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  • A Big Deal, Even In Teal

    A big deal, even in teal

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/15/2009

    For a decade in St. Louis, he was known as "Big Game" Torry Holt's self-imposed nickname. Now that he's in Jacksonville, surrounded by a group of youngsters at wide receiver, the 33-year-old Holt has a new nickname one he had nothing to do with.

    "They call me 'Uncle,'" Holt said, chuckling on a conference call with St. Louis reporters. "I'm one of the older guys on the football team ... so what do you expect?

    "But it's funny to be in this situation because years ago I was on the opposite end. I was just coming in and Ricky Proehl, Ray Agnew and all those guys were older guys that I looked up to. And now the tables got turned."

    Ten years have passed since Holt, as a rookie, caught a touchdown pass for the Rams in their Super Bowl XXXIV victory over Tennessee.

    "It feels like it's been a long time," Holt said. "To see the (Rams) the other week in the throwback jerseys brought back so many memories, and a lot of great memories, because we did a lot of damage in those uniforms."

    On Sunday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Holt will have a chance to rekindle some of those memories when the Rams play Holt's Jaguars. It will be Holt's first game against the team that drafted him No. 6 overall in the 1999 draft out of North Carolina State.

    "I do know that it will be some emotions there, I know that," Holt said. "I shouldn't even say 'some' it'll be a lot of emotion there. But I don't know if it'll be a fired-up emotion, or another emotion. I don't know what it'll be. But I know I'll be feeling something because I spent a lot of time up there with you guys, a lot of memories, a lot of relationships built."

    Despite all his success in St. Louis, the final couple of years were rough for Holt. Neither he nor Isaac Bruce ever felt fully appreciated by then coach Scott Linehan. The losing wore down Holt, and he grew frustrated with his reduced role last season. As rookie Donnie Avery became more of the go-to receiver last season, Holt said he felt he was being phased out.

    So his March 13 release by the Rams was basically by mutual agreement. Holt wanted a fresh start; the Rams wanted to go with younger, fresher legs at wide receiver.

    At his core, Holt has always been an upbeat, positive person. On Wednesday, he reiterated what he said shortly after his release that he had no hard feelings toward the Rams.

    "No, not at all," Holt said. "I'm very fortunate that the St. Louis Rams drafted me and gave me an opportunity."

    He went on to thank a host of former Rams, from coach Dick Vermeil to general manager Charley Armey, to assistant coach Al Saunders and late owner Georgia Frontiere.

    "I'm happy and proud that I was able to play in front of the fans there in St. Louis who treated myself and my family so well," Holt said. "St. Louis will always be dear to me."

    When he first arrived in Jacksonville, Holt acknowledged there was an adjustment period. Just putting on the teal, black and gold Jaguars uniform was strange at first. "Believe me, it's taken some getting used to," he said.

    But the always-stylish Holt has made the adjustment. "I think our home jerseys look really good, that white and teal," Holt said. "I've been told a couple times that I look pretty good in teal."

    There were reports out of Jacksonville early in the season that Holt was unhappy about his role in the offense. On Wednesday, Holt said: "Obviously, I would like to be doing more. I'd like to have more touchdowns. But the way things have been drawn up, and the way teams have been playing us, that hasn't quite happened. ... I'm just going to continue to keep chipping away at it and do what I can do to help us accumulate some more wins."

    Actually, Holt has yet to score for the Jaguars, who still have a reputation as a run-oriented team under coach Jack Del Rio. Holt does lead his new team in receptions (22) and reception yards (306).

    "Torry's been a great addition for us," Del Rio said. "He's a consummate pro. He's obviously had a storied career, had a lot of great catches and great moments there in St. Louis."

    This decade, Holt still has more catches (839) for more yards (12,178) than any other player in the NFL. Overall, he has moved up to 10th on the NFL's career receptions list (891) and 12th on the career reception yards list (12,966).

    "You know me, those milestones mean a lot," Holt said. "Just going back to my childhood years, dreaming to play in the National Football League, and now all of a sudden having an opportunity to be mentioned among some of the greats is a very humbling experience for me."

