By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Aug. 22 2007
Because he feared for his slightly built son, Kevin Lovell's father said no to
football. So the youngster satisfied his competitive juices on the soccer
fields in Hawthorne, Calif.
But when the football coach at Mira Costa High came looking for a place-kicker
at the start of Lovell's senior year, the 5-foot-7, 125-pounder raised his
hand. That was the end of soccer and the beginning of an improbable football
odyssey that eventually brought Lovell to Rams Park.
Lovell was 54 for 55 on extra points and 15 for 16 on field goals as a high
school senior, but college recruiters didn't exactly flock to him. After a year
in junior college, he wound up at Cincinnati, where he missed just one of 83
PATs, making a school-record 79 in a row, and made 31 of 45 field-goal attempts.
The Rams signed him as an undrafted rookie. "Ever since I was in high school,
I'd watch games and be like, 'I'm going to make it one day,'" said Lovell, 5-9
and 155 now. "I've made it where I wanted to be; now I need to take it a step
further and get a starting role somewhere."
Barring an injury to 14-year veteran Jeff Wilkins, that won't happen here.
Still, Lovell has sent out a strong résumé to NFL teams that might be looking
"I'll be surprised if he's not kicking somewhere; he's that good," Wilkins
said. "Physically, he's got the ability; mentally, he's got the ability."
Wilkins will take over the kicking duties in the last two exhibition games.
Lovell had the assignment in the first two, and he connected on all four of his
field-goal tries and both of his extra points.
Lovell hit 39 and 40-yard field goals at Minnesota, the second coming at the
gun and giving the Rams a 13-10 victory. He was good from 44 and 42 yards
Saturday against San Diego.
"Kevin's been great," coach Scott Linehan said. "He knows that if he doesn't
make it here that there's going to be a bunch of teams watching him, and he's
taking advantage of it."
With Richie Incognito still nursing an ankle injury, Claude Terrell and Milford
Brown got reps with the first team at right guard Tuesday. Center Brett Romberg
(ankle) was back at practice and also worked with the "ones."
Dane Looker (back) was cleared for contact, but fellow wide receiver Dominique
Thompson (ribs) sat out after practicing Monday. Safety Jerome Carter (foot)
and tackle Todd Steussie (neck) also watched from the sideline.
A funeral Mass for Kathy Garrett, wife of tight ends coach Judd Garrett, will
be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in St.
Charles. Visitation is from 4-9 p.m. today at Baue Funeral and Memorial Center,
also in St. Charles.
Mrs. Garrett, 38, died Sunday after a brief illness.
Practice was held inside again to give the outdoor fields time to recover from
nearly a month of training-camp pounding. ... The Rams have committed six
turnovers — four interceptions and two fumbles —- in the two exhibition games,
while creating none. Last season, they finished second in the league at plus 14.