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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Holt Handling Frustration

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    For the better part of his career, Torry Holt has been one of, if not the, lynchpins of the Rams offense.

    In terms of statistics, Holt has been one of the most prolific and productive receivers of all time. Even when plagued by an ailing knee in 2007, Holt still found a way to catch 93 passes for 1,189 yards and seven touchdowns.

    This season, Holtís production has dropped dramatically. Through seven games, Holt has 26 catches for 289 yards. Thatís good enough to lead the team in receptions and Holt has been targeted more than any other receiver with 48 targets.

    But itís also his lowest output in terms of touches since his rookie season when he had 19 catches in the first seven games.

    Admittedly and for the first time in his career, Holt is frustrated by the lack of opportunities.

    ďAbsolutely,Ē Holt said. ďYou go from getting as many touches and opportunities that Iíve had in the past to not nearly as many, yeah, itís a sense of frustration.Ē

    In his previous nine seasons in the league, Holt has averaged 37.4 catches through the first seven games of the season.

    So, with those numbers in mind, whatís the reason for the drop off in production?

    Depending on who you ask there are a variety of reasons Holt hasnít been as active in the passing game.

    Coach Jim Haslett believes that opponents are rolling coverages up on Holt more than ever and that the extra man in coverage has made it hard to get him the ball but heís still been thrown to more than anyone on the team.

    ďI would be disappointed in Torry if he felt that he couldnít contribute to this team,Ē Haslett said. ďWeíll continue to try to find ways to get Torry the ball.Ē

    Holt says while that might be true, itís not the first time heís seen that type of coverage.

    ďI think I am still getting open,Ē Holt said. ďI donít think you can go from what I did last year, the year before coming off knee surgery and come to this year and all of a sudden just be (crummy). I donít think it happens that way, not with the way I work and how passionate I am about the game of football. I think itís just a situation where obviously Iím getting doubled but Iíve beaten double teams plenty of times throughout the course of my career.Ē

    Perhaps more than the amount of times the ball has been thrown his way, Holtís issues stem from being used in a different way than heís used to.

    Holt has long been known for his precise route running ability, particularly the type of vertical routes and deep ins that have long been his hallmark.

    This year, though, Holt hasnít been the target of many of those deep passes. Holt has been targeted beyond 20 yards just six times with his lone catch being the 45-yard touchdown catch against the Giants on Sept. 14.

    Of the 48 targets, Holt has been thrown to between 1 and 10 yards on 25 occasions with 17 catches in that window.

    ďItís obvious I am not doing the things as far as the passing game that Iíve done in the past, things have been short routes,Ē Holt said. ďMy game is I have always been a vertical guy, getting in and out of breaks, running deeper routes, etc. I have been doing some of that but not a great deal of it. Weíll see.Ē

    The continued emergence of Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton has also played a hand in limiting Holtís touches; a development that doesnít bother Holt but itís definitely diminished his role some.

    In his 10th season, Holt said he feels like there is a chance heís being taken out of the mix.

    ďAt times, I do feel like itís a situation where Iím being phased (out),Ē Holt said. ďWho knows? We still have got eight more games left. Weíll see how those eight games go and once the season is over, come back and ask me how I feel.Ē

    Simply put, Holt doesnít run as well as he used to and he certainly doesnít have the speed of his younger counterparts.

    Holt is only a couple of years removed from knee surgery but he says he feels good and itís not nearly as much of an issue as itís been in the past two seasons.

    In fact, Holt has been practicing more than he did last season and the year before.

    ďI feel good,Ē Holt said. ďItís the normal stuff. I havenít been getting as much work through the course of the game so Iím not tremendously sore. Itís not like Iím in the training room getting treatments every day or anything. I feel good. So hopefully Iíll have more opportunities on Sunday to help us win and if not Iíll do my part and continue to try to be the team guy I have always been.Ē

    Part of being that guy is continuing to help the young receivers, a role Holt has long embraced.

    For now, Holt is taking his role in stride and the Rams are continuing to find ways to get him involved.

    Holt has no plans to make a big deal out of taking a step back so other can step forward.

    ďMy body of work speaks for itself so I just keep working,Ē Holt said. ďIím not going to make a stink about it or a fuss about it. I just continue to go with the flow and try to help out this football team where I can as much as I can.Ē


  2. #2
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    OK!!! 3 threads on Torry. I get it. He's frustated. Let's hope he can turn that frustration into motivation.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    OK!!! 3 threads on Torry. I get it. He's frustated. Let's hope he can turn that frustration into motivation.
    Yeah he needs to bring it! He has lost a step, but no need to be apathetic. Run your routes and work hard, the ball will come to you!
    LA RAMMER

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

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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    At this point, I would much rather have them double team Holt then double team Avery.

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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    IMO reading between the lines of what Holt is saying, he doesn't agree with Saunders' use of him in this offense. Most of his routes and receptions this year have been within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He still sees himself able to run vertical routes that allows him to gain separation from DBs and even double teams. Sounds like he and Saunders need to clear the air.

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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    IMO reading between the lines of what Holt is saying, he doesn't agree with Saunders' use of him in this offense. Most of his routes and receptions this year have been within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He still sees himself able to run vertical routes that allows him to gain separation from DBs and even double teams. Sounds like he and Saunders need to clear the air.
    I agree with you Chris. The Arizona game would be an oppurtune time for that I would think since the film will be showing the Cardinals that Holt isn't the deep threat, Donnie is. This week we should reverse the roles and let Torry get the deep look a few times and catch the Cardinals a bit off guard.

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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    a). Holt is a consumate professional.
    b). Torry's production -- along with the Rams 08 offense -- is way under its potential.
    c). Being frustrated at this point, feeling left behind is thus understandable for our #1 WR.
    d). Revert to letter 'a', have a man2man discussion w/ Coach Saunders as Chris58 mentioned...
    e). Salvage the season my friend! You can do it -- I BELIEVE IN YOU TORRY HOLT!

  8. #8
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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    IMO reading between the lines of what Holt is saying, he doesn't agree with Saunders' use of him in this offense. Most of his routes and receptions this year have been within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He still sees himself able to run vertical routes that allows him to gain separation from DBs and even double teams. Sounds like he and Saunders need to clear the air.
    I was thinking the same thing. It seems like he's had more problems with holding on to the ball and keeping his concentration this year. Maybe his frustration level is part of the problem? I agree with you though that if there is a rift between Holt and Saunders, they need to get on the same page.

  9. #9
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    Re: Holt Handling Frustration

    Hmmmm.... a possible rift between Holt and Saunders or Haslett? Didn't he have a problem with Linehan as well? Now he goes public by saying he thinks that maybe he's being phased out? Whaaaaaaaa....

    I thought Holt was the consumate professional? Is he becoming a "me-me" guy? Is he pushing his exit from St. Louis? ...not forgetting his well-known public announcement that he would love to play in Carolina? Torry, if you're not happy with how the season has progressed, work a little harder. If you are questioning the play selection and your contributions, go to the coach BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. Don't air out your insecurities to the media. What good will that do except drive a stake in between teammates and coaches?

    Torry, how about you just do your job? Catch the damn ball when thrown to you, run your routes and get some separation, support your teammates and be the team player we all thought you were, and above all, shut the hell up.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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