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  • RamWraith
    St. Louis Rams Torry Holt frustrated
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Nov. 01 2008
    In 10 highly productive seasons with the Rams, wide receiver Torry Holt never
    has complained publicly about not getting the football.

    But on Friday, he said he felt like he was getting phased out of the offense.

    "At times I do," Holt said. "At times, I feel like there's a situation where
    I'm being phased. Who knows? We've still got (nine) more games left, and we'll
    see how those (nine) games go. And then, once the season's over with, come back
    and ask me and see how I feel."

    When Jim Haslett took over for Scott Linehan as Rams coach on Sept. 29, he
    stressed that he wanted to get the ball in the hands of the team's top
    playmakers, mentioning running back Steven Jackson, rookie wide receiver Donnie
    Avery and Holt. But three games into Haslett's tenure, it doesn't look like
    things have changed.

    Over the past three games, Holt has caught 11 passes for 102 yards, with no
    touchdowns. In the first four games, under Linehan, Holt caught 15 passes for
    187 yards and one touchdown.

    When asked if he was surprised about not getting the ball as much, Holt said,
    "Yeah, absolutely surprised. But I guess they feel that Donnie's obviously been
    stepping up and making some of these plays. And they want to continue to get
    him the football. So I've just got to go out there and continue to try to keep
    some bounce, and try to play and do what I can to help our football team win."

    For his part, Haslett took Holt's comments in stride.

    "I would be disappointed in Torry if he felt that he couldn't contribute to
    this team," Haslett said. "We'll continue to try to find ways to get Torry the
    ball."

    Through seven games this season, Holt has 26 catches for 289 yards. At that
    pace, the seven-time Pro Bowler would finish the season with 59 catches for 661
    yards, far below his career averages. The NFL's most productive receiver this
    decade, both in terms of catches and yards, Holt has averaged 94 catches for
    1,384 yards over the past eight seasons.

    "You go from getting a million opportunities and touches that I've had in the
    past to not nearly as many, yeah, it's definitely a sense of frustration," Holt
    said.

    Even so, Holt still has had more passes thrown to him (48) than any player on
    the team this season. Avery has had 30 passes thrown his way.

    Holt, who was wearing jersey No. 9 (his high school number) in practice Friday,
    said he has not brought up his concerns to the coaching staff. "No, I don't
    feel like I have to," Holt said. "I don't feel like I need to speak to anybody
    about that....
    -11-01-2008, 08:46 AM
  • RamWraith
    Holt: mild-mannered reporter
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

    DETROIT Torry Holt arrived early for Super Bowl Media Day festivities Tuesday at Ford Field. He sat down by a goal post, watched workers set up for the spectacle that would follow and then watched the Pittsburgh Steelers walk in for their interview session.

    Instant flashback.

    "I remembered how we walked in the first time," Holt said. "We had our camcorders. Az (Hakim) and Ricky (Proehl). Todd Lyght and Keith Lyle. Mike Jones. Isaac (Bruce). Orlando (Pace). Todd Collins. D'Marco (Farr). Adam Timmerman. The list goes on and on, of guys that shared the same experience that I did.

    "At the time, when I was a rookie, I couldn't really comprehend anything. Because everything was just moving so fast."

    So as the Steelers walked in Tuesday, and the memories flowed, Holt said, "I kind of got a little emotional. I was like, 'I've actually experienced this twice.' I was able to win one, and unfortunately, we came up short on one."

    It doesn't seem like that long ago, but it's been six years since the Rams defeated Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV. And four years since the team lost to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI.

    On Tuesday, Holt was on the other side of the podium at Media Day, doing television work for the NFL Network. With no fewer than four assistants helping him out, including cameraman and producer, Holt joined the media throng jockeying for position to ask their questions.

    "It's been an experience, to be honest with you," Holt said. "I have that much more respect for you guys (reporters), and the preparation that you have to do to get ready for an event like this. It's been a humbling experience."

