Every fan loves to see a player that shows dedication to his team on top of improving his personal skill level. Wide receiver Kevin Curtis fits this description perfectly. You don’t see him in the media. You don’t hear about his problems off the field. And most importantly, you don’t hear about him ruining relationships with teammates or slacking off.
Coming off a mediocre season in comparison to 2007 (77 catches for 1110 yards and six scores), Curtis has something to prove in 2009. He battled a sports hernia injury most of last season that kept him out of seven games. The 31-year-old had a second surgery in April to repair the hernia in an effort to return to full form by the start of the upcoming season.
To test his health, Curtis took initiative and reported to training camp early. The wide-out participated in several noncontact drills with the rookies and did not experience any problems. The veterans are not required to report to training camp until today (7/30/09), so it says a lot about Curtis’s character and drive to come out early in order to assure that he can run compete at training camp.
With the acquisition of unsigned rookie Jeremy Maclin, Curtis is not a definite for the second receiving spot. Since Maclin has yet to report to camp, Curtis will already have an edge on the unproven rookie. He has the speed and versatility to be a big time receiver for the ‘Birds, but even the wide-out cannot fully proclaim that he is 100 percent Since an athlete can continue to play through a sports hernia (McNabb in 2005, Curtis last season for the first six games), it is tough to assume that he is ready for full contact.
“It feels pretty good,” he said of his groin to the Philadelphia Daily News. “I’ve been out running on it hard, cutting on it [at home]. But you can’t really duplicate the real thing. I was curious how it would feel in this kind of setting. So far, so good. But I didn’t do a whole lot. And it’s going to get more intense as we go.”
If Curtis is able to duplicate his efforts from 2007 and second-year receiver DeSean Jackson can repeat from his 62-catch rookie season, the wide receiving core is looking very impressive heading into 2009.