Scout.com's Adam Caplan has reported that Holt will be meeting with Cardinals officials this weekend. That news, combined with the fact that Arizona appears to see a bright future in second year player Aaron Francisco, plus the news that the Cardinals have not had any communication with Robert Griffith's agent seems to indicate an end to the Venerable Robert Griffith Era. I, for one, will miss him. I had a great Burgess Meredith joke that I was planning on using in the off-season. Ah well, I'll just have to find someone else to pick on.
One of the points that Ken Whisenhunt made in his Combine Press Conference is that he wants to see healthy competition between players during Organized Team Activities, mini-camps, and training camp. Francisco vs. Holt as Griffith's successor would certainly fit the bill.
Holt has a reputation as a big hitter and someone that can author big plays. At least that's what the Lions' Web site had to say. I would have to say that eight career interceptions and fifteen passes defended, as well as only two full seasons in four years worth of experience hardly qualifies. However, when he attended NC State, he blocked a number of punts and field goals and was active on special teams.
Remember how horrid the special teams were for the Cardinals last year? I'll resist the urge to mention a certain player whose last name rhymes with "fester." With a new coach shepherding over that critical phase of the game in Kevin Spencer, the Cardinals will place serious emphasis on the kicking game. That means that J.J. Arrington and Troy Walters just woke up to see targets tattooed on their chests as well.
It also means that Holt can help Arizona both on special teams and on the field. His contributions might be greater in the third phase of the game, but the importance of special teams must not be overlooked. Which is also why I want the Cardinals to draft David Clowney of Virginia Tech.
Plus which, we need to factor in the importance of the "Hero" position in Clancy Pendergast's defense. I've said a lot of mean things about Griffith in my time, but the fact remains that he's a smart player that is rarely out of position and is a sure, disciplined tackler. That tackling ability and discipline will be sorely missed next season. What will not be missed, however, is his lack of athletic ability and his tendency to play things safe.
Holt will take more chances. The Cardinals may give up more big plays. But Holt will make more plays than Griffith. Plus which, if the Cardinals sign him to something palatable (I'm thinking 4 years at around $10 million), they'll have someone to motivate Francisco, who has already had two years in the system and might just need a firm kick in the backside to get him to play to his potential. Because, seriously, how difficult can it be to beat out a guy that will turn 37 during the upcoming season.
With Francisco (24), Holt (27), Adrian Wilson (27), Antrel Rolle (24), and Eric Green (24) or David Macklin (28 - and this is provided they re-sign him), they'll have a young, active secondary and several starting caliber players on special teams.
Competition is good. Now, if only the Cardinals could sign a few more quality players and compete. That'd be good.