    Actually, Holt pulled it off in style. He asked good questions, aided by plenty of notes. He covered a lot of ground, interviewing maybe a couple of dozen Steelers and Seahawks, not to mention some of his more established TV brethren, such as Chris Berman and former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.

    He mixed serious questions with playful queries. Like asking Seattle linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenksi who had the baldest head - him or Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

    Holt was patient. He picked his spots to ask questions and didn't just barge in and "big time" his way past the full-time reporters.

    "All the reporters and broadcasters that I come across, I'm able to learn something from everybody," Holt said. "And I try to apply it. I knew I couldn't butt my way in there and try to be a (jerk) and dominate.

    "For one, that's not my style. I knew what I wanted to ask. I knew what they wanted me to ask. Nothing cliche. I wanted to ask them some things off the cuff. What helped me is I've been here. I played two Super Bowls. And that gives you...
    -02-01-2006, 05:04 AM
  • RamDez
    Torry Holt: Quiet excellence
    by RamDez
    Torry Holt: Quiet excellence
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Oct. 02 2005

    Cell phone hidden in the goal post padding? Nope. Sharpie pen stuffed in a
    sock? No way. Fake mooning of the crowd? Not a chance.

    "That type of stuff, that's not me," Rams wide receiver Torry Holt said.
    "That's just not my deal." Because he eschews the kind of antics that other NFL
    wideouts favor to shower themselves with notoriety, Holt usually remains at the
    edge of the spotlight, and he's perfectly comfortable there.

    "I don't necessarily need all that stuff to get me going or to solidify my
    position in the National Football League," he said. "I'm here to ... win
    ballgames and win championships. As long as I can continue to do that and stay
    healthy, and ... stay consistent, then I'm fine with that."

    While others try to grab time on TV, Holt just keeps trying to grab footballs.
    The seventh-year veteran heads into Sunday's game at Giants Stadium as the
    league's leader in receiving yards (358) and tied for first in receptions (23).

    After three games last year, he had one more catch and seven fewer yards. He
    finished the regular season with 94 catches for 1,372 yards, fourth in the NFL
    in both categories. It marked the fifth successive season that Holt had topped
    1,300 yards, a feat never before achieved.

    But you won't hear Holt crowing about his accomplishments or talking trash. He
    keeps his mouth shut and leaves the evaluation to others.

    "Torry is happy who he is," said coach Mike Martz, the offensive coordinator
    when the Rams drafted Holt in the first round (No. 6 overall) in 1999. "He
    doesn't care about the attention. ... You've seen him in practice; he's like a
    little kid running around here. He just loves to play."

    Besides, Holt's mother, Ojetta Holt-Shoffner, didn't raise her three children
    to be shameless self-promoters. Torry learned that at a tender age.

    "When I was growing up, I used to do my little thing and show the other teams
    up. They started to call me 'Hotdog.' And I remember my mom saying, 'One day,
    that stuff's going to catch up with you,'" said Holt, 29. "When she said that,
    I kind of (decided to) just play the game ... let my play do my talking for me."

    With his easy smile, Holt added: "Plus, going out there and talking and all
    that, it makes you tired. I don't have all that energy to be doing that."

    Though he makes millions now, Holt has seen the other side. His father, Odell
    Shoffner, worked two jobs, and his mother labored in a yarn mill. The family
    lived in a modest apartment. During summers as a youngster, Torry earned $5 an ...
    -10-02-2005, 02:05 AM
  • RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Torry Holt out to cap sterling decade with Rams
    by RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Torry Holt out to cap sterling decade with Rams
    Receiver is entering his 10th season in NFL

    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat


    MEQUON, Wis. --St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt hopes to put the finishing touches on a decade of excellence.

    Playing 10 years in the NFL was Holt's goal when he entered the league in 1999. He'll fulfill that objective this year.

    "This is my 10th season," Holt said Saturday after the first of the Rams' two training camp practice sessions. "It's a very, very, very important year for me. That has been the motivating factor for me. When I came into the National Football League, I wanted to give the National Football League 10 years of consistency. I have this year to hopefully complete that, and then go from there."

