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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLtoday.com Sports Columnist
    09/29/2005


    All along, we figured this would be a breakout year for Kevin Curtis.

    He blossomed down the stretch last season and starred in the playoffs. He moved past his earlier injury problems and fulfilled the promise coach Mike Martz saw in him three years ago when the Rams drafted him out of Utah State.

    Now his progress becomes especially critical with veteran Isaac Bruce hobbled by the dreaded “turf toe” injury. He could move into the starting lineup next to Torry Holt on Sunday as the Rams face the New York Giants in a difficult road test.

    Although Martz has suggested Ike’s status would be a “game time” decision, it would be prudent to rest him for a week or two so he can play out the season like a Pro Bowler.

    “I’m not trying to be Isaac,” Curtis said. “Those are some huge shoes to fill. I know I’m not Isaac. I have to go out and do my job. I’m just going to do my best.”


    Curtis is fast, perhaps faster than any Ram but cornerbacks Travis Fisher and Chris Johnson. He is explosive after making the catch. And he can make the catch, snatching the tough passes and hanging onto the routine throws.

    With these skills, he could become a better third receiver than Az-Zahir Hakim was during the “Air Martz” glory days.

    But his first NFL season was a wash due to injuries; he played just four games and caught just four passes. “My rookie year I was basically redshirted,” Curtis said.

    Last season he caught 32 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. Then he broke through in the playoffs, catching 11 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown in the two games.

    “It helped a lot,” Curtis said of his big finish. “Toward the end of the year, when Isaac was banged up, my number was called to come in and play. I know I can play. To actually go and do some things last year, I did a good job with, it gave me confidence I can do it.”


    He and second-year running back Steven Jackson were big reasons why optimists pegged the Rams for a 10-6 or 11-5 finish in the weak NFC this season. They have been groomed to assume leading roles in “The Greatest Show of Turf.”

    In three games, Curtis lived up to his billing by catching 14 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. He was a force in the second half of Sunday’s victory over Tennessee after replacing the injured Bruce as Holt’s regular partner.

    “The more playing time you get, the more comfortable you start to get out there,” he said. “Even last week, the second half, when I was in there for every play, I started to feel more comfortable, a little more into the game. It was a good experience for me.”

    He has learned a great deal working side by side with Holt and Bruce, two dedicated professionals who avoid all the Terrell Owens/Randy Moss nonsense. These two run every route on every passing play and block downfield on every running play.

    “I’m still learning every day,” Curtis said. “Ever since I’ve been here, it’s kind of opened my eyes, what a true receiver is. I never realized how much is into route running, that sort of thing. Just how they compete, every week, every game.”


    When he plays as a third receiver with Holt and Bruce on the field, his game naturally elevates.

    “When you are surrounded by those sorts of players, it just naturally makes you a better player,” Curtis said. “The way they compete. You don’t have room to relax and take a play off here and there. They are on you. They’ve been on me. You can’t take a play off.”

    His two-plus seasons in the NFL have led him to Sunday’s opportunity, when Martz figures to give him plenty of responsibility within the game plan.

    “I know what I can do,” Curtis said. “When I go out there Sunday, I need to trust in that and go out and play ball.”


  2. #2
    rawkhrdr Guest

    Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    I hope Isaac is ready next week when they play the Hawks. I don't want any excuses. Plus I would like to see him and Ken Hamlin on the same field again....

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    Quote Originally Posted by rawkhrdr
    I hope Isaac is ready next week when they play the Hawks. I don't want any excuses. Plus I would like to see him and Ken Hamlin on the same field again....
    What's your feeling on Shaun McDonald playing rawk? LOL

  4. #4
    rawkhrdr Guest

    Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    I don't much care for him either...but we can't discuss that here. In fact, just thinking about that game really gets my blood boiling....but I want the whole Rams team there, so we can say we beat you fair and square...

  5. #5
    psycho9985 Guest

    Talking Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    Quote Originally Posted by rawkhrdr
    I don't much care for him either...but we can't discuss that here. In fact, just thinking about that game really gets my blood boiling....but I want the whole Rams team there, so we can say we beat you fair and square...
    What will you say if a WR trips over a ref?

  6. #6
    rawkhrdr Guest

    Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    It can't happen again...of course that's what we always say. And then it does. But I think that the ref pushed him or at least he was there purposely to try and trip Bobby...cause Martz paid him off.

  7. #7
    psycho9985 Guest

    Re: No Bruce? No problem with Curtis ready

    Quote Originally Posted by rawkhrdr
    It can't happen again...of course that's what we always say. And then it does. But I think that the ref pushed him or at least he was there purposely to try and trip Bobby...cause Martz paid him off.
    I wonder how much Martz paid him.

    LOL

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