Holt hopes to jolt big brother
BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
August 25, 2005
If St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt comes across the middle Monday night, what's his little brother going to do?
"I told him that I was going to take a nosedive, but he has to go down with me and we'll make it look good," Lions free safety Terrence Holt said. "No one gets hurt, he doesn't gain any extra yards, the coaches don't chew me out and we can live to see another day. Yeah, we're going to have a truce."
Terrence was kidding, of course.
It's only an exhibition, and the brothers are so close they're together all the time in the off-season and wear each other's jerseys at times in a show of support.
But this is the NFL, and this is "Monday Night Football." Torry is trying to keep his star status; Terrence is trying to establish himself as a starter.
There will be no holding back.
"Honestly, we'll be competitive," Terrence said. "I'll hit him."
"I don't expect anything less," Torry said. "If I have an opportunity to go up against him one-on-one, you best believe I'm going to try to burn him or take him deep and score a touchdown on him."
Torry, 29, and Terrence, 25, have played against each other once before. It was one of Terrence's two NFL starts, the final game of his rookie year, a 30-20 Lions victory over St. Louis on Dec. 28, 2003.
First play of the game, Torry caught a pass, Terrence overran him and cornerback Dre' Bly, a former Ram, had to take him down. Torry got up, spun the ball on the turf and taunted his brother and his former teammate.
"It was funny," Terrence said. "We were going back and forth with each other, talking the whole game."
"This time it'll probably be even more intense," Torry said. "I'm sure there will be some lip service out there."
The brothers talk all the time -- about every other day during the preseason, every day during the season and all the time in the off-season. They grew especially close when their mother, Ojetta Holt, died of cancer a few years ago.
They're from North Carolina and went to N.C. State. They shared a townhouse in Raleigh, then Torry bought a house there and Terrence lived with him. Terrence has his own place now --walking distance from Torry's.
Terrence described a typical day in the off-season: The brothers go to the YMCA about 7:30 a.m., work out for a couple of hours, eat breakfast together, hang out and eat lunch together. Terrence might go home, or he might stay at Torry's. But whatever happens, they get together in the evening. Terrence might even sleep at Torry's.
"I still have my same room over there," Terrence said. "I can still crash."
Terrence has worn Torry's Rams jersey around, so he appreciated it when Torry wore his Lions jersey to a Pistons game last season.
Although he loves being referred to as Torry's brother off the field, he doesn't want to be known just as "Torry's brother" in football terms. He wants to stand on his own.
Torry has played in two Super Bowls and won one. He has made four Pro Bowls. Terrence would like to do the same after spending two years mostly as a backup, swinging between cornerback and free safety, contributing on special teams.
Terrence was talking to his father, Odell Shoffner Jr., about his apprenticeship the other day.
"He was like, 'Sometimes it can make you hungrier that you weren't out there and it wasn't just given to you. You had to work for it and continue to show people that you're worthy of the position,' " Terrence said. "This off-season the staff and organization showed some trust in me, and I'm just going out there trying to prove them right."
If that means hitting Torry, fine. Torry can take it.
"I'm happy for him," Torry said Wednesday by phone after Rams practice. "I watched him actually today on film, and I almost got kind of teary-eyed, kind of choked up, watching him out there because it's always been a dream of ours to be professional athletes.
"I thought maybe he was going to be basketball and I was going to be football. But we're both football, and to see him out there playing and flying around and hitting people and making plays and talking and encouraging guys ... it's just a great treat. I'm honored to be his brother and have the opportunity to go against him."
Re: Holt hopes to jolt big brother
Ah ...little brothers...they are fun to play with and fun to taunt. I look forward to seeing the Holts play against each other in Detroit.