Holt Previews Patriots

Rams wide receiver Torry Holt talked Friday afternoon about facing New England, if there is a rivalry between the Rams and Patriots, on what the passing game can do to open up the running game if Steven Jackson can't play, and on Donnie Avery

WR Torry Holt
October 24, 2008

(On what he sees in the New England Patriots)
"I see a football team that is prepared every week, a football team that gives a different look every week. They are not the same every week. But one thing that stands out is that they are sound and well coached and they play hard. That is what we have to be ready for. Again, to match their intensity, to match their execution and try to get to the point quicker than they do and try to execute a lot more than they will. That is the challenge and that is the task that we will be up against this week and not only that but the hostile environment. Let's not forget that these guys have won four Super Bowls so they are battle tested and they will survive the initial shot or the initial wave and they will settle down and they will play football for four quarters. We have to be ready to match that."

(On if there is a rivalry between the Rams and the Patriots)
"I haven't really looked at it as a rivalry. I looked at it as another opponent on the schedule and I'm pretty sure that is the way they are looking at it. With (Head Coach Bill) Belichick and the way he approaches things week in and week out, there is not a rivalry. It is just another opponent and that is what they are preparing for and that is what we did this week. We are preparing for the New England Patriots not the rivalry with the New England Patriots. We are preparing for the New England Patriots on the road and see if we can continue our win streak and go up there and get a win and move on. It will be a challenge, it will be fun and I'm sure people will talk about a rivalry and the Super Bowl game and that's fine. But when it all boils down, it is all about who executes and who makes the most plays on Sunday."

(On if he thinks the team has the confidence to go out and play with whichever players are healthy now that the team was able to win without T Orlando Pace)
"I've always felt that has to be the approach. Last week, without Orlando (Pace), we were able to continue to keep it all together and go out and make plays and work through and win that ball. If Steven (Jackson) plays, obviously, that's great. If he doesn't, Travis (Minor) and ‘Pitt' (Antonio Pittman), and those guys will have to step in and carry the load and the other guys on the perimeter have to step up and make some plays. Not to put a lot of pressure on each other, just go out and play your game and let our game take care of itself. I think the confidence is up where guys are saying no matter who is in there, we still feel like we have an opportunity to win the ball game and that's the way it should be. If you are on this football team, you shouldn't look at yourself as a second-string or a third-string, you should look at yourself as a first-string, being on the first team. That's the approach that thus far the guys have taken this week and hopefully it will carry over on Sunday."

(On the big names on the Patriots defense despite S Rodney Harrison being out)
"With (Rodney) Harrison, he was definitely their field general when you watched them on tape. He did everything for that football team. He was an emotional leader, he was a physical presence and he was also a playmaker. He'll be missed, but at the same time, (James) Sanders and Deltha O'Neal and (Mike) Vrabel and those guys over there on the defensive side of the ball, (Vince) Wilfork and (Richard) Seymour, those guys are still champs. They know how to win. If someone goes down, they tell the next guy you have step in. You have to play the same way Rodney (Harrison) did when he was in there. I don't expect anything different. I still expect a very physical, well-coached, defensive football team on Sunday with or without Rodney Harrison."

(On if there is anything the passing game can do to open up the running game if Steven Jackson can't play)
"We just have to make plays on the perimeter to relieve some pressure off of Marc (Bulger) and ‘Pitt' (Antonio Pittman) and Travis (Minor) so they don't feel like they have to carry the load. So when opportunities on the perimeter come up and present themselves and we have a chance to make a play, we have to make it and make it in a big way. We just continue to do that for four quarters and then allow the running game to come on or vice versa. It will be a challenge. If Steven (Jackson) is in there, once again, great. If he's not in there, then we just have to rally together, just rally the troops. The O-line continue to protect, continue to open up lanes. Receivers continue to get open and catch the ball. Marc (Bulger) continue to put the ball in the guys hands who can make the plays for us."

(On what RB Travis Minor can do)
"Travis (Minor) is tough, very smart, savvy, very witty, does a good job recognizing schemes and what they're doing as far as blitz pickups. He's just a good football player that enjoys playing the game. It's hard to get rid of Travis (Minor) because he does so much for our football team. Not only is he a tailback but he does a great job on special teams. He leads the special teams. He's just a true pro. That's the biggest compliment I can give Travis (Minor) is just his professionalism on a day-to-day basis."

(On what Donnie Avery is doing now that he wasn't doing before and if it was due to injury)
"He's getting an opportunity to make some plays and he's getting an opportunity to get healthier. The thing is, in this game, you have to practice and you have to play in order to have some success. Now, he's healthier, he's getting an opportunity to play and his number is being called often and he's going out and making plays. As long as he continues to do that, that gives him some confidence and he's just scratching the surface. He and Keenan (Burton) both are scratching the surface. Those guys have so much room for improvement and they'll continue to improve as the weeks go, but I'm really excited and really impressed with the way they have come along thus far. They have a lot of stuff being thrown at them and they are handling it very well so I'm proud of those two guys."

(On the change in his view of them after saying ‘we'll see' in training camp)
"It is a lot different because then I didn't know. The volume of things we are doing offensively and how they're picking it up and how they're running and how they're moving and, once again, they are asking questions and they want to learn and they want to be good. So my ‘we'll see' is now ‘they're doing good.' Hopefully, they will continue to improve as we go."

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