By Justin Walker, Marion Daily Republican,
Published: Thursday, December 7, 2006

MARION The exploits of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt are well known around the NFL. They've been the marquee players for the St. Louis Rams for a few years now, and they're both wide receivers.

So the average NFL fan might not know about Kevin Curtis, the Rams' other wide receiver.

"Yeah, I'm the other guy," Curtis acknowledged Tuesday during a stop in Marion to promote Alltel Wireless to the region.

"I love it. I love the role," Curtis said. "It's quite an honor. Those guys are awesome and especially being a wide receiver, coming into the league it's been great to learn from the best. I have no problem with it."

Holt, an eight-year veteran, has caught eight touchdowns and 910 yards this season, while Bruce, in his 13th season, has hauled in 764 yards and two scores.

Curtis, while his numbers are down from a year ago, has still had a fine season with 345 yards and four touchdowns through 12 games while assuming the "other guy" role.

"I don't necessarily want to be the other guy my whole career, but it's been a great learning experience for me," Curtis said.

It's also allowed Curtis, primarily a third-down receiver, to take on single coverage when quarterback Marc Bulger is looking his way.

"There are times where Torry or Isaac will draw some double teams and it will give me some favorable matchups to get me the ball," Curtis said. "Coming in every other down or every three downs, you might not get as many opportunities, so if my number is called, I definitely get excited about the opportunity."

Curtis is in his fourth NFL season, all with St. Louis, after coming out of Utah State. At 5-foot-11 and 186 pounds, he's not menacing by any stretch. But he was clocked as the fastest member of the Rams last season and caught 60 passes in Mike Martz's final season.

Now under new coach Scott Lineham, the Rams are 5-7 heading into Monday's big matchup with the Chicago Bears (10-2) at the Edward Jones Dome. Curtis said the team has been looking forward to this week's matchup, while taking one game at a time along the way.

"We've lost a couple of close games that were tough to lose but obviously we can't change that now and we're just looking ahead to the future and hopefully we can pull off a big win Monday night," Curtis said. "You try to take each game a week at a time, but now that it's Chicago week, we definitely have our work cut out for us. That's a good football team. I can't think of a better way to feel better about the struggles we've been having than to knock off the Bears."