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Rams' Holt has quietly earned place among NFL`s elite
BY STEVE KORTE
Knight Ridder Newspapers
ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt isn`t interested in self-promotion.
Holt isn`t a publicity hound like some of the other elite wide receivers in the NFL. He doesn`t say outlandish things and he doesn`t stage any elaborate touchdown celebrations.
That`s just not the way that Holt, who grew up in the small town of Gibsonville, N.C. and went to North Carolina State, was raised.
"I remember when I was growing up and I`d do my little thing and show other teams up, and they`d start calling me `Hot dog,"" Holt said. "Mom always said, `That stuff one day is going to catch up with you.` After she said that, I just played the game.
"Even in high school, I always felt like I was the underdog, so going out and doing all the stuff isn`t going to get me anything more. I just wanted to go out and play hard and show that I can play on any level with anybody."
A year spent at the Hargrave Military Academy in 1994 also taught Holt about keeping his ego in check.
"The military academy was a very humbling experience," Holt said. "That (touchdown celebrations) was something you couldn`t do at the military academy.
"It was score, give the ball back to the ref and go over with the other cadets and celebrate. Just my life experiences have made me the person that I am today."
Because Holt doesn`t make waves, he doesn`t always get the acclaim of other top-flight receivers like Terrell Owens or Randy Moss.
Flying under the radar is OK with Holt.
"I know Torry, I think, really well after seven years," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "Torry talks about it with me sometimes. Torry is happy with who he is. He doesn`t need any notoriety. He loves to play.
"You`ve seen him in practice; he`s like a little kid running around here. He doesn`t care about the attention, the notoriety, the commercials, special spots on him or any of those things. That`s not who Torry is. He could care less about that stuff."
Holt has 30 receptions for 442 yards and three touchdowns after four games this season.
Yet, you won`t see Holt pulling a Sharpie pen out of his sock to sign the ball after a touchdown, or hiding a cellular telephone in the padding around the goal posts.
"I would never do that," Holt said. "To me, that`s way outside the game. If those guys want to do that stuff, then that`s what they want to do. That`s their prerogative. That takes too much thinking.
"With this offense, I have to remember all these plays we have going into the week, and then trying to remember some kind of skit out there that I`m going to do after I have scored, that`s way too much."
Holt had a nine-reception, 163-yard effort against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago.
"He can shoulder the load in the passing game if he has to," Martz said of Holt. "Not many receivers can do that, and by that, I mean you can isolate him where they`re doubling him, and he`s going to find a way, one way or the other, to get open."
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said the thing that separates Holt from other wide receivers is his ability to do everything well.
"We ran pretty much the whole route tree with him," Bulger said. "He ran hitches, he ran slants, he ran go routes, he did pump moves, he ran out routes. There is not one route that he doesn`t do well. He`s a complete receiver, and he can do it all."
Bulger also said he respects the way Holt goes about his job.
"He does the same thing every season, every offseason," Bulger said. "He doesn`t take anything for granted. Him and Isaac after every practice always are working on something. They`re always working hard.
"I just like the fact that he hasn`t changed at all with all his success. He understands it takes hard work."
Holt has the most receiving yards of any NFL receiver since the 2000 season with 7,726 yards.
He`s also No. 1 in NFL history in average receiving yards per game among receivers with a minimum of 50 games. He`s averaging 86 yards per game over his career, with Moss being the next closest player at 84.7 yards per game.
"I don`t know if am the best receiver in the league, but I think with where I am in right now my career, I have been one of the most consistent receivers in the National Football League up to this point," Holt said.
Re: Rams' Holt has quietly earned place among NFL`s elite
What a pleasure it is to have him on this team. Sometimes I don't think we know just how good we have it with team players leading this squad.....guys like Holt, Bruce, Faulk, Bulger.......when you look around the league at all the problems, it's good to see just how great the player leadership is on the Rams."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Rams' Holt has quietly earned place among NFL`s eliteOriginally Posted by HUbisonThis space for rent...