Holt on a Pro Bowl high
RE: What does it mean to make the Pro Bowl in a year like this one for the Rams? "To be honest with you, when I came in this morning, I talked to the director of PR and he said the he felt like I had another opportunity to make it, but I felt like I didn't. I didn't feel like I was going to make the Pro Bowl this year due to the fact that our team didn't do quite as well as I would have liked to have. I was having a pretty good season., but I missed two games, and with the quarterback change and things like that, I didn't feel like I was going to make it. I wouldn't say that I didn't deserve to make it, but I didn't feel like I had done enough out there team-wise to get recognition. I was feeling like I was going to be short (in the votes), but then they came back and said I had made it. It's a great accomplishment. A goal of mine that I set every year is to come out and make the Pro Bowl. There are some other individual things I want to accomplish, but this is one of the things that I've accomplished on the year, so I can check this off my checklist. I also want to thank my coaching staff and my teammates for allowing me to have the opportunity to make the Pro Bowl once again." RE: What are some of the adjustments you have to make with a rookie quarterback? "My thing is that you have to constantly work with him in practice as well as off the football field talking with him about certain adjustments or if he sees this or sees that. Working with him in practice, you have to give him as many possible looks as you can to emulate the things he's going to see on Sunday. Even if you do that, it's still tough because in order to have success, you have to go out on Sundays and perform and make those adjustments in the game. It can be tough, but Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) hung in there. He gave it all that he had and he wants to be good and wants to learn. It's just unfortunate that we couldn't get anything rolling last week and coach made the change." RE: Rams starting quarterback this Sunday: "I haven't heard if we're going with Fitz or Jamie (Martin). Right now, they'll probably both get some reps throughout the course of the week. They may make the decision today, or they make it tomorrow. I don't know when they will do it, but I know right now that we're going in with both of those guys getting reps today as we prepare for the 49ers. I guess they'll make that decision here soon, but they have to make it soon because we play Saturday." RE: How does switching quarterbacks affect you during the year (when Brandon Lloyd said it didn't matter because he just runs the same routes no matter who's QB)? "It makes a difference because I've been playing with Marc (Bulger) for a couple of years now, so I know what Marc's thinking when he comes in the huddle, and he knows what I'm thinking when I come to the huddle. That timing is automatically there, but when you have that change, you don't have that rhythm and cohesiveness with that quarterback change. For some guys, it takes a couple of games, it takes some guys four games, it takes ten games for some guys. I agree with Brandon (Lloyd), you still have to run routes, you have to get open and the quarterback has to find you, but it also helps to have that communication and flow with your quarterback if you want to have a great deal of success and get those balls in tight spots. All of those little things really helps when you're like a Marvin (Harrison) and a Peyton (Manning) and have been playing together for years, or for 16 straight weeks. That really does help the relationship." RE: How long is that process to get to that point? "It takes OTAs, summer workouts, mini camps and preseason. It takes some tight games and some blowouts. It takes time to build that cohesiveness and camaraderie between receivers and the quarterbacks. I believe the most important thing is that you have to communicate with your quarterback on a completed pass and an uncompleted pass, on touchdowns and not touchdowns, in two-minute and regular situations. You have to have constant communication with the guy that you're depending on getting you the ball. He has to communicate with you if he's depending on you to get open where he can get you the football." RE: Why are a lot of young quarterbacks so inconsistent? "The game is different. This is a fast game, and teams know that you're young at the quarterback position. They have a tendency to throw more exotic blitzes at you, things you haven't seen. Things you haven't seen get on you very quick, so before you even think, they're already on you, and if the ball's not out, it's a sack or fumble. Anything can happen. I think the speed of the game is different for young quarterbacks. Teams do a great job of disguising their coverages and fronts and then getting into it at the snap. Those types of things can really discourage a young quarterback as he develops week-in and week-out." RE: What do you know about this 49ers team? "I do know this: their coaching staff and those players are going to come and play week-in and week-out. That's one of the things I admire about this