    Holt, 32, has put up eight straight seasons with more than 80 receptions and 1,100 receiving yards, yet he feels like he needs to prove that his skills haven't eroded with time.

    "My 10th season, you know how it is," Holt said. "You're getting in your 30s and stuff, and people start saying that you don't have it anymore, you start losing a step.

    "And, rightfully so. I want to come out and be able to say that in my 10th year in the National Football League, I came out and played well."

    Holt led the Rams with 93 receptions, 1,189 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but it was a difficult season for him as the Rams struggled to a 3-13 record and he struggled to manage a sore knee. The offseason wasn't much better for Holt, who had to say goodbye to his mentor and good friend, Isaac Bruce, who was released by the Rams and subsequently signed by the San Francisco *****.

    "It's different, but I have vented my frustration and moved on," Holt said of not seeing Bruce at training camp. "I'm happy for Isaac. I saw him over the offseason and I talked to him a little bit.

    "I wish Isaac was here, but I'm going to work with the guys we have and we're going to try to give it the best we've got."

    Holt also created an uproar with his comments about wishing he could join his brother, Terrence Holt, in playing for the Carolina Panthers. Holt, who has two years left on the seven-year, $42 million contract that he signed with the Rams in 2003, grew up in Gibsonville, N.C., and played at North Carolina State.

    "I'm done with that," Holt said when asked about those comments. "I am a Ram for 2008, and hopefully for 2009, and that's where we are going to be."

    Holt said he's focused on getting the Rams back on the winning track.

    "It's about the 2008 Rams and getting ourselves in position to win some games," Holt said. "I don't care if we win four games. That's one better than we did last year."
    ...
    -07-27-2008, 03:10 PM
  • RamWraith
    St. Louis Rams receiver Torry Holt strives to finish strong
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Dec. 13 2008
    The Rams' sad state of affairs has reached this nadir: They are 2 1/2-point
    underdogs Sunday, at home, against a 2-11 opponent. And that news didn't
    startle wide receiver Torry Holt a bit.

    "The way that things have been going for our football team," Holt said Friday,
    "I'm not at all surprised."

    The Rams also are 2-11, and riding a seven-game losing streak; the visiting
    Seattle Seahawks have dropped six in a row. That's some tumble for teams that
    have captured five of the seven NFC West titles since the divisions were
    reorganized in 2002.

    As Holt's 10th season with the Rams winds down, an air of uncertainty swirls
    about Rams Park. What the roster will look like in 2009, who will be coaching
    the team, and who will wield power in the front office is to be determined.

    "We don't know what's going to happen," Holt said. "These last three or four
    years, it's been a roller-coaster for this organization, for this football
    team, for players, coaches, etc. ... It's really disheartening to see what's
    happened to this organization and where we are right now."

    The Rams won the Super Bowl in Holt's rookie season and were back in the NFL
    championship game two years later. In the seven seasons since, however, they've
    only had one winning season, and last year's 3-13 fiasco has been followed by
    this year's ugly reprise.

    Holt's numbers have declined dramatically this season, at least in part because
    of the emergence of young wideouts Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton and Derek
    Stanley.

    Holt is the team's leading receiver. But his 50 catches, 587 yards and two
    touchdowns fall far below the standards he established during his first nine
    seasons. During that span, he averaged 89 receptions, 1,318 yards and eight
    touchdowns a year.

    A "veteran's day off" from practice Wednesday not only helped Holt rest his
    32-year-old body, but also to "get my head together."

    "The last few days and the last few years have been tough, speaking from a
    personal standpoint," he added. "You reflect on all that we said and all the
    promise that we had coming into the season. And then with three games left,
    you're a 2-11 football team. It can wear on you. ...

    "But you can't dwell on it; you've just got to try to put your best foot
    forward and ask yourself, what can you do to help our football team get things
    turned around?"

    Holt is under contract through next season, when his base salary would be $6.65
    million. He also is due a $1.25 million roster bonus at the start of the league
    year...
    -12-13-2008, 04:53 AM
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