By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
01/04/2007



Torry Holt has thought about doing an instructional video on the receiver position since his college days. He finally put one together last summer. It includes tips on training, stretching, route-running, etc., with Holt demonstrating the drills himself.

Perhaps Holt should have included a segment on dealing with injuries. He came up limping after a touchdown catch against Arizona on Dec. 3 , and he dealt with a nagging knee problem the rest of the season. It looks like Holt will need knee surgery for only the second time in his eight seasons with the Rams, though no official decision has been made.

"I would say it's cartilage," Holt said. "I don't think it's anything that's going to 'end' me. I think it's just going to take some minor (work), to go in, punch a couple of holes, straighten some things out, and let me get back to playing football."

In other words, it would be an arthroscopic procedure. If Holt opts for surgery, there's a chance he would miss the Pro Bowl next month. With or without surgery, Holt sounds like he's planning a low-key offseason. Last offseason, he did television work at the Super Bowl and before the draft. But he may take a year off from those pursuits.


"My gut feeling right now is not to do any media stuff," Holt said. "Just step back and enjoy Torry a little bit, and my family and my friends. I hadn't really had a chance to do a lot of that for a while. I've always been trying to jump into new things, and see what I like and what I don't like. ... Right now, I think I've got to take a little light time for Torry, and just relax."

There wasn't much time for Holt to relax in the season. After a three-touchdown performance Oct. 15 against Seattle, opposing defenses zeroed in on him. He seemed to get more attention from defensive backs than ever before, and his numbers dipped. Following that first Seattle game, he went five contests without either a touchdown catch or 100-yard receiving game. He broke loose with seven catches for 115 yards and a TD against Arizona, but then the knee problem cropped up. He experienced similar problems at the end of last season, but opted against surgery.

Holt finished with 93 catches for 1,188 yards and 10 TDs this season, ranking fourth or better in the NFC in all three categories. Every year, Holt's goals are 90 catches, 1,300 yards, and 10 TDs. So he reached two of three goals, but fell short of extending his NFL record of six consecutive 1,300-yard seasons.

Holt isn't the only Rams player who will undergo or might undergo surgery during the offseason. Linebacker Dexter Coakley had surgery Tuesday, having a small plate removed from his ankle from an earlier injury. Offensive tackle Alex Barron needs surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Fullback Madison Hedgecock, who suffered an early-season injury that affected his blocking and pass-catching all year, has surgery planned for next week to remove pins from his thumb.

Fullback Paul Smith will undergo additional tests and evaluation for a bulging disc in his neck. He's trying to avoid surgery.