Speedy Curtis keeps playing despite ailment
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Saturday, Oct. 02 2004

Rams wide receiver Kevin Curtis acknowledged that he never thought about
retrieving the ball he caught last Sunday for a 2-point conversion, his first
points in the NFL, as a keepsake.

"I guess I'm not too sentimental," Curtis said, laughing.

Not that the second-year pro from Utah State failed to appreciate the
importance of his diving grab just inside the end zone. It followed a 19-yard
touchdown scramble by quarterback Marc Bulger and gave the Rams a three-point
cushion, 25-22, over New Orleans with 28 seconds remaining in the fourth
quarter at the Edward Jones Dome.

The Saints prevailed 28-25 in overtime, sending the Rams (1-2) into Sunday
night's game at San Francisco (0-3) two games behind unbeaten Seattle in the
NFC West. Having a healthy Curtis available to fill out the team's strong
stable of wideouts can only help the Rams' cause.

"With his great speed, it gives us another dimension," coach Mike Martz said.

Curtis, a third-round draft pick in 2003, played in just four games as a rookie
after breaking his right leg in the preseason. Because the bone didn't heal
properly, Curtis underwent surgery in February. That, in turn, led to the shin
splints that kept him out of the season opener.

"I've had shin splints the last four years, but they've never been at the stage
they've been this year," said Curtis, 26. "I think part of that is because I
wasn't able to train as hard because I was recovering."

Shin splints are a painful inflammation of the sheath surrounding the lower
leg.

"He'll have them the rest of the year and you'll get very little out of him if
you don't just bite the bullet and give him rest," Martz said.

Curtis got in for a couple of plays in Week 2 at Atlanta. He had a 13-yard
catch vs. New Orleans on the Rams' first series, which culminated with a
touchdown. Just as important as anything for Curtis, his legs were pain-free
Wednesday when he returned to practice.

"I've never really had to deal with injuries, so at first it was kind of
frustrating," he said. "But you've just got to learn to do what you can to get
healthy and be patient and wait for your chance to get back out there."


Martz has won six in a row at night

The Rams haven't really been effective prime-time players, going 34-41 in night
games. But they've won their last six to improve to 10-5 since Martz took over
as head coach in 2000.

Although Martz didn't schedule a night practice last week, the team wasn't
scheduled to leave for the West Coast until about 5 p.m. Saturday, some three
hours later than normal for a road game. Martz said he'd keep the players and
coaches busy Sunday with meetings.

"You just don't want guys lying around the hotel room," he said.

Still, "it's just a long day of waiting," veteran guard Adam Timmerman said.
"Sunday's a little bit better (than Monday). You can watch some football. But
sometimes that'll get you in 'game mode' too soon, too. So you have to just
relax."


Holt can expec barbs about his tutu

Don't be surprised if the *****' defensive backs have a few choice words for
Rams wide receiver Torry Holt after his infamous halftime appearance on ABC's
"Monday Night Football."

Holt was the unwitting victim in a segment called "Sacked," which is similar to
"Punk'd" on MTV.

He was drawn in after being told that he'd been named the NFL's best-dressed
man. He expected to be modeling stylish clothes, but wound up caked in makeup
and wearing a pink ballerina's tutu.

"I go in a restaurant and people are asking me, 'What's up with Torry?"
cornerback Jerametrius Butler said. "I'm like, 'He just got tricked. He'll be
all right.'"

Butler expects the 'Niners to lay it on thick.

"Oh, yeah, it'll come up," he said. "But once he catches a couple of passes, I
think they'll forget about that."