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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    By Howard Balzer
    Saturday, November 01, 2008



    The Rams' locker room was virtually empty just 30 minutes after practice ended Friday, as reporters stood around waiting for someone to talk to. It turns out there was an NFLPA meeting going on, which made everyone wonder when wide receiver Torry Holt would be available for his weekly chat with the media.


    On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the season, the locker room is open to the media for 45 minutes after practice. Holt always talks on Friday, running back Steven Jackson on Thursday and quarterback Marc Bulger on Wednesday. It's their assigned day.


    So, it was somewhat surprising Friday when Holt emerged from the shower, obviously not in attendance at the union meeting. It seemed odd for someone that was once the team's player representative. But no one was sure who now was the team's player rep.


    As Holt sat down at his locker, from across the room Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch asked Holt if he was still the team's player rep. Holt said he wasn't, adding that "OJ (Atogwe) and Will (Witherspoon) are." Then, chuckling, Holt said, "I guess I've been demoted. But that seems to be the thing here with me lately."


    A few minutes later, when Holt began talking, it became apparent he might not have been kidding around. His words were measured, they were said calmly and matter-of-factly. There was no rancor or whining, as some feel compelled to describe. Quite simply, he was asked questions, and answered them honestly.


    Right off the bat, Holt was asked if was surprised that he wasn't getting the ball more. Yeah, absolutely, Im surprised," he said. "But I guess they feel that Donnie (Avery) obviously has been stepping up and making some huge plays, and they want to continue to get him the football. So Ive just got to go out there and continue to try to keep some bounce, and try to play and do what I can to help our football team win."


    Asked if he was frustrated, Holt said, "Absolutely. When you go from getting as many opportunities and touches that Ive had in the past to not nearly as many, yeah, theres definitely a sense of frustration. He discounted the notion that a bad knee that affected him last season has anything to do with his lack of production this year.


    "I feel good," Holt said. "There's some soreness and tightness at times. I haven't been getting as much work during games, so I'm not tremendously sore on Mondays. It's not like I'm in the training room every day getting treatment. I haven't missed a practice. I get myself ready to help our team win on Sunday."


    When it was mentioned to Holt that upon taking over as head coach, Jim Haslett mentioned him as one guy that needed to get the ball, Holt said, "Yeah, you said it. You hit the nail on the head. Im here every day. Im here working and getting myself prepared and ready to go out and try to help us. I was told the same thing. So Ill continue to stay patient and see how things develop."


    However when asked if he had said anything to Haslett or the coaches, Holt responded, No, I dont feel like I have to. I don't feel like I need to speak to anybody about that. My body of work speaks for itself. Im not going to make a stink about it or make a fuss about it. I just continue to go with the flow, and once again, just try to help out this football team where I can and as much as I can."


    He has been a positive influence on the rookies, and hasn't let his frustration affect his ability to help them become better players.


    In addition, there seemed to be a concerted effort to get the ball to Holt in the game against Washington, but several passes misfired. On some, it appeared he didn't make maximum effort to extend himself for the ball. The following Friday, when also asked about frustration at not making more plays, Holt said, It gets frustrating at times, but I understand whats going on. The main thing I can do is when opportunities present themselves and I had a couple of opportunities last week where I felt I should have done a better job of going up and attacking the football like I have done in the past and making some plays and taking some pressure off Marc. Taking some pressure off of some of the other guys on our football team that I didnt execute. Ill have some more opportunities this game and hopefully I do a better job of getting open, getting some separation and making the catch and doing what I do."


    Against the Cowboys, even though Bulger passed only 19 times, Holt had just three receptions, but totaled 51 yards. There seemed to be more success getting him the ball further down the field. But then last week against the Patriots, once again it was mostly short passes as he gained only 28 yards on three catches.


    When the reliance on short routes was noted yesterday, Holt said, Its obvious that Im not doing the things in the passing game that Ive done in the past. My game has always been, Im a vertical guy, getting in and out of breaks, running deeper routes. Ive been doing some of that, but not a great deal of it.


    Clearly, Holt believes he can still get the job done, but can he? Fox broadcaster Brian Billick, the former Ravens coach who was at practice Friday because he will be the analyst for Sunday's game, told me Holt isn't what he once was and added that, even though teams will still double him, there isn't the same concern there once was. Billick said that before the Ravens played the Rams last season, defensive coordinator Rex Ryan told him nothing special had to be done to account for Holt.


