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  • Speedy Curtis keeps playing despite ailment

    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

    "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

    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."

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Martz praises Curtis' performance
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    As compliments go, coach Mike Martz laid a big one on Kevin Curtis this week when he lumped him in the same class with fellow Rams wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

    "I think he's on a par with (them); I really do," Martz said. "I think those three are very comparable receivers. I think right now, he's at that level."

    Curtis, a third-year pro from Utah State, was having none of that.

    "I've done very little compared to those guys. I've got a lot to prove to be up in that status," he said. "It's a nice thought, though."

    Curtis has a point: Bruce and Holt - both four-time Pro Bowlers - have combined for 1,294 receptions, 19,909 yards and 119 touchdowns. Curtis' career totals are 36 catches, 434 yards and two touchdowns.

    Martz has a point, too: Curtis gained more yards (369) than any Rams wideout over the past four games of the 2004 season, and he's leading again this preseason.

    In two games, Curtis has seven catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Holt has caught five passes for 80 yards and a TD. Bruce has five receptions for 58 yards, with no scores.

    Part of Curtis' production can be tied to Martz's design. At San Diego, where Curtis had four catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, Martz said he "went out of the way to make sure we got (Curtis) the ball, put him in a position to make big plays, to see where he is, to make sure that when we start the season, he's ready to go."

    Curtis, 27, collected the bulk of his real estate in the 36-21 loss to the Chargers when he hooked up with rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 78-yard score in the final two minutes.

    "I felt bad because I wish I would've kept the ball for him, his first touchdown and all," Curtis said. "I just dropped it in the end zone."

    Instead, Fitzpatrick tried to "reward" Curtis. "The guy tried to give me a $50 bill for catching and scoring," Curtis said. "I thought about it. I held onto it for a minute, and then I gave it back to him. I said, 'I don't want your money.' "

    One of Curtis' top assets is his breakaway speed, which is enhanced when he isn't bothered by a chronic case of shin splints. He has been pain-free this summer, as Martz has throttled back on the physical demands in the preseason.

    "It makes a big difference; I feel a lot better," Curtis said. "I'm definitely healthier than I've been in a long time."

    Martz said: "His speed is really, truly remarkable. And all the raw techniques ... the refinement of that position has been completed for him. Now, it's just how you use him and where to use him."

    That's the ticket, Ron

    The Rams...
    -08-25-2005, 05:56 AM
  • RamWraith
    Curtis has become valuable weapon
    by RamWraith
    By Kathleen Nelson
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Jan. 12 2005

    Since Az-Zahir Hakim departed after the 2001 season, the Rams have been on a
    mission to find a receiver with the speed and route-running ability to make him
    a deep threat.

    Kevin Curtis also knows a thing or two about missions, speed and routes, which
    make him a good fit.

    Curtis caught four passes for a career-high 104 yards in the Rams' 27-20
    victory Saturday over the Seattle Seahawks, earning the honor of offensive
    player of the game. The week before, Curtis stepped in when Isaac Bruce
    suffered a hip injury, catching six passes for 99 yards in the Rams' victory
    over the Jets in the regular-season finale.

    Rams coach Mike Martz said the ingredients for success in the NFL were apparent
    from his first exposure to Curtis, via tapes of his performances at relatively
    obscure Utah State.

    "You put the tape of Kevin on and the first thing you'd say was 'Wow!'" Martz
    said. "He was running by everybody. And then the run after the catch, he was
    making guys miss. You had to go back and look at stuff again. I'm not sure I've
    ever seen anybody in college that fast. Guys that fast usually don't get in and
    out of cuts as well as some of the other guys. But he does."

    In just his second season, the speedy Curtis, 26, has taken his time finding
    success in the NFL. He played for two years at Snow (Utah) Junior College,
    earning scholarship offers from BYU, Hawaii, Eastern Washington and the
    University of Kentucky. Instead of jumping at one, though, Curtis put his
    football career on hold to serve on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-day Saints in 1998 and 1999.