bunch. This year, just watching them play on film and watching film of them today, they're playing hard week-in and week-out. They've lost a few games by a couple of points. They lost by a point last week against Jacksonville, and Jacksonville is a very good football team. That says a lot about San Francisco and that football team. They're playing hard, they're still paying attention to detail and they're still making things happen. You can't lay light just because their record is this. You still have to come out and play this bunch. With the Rams, this has been a rivalry for so many years, so we know they're going to come out and play hard against us. At the same time, they're going to be very sound in what it is that they like to do. We have to come out and play the best football we can in order to try to get a win." RE: Was the loss to the 49ers after dominating statistically to open the season a big setback? "I think it threw us off a little bit. We went out there with the intention to win that football game, and we should have won. You have to give credit to San Francisco for hanging in there, playing tough and making more plays than we did late to win that ballgame. I think it kind of set us back a little bit. It was a conference game, too. It's always tough to overcome losses on the road against a conference opponent. They threw the monkey wrench in our plans early, but that's over and done with. It's a credit to them, but we have another opportunity to try to redeem ourselves again." RE: Do you think this is a totally different team than the one you faced on September 11, 2005? "Player-wise, I don't think Ahmed (Plummer) is back there. (Tony) Parrish isn't, (Mike) Rumph's not back there. A lot of guys that they depend on in the secondary when they had success on Sunday are not back there, but the guys they do have back there look very skilled. They're fast guys, I'll tell you that. They're very fast and quick. Their technique is very good. I love their linebackers. (Derek) Smith, I like him a lot. He plays hard every Sunday. (Julian) Peterson, I like him a lot. I had a chance to visit with him when we were in the Pro Bowl, and we kicked it. He's a great guy and a great football player that is very athletic. Bryant Young is having a fantastic year. He should have had some Pro Bowl votes. (Andre) Carter is doing well. Those guys are still plugging away and still fighting every play to give that football team an opportunity to win on Sundays. They are a very good defense that will hit you in the mouth for four quarters." RE: What is Joe Vitt like as a head coach? "Cool as hell. Joe Vitt is a phenomenal. He tells it like it is. You hear a lot that he's from the old school. I wasn't in the old school, so if this is old-school, I can just imagine what those guys are like. He's been good. He's been keeping things loose, but at the same time he's been challenging guys to come out week-in and week-out. We've been playing hard the whole season. Our effort is definitely there; it's just a matter of killing ourselves in drives with turnovers, false starts and facemasks. Penalties have been killing this team as the season has gone along, but Coach Vitt's effort, his attention to detail and his passion for the game has been there ever since he took over as interim head coach." RE: How hard of a position was it for him to come in for Mike Martz? "I'm pretty sure it was tough for him. He didn't ask for this, but he definitely has embraced it. He's welcomed the challenge and stepped up to the challenge. It's unfortunate that we haven't been able to put together some wins to show the effort he and the coaching staff have put in. He's definitely stepped up to the challenge and embraced it, and has done a very good job of keeping this football team focused to come in week-in and week-out to get better at our particular craft and go out on Sunday to get a win." RE: Where is the 49ers defense compared to other defenses you have faced in terms of sophistication? "That 3-4 scheme can be complicated because you can do so many things and show so many fronts out of that 3-4. They're up there. They can be complicated, and I'm sure they've had to idle down some of the things they would like to do because of injuries and starters being out of the game. They want to try to simplify some things so guys can just go out there and play and be instinctive and make plays. When we played that first week out there (in San Francisco), they were moving around and shifting and doing some things to cause problems. That 3-4 scheme they have can be very difficult." RE: What makes somebody a good tackler? "Angles are key. Body position is key. Patience is key. Ultimately, just wrapping somebody up and getting them down to the ground. You've got to wrap up. I've seen a lot of guys, and even on our football team, that try to make the big hit but don't wrap up. If you make the big hit, you have to wrap up initially to get him down on the ground. I think there's been a lack of guys doing that basic thing: wrapping the ball up and getting him down on the football field."
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