    Friday, however, Holt said he is the same player as in the past. Yeah, I think so," he said. "I think Im still getting open. I dont think you can go from what I did last year and the years before and just be ****ty. I dont think it happens that way, not with the way I work and how passionate I am about the game of football. Obviously, Im getting doubled, but Ive beaten double-teams plenty of times throughout the course of my career.


    Meanwhile, the emergence of Avery, increased play for Keenan Burton and the promotion of Derek Stanley from the practice squad seems to have Holt questioning his future. Next year is the final one on his contract, and he saw what happened with Isaac Bruce several months ago. When he can tell the game plan isn't geared toward him, perhaps the handwriting is on the wall.


    When he was asked if he feels he's being phased out, Holt said, At times, I do. Who knows? It's an adjustment. (But) weve still got eight more games left (actually nine), and well see how those games go. Once the seasons over with, then come back and ask me and well see how I feel.


    What happens between now and the end of the season could be telling. Meanwhile, as the talk with Holt ended and reporters began leaving the locker room, wide receiver Dante Hall said, "Free Torry Holt. I'm going to get some T-shirts that say, 'Get Torry the football.' "


    SIMPLY NOTING
    *Haslett remained non-committal concerning the availability of Jackson, defensive end Leonard Little and defensive tackle Adam Carriker for Sunday's game against Arizona. All practiced Friday, with Little and Carriker doing more in team than they had the previous two days. After practice, Haslett watched Carriker do some extra one-on-work against one and two offensive linemen.


    On Jackson, Haslett said, "Well work him out right before the game and hopefully he can go. As for Little and Carriker, Haslett said, Theyre the same and I felt better about Leonard today than all of them, but well see how they all go.


    Is Haslett being coy? Hard to say. All three were listed as questionable (50-50) on Friday's injury report.


    *At one point in practice, Stanley and safety Eric Bassey had a bit of a scuffle. One unidentified player yelled, "Way to take the high road, Richie" as guard Richie Incognito didn't jump into the fray.


    *With so many questions for Holt about his frustration, we all neglected to ask him why he decided to wear jersey No. 9 in practice. Perhaps a reference to the previous nine productive seasons he's had? It will have to wait until another day to find out.


    THE QUOTE
    *Haslett, on whether he's had to tell the team the importance of this game: I havent really said anything (about that). I just told them that were going to have to score some touchdowns and were going to have try to make them kick field goals. Its a good offense, theyre an aggressive defense, good on the run and very good special teams. I think its going to be a heck of a game. Were going to need everybody on board and playing their best to win this game.


  2. #2
    mikhal5569's Avatar
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    At what point does Torry Holt's comments become a major concern for the Rams organization and their fans? This guy is one of our team captains and a veteran in the league, so why is he complaining about a lack of touches in only the eighth game of the year? Surely he realizes that with his pro bowl status and being a probable future hall of famer, that opposing coaches are going to choose to double team him and make the young rookies prove they can catch in the NFL right? Surely, he realizes that with the emergence of the young guns such as Avery, Burton and Stanely that he will see less and less double teams. Besides, I read somewhere in this site in an article written by I believe Bernie Miklasz, that Torry Holt is still the highest targeted receiver in our offense. (sorry, couldn't find the article anywhere so I could quote it.) The point is, I feel that Torry Holt should be less worried about his stats and being "phased out" and focus on being a team player, even if it means him eventually sliding over to the number two receiver slot.
    Last edited by mikhal5569; -11-02-2008 at 10:32 AM.

  3. #3
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    I've seen Torry wearing glasses during interviews. Is he doing the 'fashion statement' thing, or are those real 'gotta wear these to see with' glasses? If his eyes are going (which is a possibility since he is getting a little older) then why doesn't he swallow his pride and wear glasses on the field? Fading eyesight would explain a lot of the missed catches and such.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    For all this talk about Torry being "demoted", isn't he still the number one receiver? Isn't he out there on pretty much every offensive play? The youth movement here is not only obvious, but it was inevitable. I think Torry needs to realize that his lack of premier stats is in part a reflection of an offense that has been putting up low yardage totals from game to game. We have 1,181 yards in passing offense right now (25th in the league). Torry has contributed about a quarter of that total. Donnie has more yards, but Torry still leads the team in receptions.

    Hopefully the emergence of Avery as a legit deep threat will open things up for Holt more. Donnie will still get the long bombs, but I'd expect us to look to Holt when we need a clutch play for a first down or in the red zone.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    Shut up and play! He said after we lost a few games that Avery needs to make plays if we are going to win. He said the younger guys need to make play if we are going to win. Right now its about finding a way to win, not get Holt or any body else touches.