    "I guess I kind of felt it was something I had to do," Curtis said. "It was
    hard from a football standpoint to pause and turn down scholarships that aren't
    going to be there when you get home, but I thought it would be in my best

    His travels took him to London for two years. He packed a football, he said,
    but kept it tucked in a corner of his room.

    "You represent the church full-time, teaching the gospel and doing community
    service," he said. "You get all sorts, no matter where you go. There were many
    that were not so receptive and some that were."

    He spent what little free time he had on a brief morning workout. On his day
    off, he would join in a pickup game of the British version of football with his
    fellow missionaries and people they had befriended.

    "Part of the reason I considered not going was that I would lose speed and
    strength, but it came down to what...
    -01-13-2005, 05:39 AM
  • RamWraith
    Speed, skill make Curtis a fine catch
    by RamWraith
    He says he has much to prove

    ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz doesn't hesitate putting wide receiver Kevin Curtis in the same class with Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

    "I think he's on par with our other two," Martz said of Curtis. "I think those three are very comparable receivers. We're very fortunate to have all three of them. He's a guy that is on that level."

    While flattered by the extreme compliment, Curtis said he has a long way to go before he reaches the stature of Bruce and Holt, who each have been selected to four Pro Bowls.

    "I've done very little compared to those guys," Curtis said. "I've got a lot to prove to be up in that status. Nice thought, though."

    Curtis has only caught 36 passes in two NFL seasons as his development was slowed by a broken leg that required two surgeries. He also suffered through shin splints during his first two NFL training camps as he tried to adjust to heavy workload required of Rams receivers in practice.

    Now Curtis, 27, is healthy and poised for a breakout season.

    "Mentally, I am a lot different player," Curtis said. "Coming out of college, the mental side of the game is a lot different. Everybody is so much smarter. Everything has to be so precise and exact. I've just learned so much in the first two years from guys like Isaac and Torry and (wide receivers coach) Henry Ellard and Coach (Mike) Martz. The knowledge I have gained in the last two years of football probably exceeds all the knowledge I had in my life."

    Curtis has rare speed. He was clocked in 4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash during his campus workout at the University of Utah prior to the 2003 NFL Draft.

    When asked who was the fastest of the Rams' receivers, quarterback Marc Bulger answered diplomatically.

    "You've got to go with Torry, but once you get going, maybe the second hundred yards, Kevin would win," Bulger said. "But, if you have any turns in it, maybe Isaac would win. You'll have to ask those guys, I'm not going to get into that one."

    Curtis exhibited his blazing speed on a 78-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 36-21 preseason loss to San Diego Chargers last Sunday.

    "If you look at the play, I even underthrew him a little bit," Fitzpatrick said. "It's hard to hit the guy in stride. He made a great play on the ball, and as soon as he gets the ball in his hands, he's outrunning everybody."

    Curtis came on strong late last season as he led the Rams in receiving in the playoffs with 11 catches for 235 yards and one touchdown.

    Martz said he's tried to emphasize getting the ball to Curtis during the preseason. Curtis has a team-high...
    -08-29-2005, 05:53 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams wide receiver stands out, no matter the color of his hair
    by RamDez
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch


    Well, he did it again. Rams wide receiver Kevin Curtis showed up for training camp this season with his hair bleached white as snow.

    "I'm not really sure what the logic is behind it," Curtis said. "I did it a couple years ago. I do it every once in a while in the summer. I don't know why.

    "My brother's girlfriend did it. One day she was at the house, and I just said, 'Hey, bleach my hair.' She actually got married like three weeks later to my little brother. It took some convincing. She didn't want me with bleached hair in the wedding. I was bored, I guess."

    With the regular season just two weeks away, the bleach is growing out.

    "I kind of cut a little bit away each time I get a haircut," Curtis said. "Eventually, it'll all be out."

    And none too soon, given the amount of ribbing Curtis takes at Rams Park for the bleached look. Some call him Eminem, for the rapper. Old schoolers call him Billy Idol, for the punk rocker.

