of his contract, a stipulation the Rams granted him when the sides failed to reach agreement on a contract extension last year.

Jackson turns 30 in July. Running backs generally begin declining by about age 27. However, players 30 and older have reached 1,000 yards rushing in a season 44 times. Willis McGahee was the most recent to do it, gaining 1,199 yards for Denver in 2011.

101ESPN St. Louis audio: Miklasz Show

August, 8, 2012
Bernie Miklasz and I touched on every NFC West team during our latest conversation on 101ESPN St. Louis.

That included my take on the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback situation at roughly the 8:30 mark of the audio posted here.

John Skelton is going to start the Cardinals' second exhibition game, scheduled for Friday night at Kansas City. That was the plan after Kevin Kolb started the opener Sunday.

Kolb, who missed seven games to injury last season, can make a positive statement by gutting it out against the Chiefs despite the painful chest injury he suffered in the Hall of Fame Game. The injury Kolb suffered in that game will make it tough for him to twist his upper body in powerful motions, but every chance to play appears important for a quarterback fighting to win his team's starting job.

"I expect him to play," coach Ken Whisenhunt said, according to Kent Somers.

Kolb: "I was able to toss it a little bit. I'll keep trying to push and giving it the best effort I can. We'll just see what I'm capable of."