1999-2006 - The Greatest Show on Turf

‘Big Game’ Torry Holt left a legacy with ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’

What makes Torry Holt worthy of being a Hall of Fame candidate? For starters, he was one of the St. Louis Rams’ best playmaking wide receivers in franchise history. Holt has a slew of accolades including multiple 1,000-yard seasons and was a consistent Pro Bowl attendee. Here’s a look back at his historic career:

North Carolina State (1995-1998): Holt’s path towards greatness began at North Carolina State. His real opportunity came during his junior year in 1997. He earned 1,099 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns that season.

Holt’s junior year may have captured the attention of a few scouts, but his senior season made him a national sensation. He was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year after gathering 1,604 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Holt left such a legacy at North Carolina State that the Wolfpack retired his jersey number (#81) just one year after he left for the NFL in 1999.

St. Louis Rams (1999-2008): The St. Louis Rams drafted Holt in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft. Holt was placed in one of the best offenses in NFL history, better known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” He was skilled enough, but playing alongside veteran receivers like Isaac Bruce and Ricky Proehl certainly helped polish his game to the next level. Holt helped the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV and became a champion in his rookie season.

Holt had already earned a Super Bowl ring and yet his accolades were far from over. Following his second year in the league, Holt was invited to his first Pro Bowl. He led the league receiving yards with 1,635 yards and yards per reception with 19.9. Holt’s immediate success is part of the reason the Rams made another Super Bowl run. Unfortunately, the Rams were unable to bring home the gold and lost to the New England Patriots following the 2001 season.

Holt became a regular attendee in the Pro Bowl. In fact, from 2000-2007 he only missed the Pro Bowl once, which was in 2002. One might be led to believe that he had a terrible season, but that wasn’t the case at all. Holt managed to snag 1,302 yards in just 11 games.

The following season Holt came back with a vengeance, catching anything that quarterback Marc Bulger lobbed in the air. Much of Bulger’s success stemmed from Holt’s performance. He led the league in receptions and receiving yards with 117 receptions for 1,696 yards. This was the only season that Holt was named first team All-Pro.

Holt was so consistent that he became the fastest receiver to earn 10,000 yards in 2006. That was also the year that Holt’s six-year streak of 1,300-yard seasons or more was snapped. Holt produced his final 1,000-yard season in 2007, subsequently ending his eight-year streak. The Rams released Holt just before the 2009 season after spending 10 years with the team.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2009): Holt fell too low on the Rams’ depth chart, and he felt he could contribute as a starter on another team. He signed a multi-year contract with the Jaguars, but injuries caught up with him in Jacksonville. Holt recorded a disappointing season earning only 722 yards and didn’t register a single touchdown. He was cut at the end of the season and retired after attempting to play with the New England Patriots in 2010. Injuries followed him to New England, and he didn’t make it to the regular season.

Holt finished his career 13,382 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns, just behind former teammate Isaac Bruce. He has been mentioned as a candidate for the Hall of Fame and will likely make at some point in the future. Holt certainly deserves it.

Source: Gopack.com, Pro-sports-reference.com, Sports-reference.com

You can follow Johnny Gomez on Twitter @Johnny5not6. Be sure to follow Rams Talk on Twitter @TalkRams.

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