    On the football field, everyone calls him fast. Well, at least everyone who knows his game. Some people, opponents included, are still surprised by his speed.

    "I think so," Curtis says. "Last year was my first year to really get out there playing. So no one really knows who I am. . . . So I can surprise people. It's all the better for me."

    The Rams drafted the native of Murray, Utah, in the third round out of Utah State in 2003. A broken fibula in his right leg limited him to four games, with four catches, as a rookie.

    After a slow start a year ago, Curtis closed with a rush. With Isaac Bruce ailing late in the season, Curtis caught 17 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' final three games, a period encompassing the regular-season finale against the New York Jets and playoff games against Seattle and Atlanta.

    "I happened to get in there a little more when Isaac was hurt," Curtis said. "I definitely grew a lot in those last games, especially the postseason.

    "Those playoff games, it's a whole different atmosphere. I know that Seattle game, first quarter, I was kind of going blank on a few plays. I kind of had to calm down, settle down. As the game went on, I was able to kind of get back into my game. But that kind of experience helped me so much as a player."

    So did his 57-yard touchdown catch the following week in Atlanta. In an otherwise forgettable 47-17 loss to the Falcons, Curtis scored the Rams' first touchdown on a pass from Marc Bulger.

    What made that play most memorable was the fact that Curtis was being chased by rookie Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Hall, reported to be the fastest player that year at the NFL Scouting Combine,
    -08-28-2005, 03:41 AM
  • RamDez
    Curtis shows he's ready to contribute
    by RamDez
    Curtis shows he's ready to contribute
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    MACOMB, Ill. - Guess who was the last player to finish signing autographs at Hanson Field following Saturday's Rams-Bears scrimmage?

    Marc Bulger? Isaac Bruce? Aeneas Williams? Torry Holt?

    Not even close. Would you believe it was Kevin Curtis?

    That's what he gets for scoring a highlight-reel touchdown on a 35-yard run and catch from rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker.

    "My arm's a little sore," Curtis joked Saturday, finally making his way to the Brophy Hall locker room area nearly half an hour after the scrimmage.

    Curtis may have writer's cramp, but at least his right leg's not nearly as sore as it was last season. Curtis finally appears to have put his broken fibula behind him.

    "This is big for me," Curtis said. "I missed a lot of camp last year before I broke my leg, so it's good to get out there and get a lot of reps."

    Curtis, a third-round draft pick from Utah State in 2003, missed a couple of weeks early in training camp a year ago with a quadriceps muscle injury. He was just rounding into form, and flashing his defense-stretching speed, when he suffered the broken leg in a preseason game at Buffalo. Curtis had caught a 66-yard touchdown pass earlier in that game.

    After the injury in Buffalo, Curtis thought he'd be sidelined four to five weeks. But the bone never seemed to heal properly, making Curtis' rookie season a wash. He appeared in only four games - all around midseason - and caught four passes for 13 yards.

    "It definitely dragged on a lot longer than I'd hoped for," Curtis said.

    The broken bone never re-connected, Curtis said. "I don't know if it was because I was on it too early, or if it was how I broke it. But I was playing on it all year, practicing and that.

    "We tried to let it just rest, see if it could heal up on its own. But it'd been so long, that they felt like they needed to put a plate in there just to keep it stable so the bones could heal."

    As a result, Curtis had a second operation last February - nearly six months after the initial injury and surgery. A permanent plate was inserted in the leg, with six screws to keep it in place.

    "The bone is pretty much completely healed," Curtis said. "That's not going to give me any problem."

    He may have some additional discomfort related to scar tissue for the next several months, but the worst is behind him.

    "I'm feeling pretty good," Curtis said. "With two-a-days, we kind of got the camp legs going. We're running a lot. So yeah, it's a little sore. But nothing that's really slowed me down too much."

    Curtis certainly didn't look slow on
    -08-09-2004, 04:07 PM