    Please just play!

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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam View Post
    I've seen Torry wearing glasses during interviews. Is he doing the 'fashion statement' thing, or are those real 'gotta wear these to see with' glasses? If his eyes are going (which is a possibility since he is getting a little older) then why doesn't he swallow his pride and wear glasses on the field? Fading eyesight would explain a lot of the missed catches and such.
    Those are corrective glasses. I don't think I've ever seen him not wear glasses at [off the field] public appearances.

    Very likely, he is wearing contact lenses on the field.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    What the Rams need is THE BIG THREE! Bulger got his money and has since struggled to put up impressive big numbers. Jackson got his money but has his troubles staying healthy. Don't know what happen with Torry! Maybe the drama with Linny and nagging injuries along with the poor play, the past couple of years has made Torry's World a little delusional.
    The Rams THREE HEADED MONSTER has yet to get on the same page. Bulger, Jackson and Holt are the face of the Rams. Marc and Steven's name has made big press this pass offseason. Torry at the same time has kind of faded in the backdrop. Would hate to think that Holt would be even a little envious of the other two Rams stars.
    I for one feel that the Rams should run plenty more play Torry's way and more often.

    Lets get this Ramobile rolling!
    We've replaced the old Head gasket (Linny)
    The front grill (O-Line) is still a little banged up.
    The butterfly winged doors are dented (WR).
    The rear (TE) bumper is dragging.
    The battery (Holt, Bulger, Jackson) needs to be recharged.
    The new sparkplugs (Avery, Burton) need to catch fire.
    and the protective (Defense) coating could use a little wax.
    What this Special Team needs is a Kick start!

    GREASY SLICKED DOWN BODY
    GROOVY LEATHER TRIM
    I LIKE THE WAY YOU HOLD THE ROAD
    MAMA IT AIN'T NO SIN

    TALKIN ABOUT LOVE
    TAKIN ABOUT LOVE
    TAKING ABOUT

    TROUBLE FREE TRANSMISSION
    HELPS YOUR OILS FLOW
    MAMA LET ME PUMP YOUR GAS
    MAMA LET ME THROUGH YOUR DOOR

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    DIG MY HEAVY METAL
    UNDERNETH YOUR HOOD
    BABY I CAN WORK ALL NIGHT
    BELIEVE I GOT THE PERFECT TOOLS

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TAKING ABOUT

    A MODEL BUILT FOR COMFORT
    REALLY BUILT WITH STYE
    SPECIAL LIST EDITION
    MAMA LET ME FEAST MY EYES

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    FACTORY AIR CONDITIONED
    HEAT BEGINS TO RISE
    GUARANTEED TO RUN FOR HOURS
    MAMA LET ME PULL YOUR TIRES

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    GROOVING ON THE FREEWAY
    GAUGES ALL IN RED
    GUN DOWN ON MY GASOLINE
    BELIEVE I'M GONNA CRACK YOUR HEAD

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    COME TO ME FOR SERVICE
    EVERY HUNDRED MILES
    BABY LET ME CHECK YOUR POINTS
    FIX YOUR OVERDRIVE

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    FULLY AUTOMATIC
    COMES IN ANY SIZE
    MAKES ME WONDER WHAT I DID
    BEFORE WE SYNCHRONIZED

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    FEATHER-LIGHT SUSPENSION
    KONIS COULDN'T HOLD
    I'M SO GLAD I TOOK A LOOK
    INSIDE YOUR SHOWROOM DOORS

    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT LOVE
    TALKING ABOUT

    I GUESS I'M GUESS I'M TALKING LOVE, TORRY!! ~(PAGE & PLANT)
    Last edited by dgr828; -11-02-2008 at 01:41 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    LA Rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    This will open up a trade with Carolina, where Holt mentioned he'd like to be to close out his career.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    I hope it motivates him to do better.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    T.H. is starting to sound like T.O.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Is the End of the Torry Holt Era Approaching?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam View Post
    I've seen Torry wearing glasses during interviews. Is he doing the 'fashion statement' thing, or are those real 'gotta wear these to see with' glasses? If his eyes are going (which is a possibility since he is getting a little older) then why doesn't he swallow his pride and wear glasses on the field? Fading eyesight would explain a lot of the missed catches and such.
    You make a good point Sam. As I recall, during training camp Torry did in fact have a visor on his helmet, which could have been prescribed.

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