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Holt ready to take on a challenge
Eagles' secondary is one of the best in NFL
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS --St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt embraces the challenge of going against one of the NFL's best secondaries in the opening game of the season.
Holt and the rest of the Rams' receivers will be put to the test on Sunday by a Philadelphia Eagles secondary that includes a trio of big-time cornerbacks and perennial Pro Bowl free safety Brian Dawkins.
"Big challenge," Holt said. "You know I was talking to (Rams cornerback) Ron Bartell throughout the course of practice, and we got on the subject of Philly's defensive backs. They are a good secondary. A group that has been together for a while, so they are going to challenge you. They are going to get in your face and they are going to hit you.
"At the same time, they are going to pressure you and see how you are going to handle the pressure out there in Philly with that loud crowd. We definitely have to have our head up, ears pointed and eyes focused in on what is going on."
The Eagles also brought in cornerback Asante Samuel, signing the former New England Patriot and one of the prize free agents of 2008 to a six-year, $57 million deal, during the offseason. They also have cornerback Sheldon Brown and cornerback Lito Sheppard, a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 and 2007 who is unhappy after losing his starting job to Brown and failing to receive a new contract.
"Samuel was a Pro Bowl guy," Holt said. "Brown is a press guy who likes to get in your face and can run and will challenge you at the line of scrimmage.
"Sheppard has his little contract dispute, so he's going to be a little angry. We have to be leery of that. He's going to come out and probably take a shot at a couple of guys. That's cool, but it will be a challenge all the way around."
Holt said Dawkins, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, anchors the secondary from his spot at free safety.
"Dawkins, I think, is the spearhead of that defense, point blank," Holt said. "We have our hands full."
After enduring the disappointing 2007 season and a long offseason, Holt is ready to get the 2008 season started.
"I hate to go back to last year, but it was a long year," Holt said. "The offseason was pretty long, a new coaching staff, getting things changed, like Al (Saunders) was saying, changing the culture of how we do things.
"It is a process, but guys worked hard through OTAs and they worked hard through training camp and here we are. Hopefully, things will pay off for us."
Asked what he was expecting from the Rams this season, Holt said he was going to reserve comment until after the team's season opener.
"We'll see on Sunday," Holt said. "I'm not saying I don't have a feel for the team, that's not it. This is a new team, new guys, new coaching system, new feel, new confidence. We still don't know.
"Preseason kind of gives you a little bit of a gauge of who you are, but it's still not the real thing. When the bullets start flying, you start to see everybody's true colors."
Holt, who was nagged by a balky knee last season, said he felt healthy going into the season opener.
"I feel cool, I feel good," Holt said. "I feel a lot better than what I did last year at this time. Last year, Week 1, I got myself ready, but there was still a little bit of uncertainty. I didn't know quite how I was going to hold up.
"This year I feel a little more confident ... way more confident than I felt last year."
Holt has eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. If he gets 1,000 yards this season, he'll tie Tim Brown for the second most in NFL history, and he'll be only two 1,000-yard seasons behind record holder Jerry Rice.
Holt still prefers to quietly do his job.
Asked if he had thought about changing his name like Cincinnati's Chad Johnson, who will be officially called " Chad Ocho Cinco," which stands for his uniform No. 85 in Spanish,
Holt said there won't be a "Torry Ocho Uno," the Spanish name for his No. 81.
"My name is Torry Jabar Holt," Holt said. "I'll let Chad handle that department, and I'll play and try to help my football team win some games."
Re: Holt ready to take on a challenge
is it me or is holt kinda low in the confidence departmentTorry Holt Dont play that
Re: Holt ready to take on a challenge
Torry has always been low key in the media..ive caught him a few times on the field giving it the "here we go baby,the greatest show on turf" etc...but he`s always been humble in interviews,im sure he`s confident but also weary of shouting off incase it goes wrong.
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