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Is "Greatest Show" set to return?
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wide receiver Torry Holt has heard the murmurs, the quiet musings that the Rams' offense is so power-packed, the "Greatest Show on Turf" could be tuning up for another run.
"I think what people are probably seeing are some similarities," Holt said. "I can understand why the expectations are high, because we have a great deal of talent. We have some guys that can do a lot of good things for us offensively."
Still, Holt emphasized that any attempts at equating the current unit with the steamrolling outfit that led the NFL in scoring and total offense each season from 1999 through 2001 are premature.
"That's probably a far stretch," he said. "We still have to win a game, and win more games and win more games, and then win the Super Bowl before we start doing comparisons."
The Rams won the Super Bowl after the '99 season, Holt's rookie year. Two years later, they were back in the title game, losing to New England on a last-second field goal.
If the Rams are to regain the top spot in the NFC West and make another deep run in the playoffs, Holt acknowledged that the offense again will have to be linchpin.
"That's the case every year," he said. "The expectations for the offense are very high. That's just coach (Mike) Martz and what he demands out of us. But what we did in '99 is done, what we did in 2000 and 2001, that's done. This is '05, it's a new year, it's a new era, a new group of guys.
"So we have to go out and see what this unit can do. And then in years to come, let's talk about that."
Martz pointed out that 21 of the 53 players on the roster - about 40 percent - weren't with the team on opening day a year ago.
"We're just putting all these pieces together ... just trying to see how they play as a team," Martz said. "You're a little nervous about this, when you've got so many new people. But ... that's just the way the NFL is."
Fearing a flashback?
The Rams are favored by nearly a touchdown over the *****, who had the worst record - 2-14 - in the league in 2004. But defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy pointed to a similar matchup last year that turned into a debacle for the Rams.
"Miami, they had only one win, I believe, and we went down there and they upset us," he recalled. Actually, the Dolphins were 0-6 before trampling the 4-2 Rams 31-14 last Oct. 24.
"It's never an easy win," Kennedy said. "It's always a danger, and we're going to have our hands full with the *****."
Tight end Eric Johnson, the *****' top receiver last year, is doubtful because of an arch injury. ... The Rams have won seven of 10 openers since moving to St. Louis. ... Martz and new ***** coach Mike Nolan were on Norv Turner's Redskins staff in 1997 and '98.