Holt ready for a jolt

St. Louis receiver Torry Holt, a perennial Niners' nemesis, talks Rams and 49ers and discusses several subjects regarding the two teams and Sunday's game between the long-time rivals in San Francisco's home opener at Monster Park.

Q: What's your feeling offensively coming out of your Week 1 victory?
Holt:
We're improving. We felt we did some great things from the 20 to the 20. Everyone knows that we weren't as efficient as we'd like to be in the redzone. It's something that we are going to continue to pay attention to that and improve in that area.

Q: How has your offensive philosophy changed with a new head coach?
Holt:
It's not too much of a difference. We knew about Coach Linehan and what he did in Minnesota, and how he was able to move the ball effectively in Miami late in the season. Both coaches like to do some of the same things, like vertical stuff. There's not that much of a difference. Everyone says that he puts more of an emphasis on the running game. I think that would be the biggest difference.

Q: Do you still call yourself "The Greatest Show on Turf?"
Holt:
As players we haven't said anything about "The Greatest Show on Turf". We have let that go, it's something of the past. It's a new era, a new coaching staff, and a new philosophy, so we're just trying to play football. While that was going it was great, and now we've set it aside and put it in the past. Now we're adjusting and in some ways playing a different style of football."

Q: Do you miss playing under former coach Mike Martz and his gunslinger mentality?
Holt:
For a receiver, you love the gunslinger mentality. Coach Martz was a tremendous coach and offensive coordinator. He did a great job in putting us in position in the passing game. Being around him so long, his presence will and has been missed. At the same time you can't take anything away from Coach Linehan. He's a terrific coach, and I love playing and working for him on a day-to-day basis. He's continuing to put us in position to be successful on the offensive side of the ball.

Q: Is Linehan putting his own stamp on the team?
Holt:
Yes, I think he's done that from day one. He put his foot down and said this is how we are going to do things. It's a new era and this is how we're going to do it. What has been good is that a lot of veterans have bought into his philosophy and what he's teaching and believing. I guess you can say that the key guys have bought into what he's trying to implement and it has made the transition for the other guys easier. Nobody is fighting change I think we have embraced it, and I think we have a good product that we are putting out there on Sundays.

Q: What did Linehan do to take charge?
Holt:
As far as from knowing about conditioning, and a guy's weight. Being on time no matter who you are. Being a no-nonsense guy and letting them know that we are going to do it this way. It's a team and family atmosphere, and we are going to do it this way. For the most part everybody has done it and we haven't had any problems.

Q: What are your impressions of the 49ers at this point?
Holt:
I've always spoken highly of San Francisco. From the defensive side of the ball, I've always admired and loved the way they've played the game. They play hard with Derek Smith, Jeff Ulbrich, Tony Parrish, and Bryant Young. Those guys are the face of that defense, and they set the tempo for that defense. They come out and they play hard every game of every year regardless of what their record is. Every time we get geared up to play San Francisco you have to get your hard hat and be tuned in to what you are doing. If not, they are going to come in here and hit you in the mouth. They are going to challenge you and make you play football for four quarters.

Q: Are you surprised at all to see that safety Tony Parrish isn't a clear-cut starter anymore?
Holt:
It's funny because I was talking about that with Henry Ellard (receiver's coach) this morning. It's surprising with some of the things they are doing with Tony being that he has been a staple of that defense for so long. Watching him on film he doesn't seem to have missed a beat. That's how this business is, but I know that when he is out there you have to factor him in and know where he is on the field. If not, he can make plays in the passing game as well as the running game.

Q: What happened to you guys last year when you were swept by the 49ers?
Holt:
They just came out and out played us in all facets of the game. I'm talking offense, defense, and special teams. They wanted it more than us, and they were prepared to come out, and play hard in each game. To me that was the overall difference in winning both games. Hats off to San Francisco for the way they came out and dominated us last year. I think this year we have to reiterate to the guys that they came out and they played us well up front. We have to be ready for San Francisco, and be ready to play some tough football.

Q: How does it affect you guys to lose center Andy McCollum for the season?
Holt:
Andy was huge for this football team on the offensive side of the ball. He's been here for the last seven years now, so to lose him is huge. He's a guy who is the main leader of the offensive line. He calls out the defenses, he puts everyone in position, and the quarterbacks exchange his huge. He will be missed. He's a consummate pro who works and plays hard. We're going to have some other guys step in and play some intricate roles in helping us win some ball games this year.

Q: What are your initial impressions of 49ers rookie linebacker Manny Lawson, a fellow North Carolina State alum?
Holt:
I know Manny. I don't know him as well as my brother because he played with him. I only got back to see NC State as much as I could, and I didn't have enough time to spend with him as I'd liked to. I've spoken to him, and he's a great kid and a smart young man. He will be great for the 49ers organization, not only on the field but off it as well because of the way he handles himself. I have nothing but great things to say about him. Of course he's an NC State guy so you know I'm going to praise him.


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