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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Holt, Bruce will watch rival pair

    By Bill Coats

    When the Carolina offense is on the field Sunday, a couple of observers will be viewing intently from the opposite sideline.

    Although Rams wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt have 1,526 receptions, 23,082 yards and nine Pro Bowls between them, they're not averse to pilfering tips from their NFL colleagues. They'll be witnessing one of the league's best twosomes Sunday in the Panthers' Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson.

    Asked if he might sneak a peek, Bruce said, "I won't peek; I'll just flat-out watch. I'm always in the process of learning."

    Added Holt: "I'll have my eye on them. Hopefully I can pick up something and apply it to my game."

    Smith and Johnson, who, combined, have four fewer seasons, don't have comparable career stats with Bruce and Holt. But this year, the two tandems are running almost neck-and-neck.

    Bruce and Holt have 94 catches, 1,317 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith and Johnson have 96 catches, 1,296 yards and six TDs.

    Smith is fourth in the NFL in yards (780) and tied for sixth in receptions (53); Holt is 11th (697) and eighth (52), respectively. Johnson (43 and 516) and Bruce (42 and 620) rank in the top 30 in both categories.

    "I'd buy a ticket for this game to watch those guys play," Rams coach Scott Linehan said.

    One dissimilarity between the pairs is their size. While Holt (6 feet, 190 pounds) and Bruce (6-0, 188) are virtual twins, Smith (5-9, 185) doesn't come close to measuring up with Johnson (6-4, 211).

    "Keyshawn has done a great job of understanding the game and knowing how to put himself in position by using his big body," Rams wide receivers coach Henry Ellard said. "Steve is a little guy with a chip on his shoulder ... very tough and very explosive. He plays like he's a tall receiver, and he doesn't back down from anything."

    Smith last season joined Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe as the only wideouts since 1970 to lead the NFL in receptions (103), yards (1,563) and touchdown catches (12). This year, Smith tops the league in yards per game (111.4).

    Wary of Peppers

    The image of speedy Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers slamming into quarterback Marc Bulger is enough to keep Linehan up at night. In an effort to avoid such carnage, he flip-flopped his first-team tackles at practice Friday.

    He plans to start Adam Goldberg at left tackle and Alex Barron on the right side, but Linehan wants them to be familiar with both positions.

    The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Peppers, whose 11 sacks are a league high, normally lines up on the left, where he would encounter Barron, the Rams' first-round draft pick last year.

    But with Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace (triceps) out, Linehan figures that the Panthers might move Peppers to the right side occasionally. Goldberg had played only sparingly over the last month before Pace went down last Sunday at Seattle.

    "I think Adam can certainly do the job there, but if they're moving (Peppers) around ... just to get a little bit of extra work there, we got some of that done," Linehan said. "We just want to have the ability to flip (Barron and Goldberg) if we have to."

    Rams fined

    The NFL has fined Bruce and center Richie Incognito $5,000 apiece for their parts in a skirmish following Steven Jackson's fourth-quarter touchdown Sunday at Seattle.

    Incognito was called for a personal foul on the play, in which Jackson's helmet was pulled off by Seattle cornerback Kelly Jennings. According to a league official, Jennings was not

  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Holt, Bruce will watch rival pair

    I don't know if I like the idea of flipping the tackles around. IMO each guy needs to master his position before broadening his horizons. Wonder what Marc Bulger thinks of the flipping idea?:\

  3. #3
    Dr. Defense's Avatar
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    Re: Holt, Bruce will watch rival pair

    This is Marc Bulgers idea of flipping the tackles around. As long as I stay upright and now getting run over by that line, I could really care less who's playing where.

  4. #4
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Holt, Bruce will watch rival pair

    Its weird how the title of this thread was Holt, Bruce will watch rival pair. You'd think Keyshawn and Smith would want to get an idea of how to play better from now elite, Mr. Bruce, and Big Game Holt...but what do I know...
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


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