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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Backups boost passing game

    By Bill Coats

    As he soared for Marc Bulger's second-quarter pass in the end zone Sunday, Kevin Curtis knew that the ball and ***** strong safety Tony Parrish would arrive simultaneously, and that it wouldn't be pleasant.

    Sure enough, Parrish hammered Curtis, knocking the ball away and leaving the Rams' wide receiver stunned. But Curtis hauled himself off the turf and back into the fray.

    "I was a little dizzy for a second," he said, "but I was fine."

    Curtis also suffered a dislocated ring finger on his right hand in the opening minutes and a slightly sprained ankle in the second half. Yet he persevered, winding up with seven catches for 63 yards. He assured that none of his assorted dings would hinder him Sunday, when the Rams play at Arizona.

    "I'm good to go," said Curtis, a 5-foot-11, 186-pound speedster from Utah State.

    The continuing emergence of Curtis and fellow third-year wideout Shaun McDonald - he also made seven catches, for 73 yards, in the Rams' 28-25 loss to the ***** - not only adds to coach Mike Martz's arsenal, but also removes some of the burden from first-teamers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

    After combining for 14 catches and 75 yards as rookies in 2003, both young wideouts had breakthrough seasons last year. McDonald, 24, had 37 receptions for 394; Curtis, 27, caught 32 passes for 421 yards.

    "Both these guys can start just about anywhere," Martz said. "They're playing at a high level. They're a terrific, terrific addition to what we do offensively."

    Bulger launched a franchise-record 56 passes Sunday, which, on the surface, would appear to be a wide receiver's dream come true. But as Curtis noted, the circumstances behind that flurry of tosses weren't desirable.

    "Not when you have to throw, because that usually means that you're losing," he said. "Definitely, as a receiver, you like it when they put the ball up a lot. But when you're in a situation like that, it's not always ideal because you're trying to come from behind."

    The Rams charged back after lagging 28-9 early in the third quarter, and Curtis and McDonald were Bulger's main targets during the rally. Curtis had five catches for 49 yards and McDonald had four, also for 49 yards, from that point on. Holt, the leading receiver on the day (10 catches for 125 yards) did most of his damage in the first half.

    The season-opening defeat, particularly against a team that went 2-14 last year, has steeled the team's resolve for the outing against the Cardinals, Curtis stressed.

    "Any time you come off a loss, you're eager to just get back out on the field," he said. "You kind of have that bad taste in your mouth that you want to get out and have the good feeling of winning. As an offense as a whole, we're looking to kind of get on track. We know we can play a lot better than we did last week, put the whole 60 minutes together both running and passing. We've just been looking forward to this weekend."

  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Backups boost passing game

    Curtis is playing tough. He took a couple of nice hits and continued to play well.

    The 49er secondary was playing close and aggressive. They made it difficult to move the ball, especially in the red zone.

  3. #3
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Backups boost passing game

    If McDonald can return punts, why can't Cutis return kickoffs. We could use his speed back there and good judgment.

  4. #4
    tim Guest

    Re: Backups boost passing game

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    If McDonald can return punts, why can't Cutis return kickoffs. We could use his speed back there and good judgment.
    It seems kickoff returners take much worse hits than punt returners. I'd hate to see our #3 receiver - who is a vital part of this offense - get injured returning a kickoff. maybe if he was a bigger guy...


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