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You think the Rams have problems...

Well, time for what's becoming an afternoon tradition 'round here at the old Turf Show Times, the Steven Jackson holdout update. And, as you might have suspected, there's nothing happening...that we know of. We'll continue to cling to the two most recent developments, stretching the interpretation to give them a sunshine and roses feel in the midst of what could be a dark, dark situation for the Rams.

First and foremost, the report yesterday from the Post-Dispatch that "low-key talks" have happened in recent days hold out the most hope, particularly when you consider that with talk of Jackson seeking new representation out of his displeasure with the situation which could well be the driving factor in those "low-key talks."

Those low level discussions most certainly top the agenda when Linehan meets with team president Jay Zygmunt in St. Louis today. I suspect that in addition to a status report from Zygmunt about those talks, Linehan will give Zygmunt an full assessment of the team's prospects and contingency plans for life without Steven Jackson. Linehan might also want to get an idea from Zygmunt too about how a potentially long absence from Jackson might effect his job security.

Finally, there's an interesting, sort of parallel taking place in New York, well New Jersey really, between the Giants and Plaxico Burress. Burress, too, is looking for a new contract and had been absent from camp ostensibly because of a bum ankle, but he showed up this week, going through limited reps. Ross Tucker at SI.com thinks Burress' strategy could provide a template for holdouts like Jackson or Bills tackle Jason Peters, both represented by Eugene Parker, wherein they report and allow negotiations to advance, without doing much in the way of practicing. Hopefully, Jackson's aware of this, because it would be a great way for him to save face, the face that's already being used as the face of the franchise, and makes sense given the reported rift between him and his agent.

Ok, that's all the Steven Jackson holdout talk for today - barring developments. God, this situation is getting old.

Tomorrow's schedule at TST: defense and previews for this weekend's all-too-important preseason game against the Chargers.

Now, lest you think the Rams are the only beleagured member of the beleagured NFC West, let's troll around the division to see where things stand with the rest of the NFL's flotsam and jetsam.

Receiverless in Seattle

Seattle had big questions about WR depth before camp began, but the loss Bobby Engram this week and Deion Branch is likely to miss some time early in the season. Add to that worries about starting QB Matt Hasselback, who has been missing some practices, and Seattle could have real problems on offense. And if that weren't enough, don't think they won't miss new Rams kicker Josh Brown. Brown's leg beat the Rams twice in 2006. Now Orlando Mare and Brandon Coutu are battling for the kicker job in the windy confines of Seattle.

At least we've got a QB

Now, after Kurt Warner's surprising emergence in the wake of Trent Green's injury way back when, I never laugh too much at QB situations. 49er fans don't have the recent memory that we do though, and it doesn't seem like the possibility of J.T. O'Sullivan starting truly excites anyone. The decline of first round pick Alex Smith could have bigger implications in San Fran's organizational harmony, especially for Mike Nolan. Could Mike Martz be coaching again next season? There's also concern about the pass rush.

More QB controversy

If Arizona works out the ever-present QB controversy between Lienart and Warner, they actually could be the surprise of the divsion. Sneaky, sneaky. Fans have real concerns about their secondary too.