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Thread: Holt delivers jolt
Holt delivers jolt
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Sep. 25 2006
GLENDALE, ARIZ. — All it took for wide receiver Torry Holt and quarterback Marc
Bulger to rediscover their rhythm was a nice dose of single coverage, courtesy
of the Arizona Cardinals.
"A lot of teams don't like to press Torry; they did," Bulger said. "They think
their front seven is going to get to you before you have time to throw it down
the field. And they did at first."
Bulger, pressured consistently early, missed on his first two passes and was
sacked on the next play. Gradually, though, the Rams tightened up.
"Fortunately our line made some nice adjustments and gave me a little time,"
Bulger said. "Torry's tough to guard for more than a couple of seconds
The Rams strolled out of glitzy Cardinals Stadium with a 16-14 victory Sunday
relieved that their passing attack, which had been sputtering badly, finally
had clicked into gear.
"Guys started making some big plays," coach Scott Linehan said. "Once you start
executing some of those things, your confidence goes up."
Not that Holt, a five-time Pro Bowler, ever lacks for confidence. But "Big
Game" hadn't lived up to his nickname yet this season, combining for 12 catches
and 110 yards in the first two games.
The Cardinals brought strong safety Adrian Wilson down to the line of
scrimmage, daring the Rams to beat them through the air. Holt exploited the
strategy with eight receptions for 120 yards and a 9-yard touchdown in the
second quarter that gave the Rams a lead they never relinquished.
"We knew we were going to get that. It was just a matter of us ... being able
to get open and make some things happen," Holt said. "I guess all receivers,
when you see press coverage and single-high safeties, your eyes light up and
you say, 'Hey, I hope this ball is coming to me.'"
Fellow wideout Isaac Bruce collected 79 yards on three catches, and Steven
Jackson rolled up 59 yards on three inside screen passes. Bulger wound up with
21 completions, 309 yards and a 110.8 passer rating -- all season highs.
"Marc and Torry are playmakers," tackle Orlando Pace said. "For those guys to
get into a rhythm ... it was big."
Holt's one-handed grab along the right sideline for a 23-yard gain early in the
second period got things going. "Fabulous ... one of the better catches I've
seen," Linehan said.
On the Rams' next possession, Bulger heated up: A 42-yard strike to Holt down
the left side ignited a span in which he completed 11 consecutive passes. By
the time he misfired again, the Rams were up 16-7.
"I think Coach did a good job of going back to some things that we'd hooked up
on in the past," Holt said, "plays where (Bulger) can close his eyes and know
that I'm there