Torry Holt: The Best Wide Out in the NFL

*The guy who debated against me’s argument is in bold.

I’m going to leave you with an article I wrote back in August that I’ve modified over time. Also, I’m including some debates I’ve had over the topic. Anyway, here’s the article. Get ready to feel enlightened and informed. Enjoy the read.

Torry

There are several good to great receivers in the league such as Steve Smith, Terrell Owens, Santana Moss, Randy Moss, Hines Ward, Marvin Harrison; the list goes on. However, my pick for the best receiver in the league is none other than:

Torry Holt, number 81, St. Louis Rams wide receiver, has been playing in the league for seven straight season. Perhaps, he is the most consistent wide out in the league right now. Lets take a look. In his rookie season, in 1999, coming out of North Carolina State, 788 receiving yards in his rookie season. It didn’t really blow people away, but the mind boggling thing was that, in Super Bowl XXXIV, as the Rams took on the Tennessee Titans, he had a touchdown, and could have had another, and took home the game’s MVP instead of Kurt Warner, but made a rookie mistake, dropping it.

Onto the point, after that season, he has amassed over 1300+ yards, six consecutive times. He is the only wide out in NFL History to ever do such a thing. That’s the main legit fact why I say he’s the most consistent receiver in the NFL. I don’t think Terrell Owens could do something like that now, with his age, nor Randy Moss. Now, it’s possible for Steve Smith to do that, but lets look at his history..he’s more inconsistent then he is consistent. The exact reason I think Smith is the most overrated wide out in the NFL right now. The media is all over him, after his one good year. I say kudos to the man, but after all this media hype, they treat him like a God.

Did they treat Torry Holt like a God in the 2003-2004 season when he had over 1600+ yards with 117 receptions! Wow! What a statbook! And no, they did not. He was invited to the Pro Bowl however. That’s the big setoff. I just don’t understand why they had to ride the Steve Smith bandwagon all season after one good year..check out this:

First of all, this is another stat that sets Torry aside from Steve. Quite funny as well, might I add. Steve Smith played all 16 regular season games this past year. Torry Holt? He was injury-bugged for at least 6 of them. Though, Holt still played 14 of the 16 regular season games to give it his all only being 3 receptions from the receiving title in ’05-’06.

No, that is not the stat I’m talking about, but just a bonus. Here is the actual thing. Torry Holt, was only three receptions away from winning the receiving title. Wow! Now, did he even get mentioned by the media? No he didn’t! The media was all over Steve Smith, who just had one good season, after so many other years of being so inconsistent and unable to play due to injuries.

The media has always annoyed me by that. As Holt played 10 games perfectly fine, 100%, and the next 4 hurt and in pain, but still only three receptions from the receiving title after missing two games when Smith played all 16? That’s rediculously good, and I highly doubt other receivers could do what this man has done.

Lets take a look at Smith’s career yardage:
2001: 154
2002: 872
2003: 1110
2004: 60
2005: 1563

(Kudos for coming back from that leg injury, but can he STAY healthy for 3-4 consecutive years? We’ll see..maybe I’ll eat my words, if so, fine! And yes, Smith is still young, but when Holt was 3 years younger as Smith is to him, he made the most of it in his career, and hasn’t slowed much down yet.)

Do you see what I mean about inconsistency? Wow. I just don’t understand how he just got so much hype. Lets take a look at Torry’s career yardage, beginning in 1999:

1999: 788
2000: 1635
2001: 1363
2002: 1302
2003: 1696
2004: 1372
2005: 1331

Talk about consistency. That is what I mean, by Torry Holt easily being the best receiver in the NFL.

Consistency: Holt > Smith

Off the field? Lets see, Holt does all he can to encourage his team. He is basically the new-age leader for the Rams, besides Marc Bulger and Isaac Bruce. Did you see him before the Dallas Cowboys/St. Louis Rams game, in Week 17 of the 2005-2006 season? He was hyping up the team like no other.

Also, a few years ago, he took a paycut for the Rams just so we could get a rookie signed. Wow. Do you ever see TO, Moss, or Smith actually doing that? No, instead, TO goes out, and feels like he is “out-playing” (as he said in his new book) his contract, and feels as if he needs more money.

That’s pretty sad when stuff like that happens, when a guy who has out-performed all those receivers and is still under the radar from the media such as ESPN, NFL Network, and such and such.

Pros and Cons of Holt? Hmm..

Pros:
I’ve listed so many..but here are a couple more

He helps out with the charity
Helps the kids all over St. Louis
Took that paycut a few years back
And in the off-season, he works as an NFL Analyst every once in a while
He has a GREAT attitude, and is fun to watch on tv, because he is full of energy and excitement
He never throws a fit (such as TO from last year’s offseason)
He never lets his team down (ahem…Moss..Minnesota days..ahh)
More consistent than any other receiver in the NFL THUS FAR
Helps out younger players

Cons:
The last two years, he’s been injured, but he shakes it off like a real man, and got back onto the field playing it all out for his team unlike any other.
What else?

And look now, he’s the fastest player in the history of the NFL to reach 10,000 yards in his career, and he’s going to keepg oing. His receiving numbers went down this year and that’s only because we’re becoming more of a balanced offense, and running the ball alot more than we’ve been passing. Yet, he was still oh so close to the 1300 yard mark again.

For Marvin Harrison, he’s one great player, no doubt, but lets get real here: He has one of the best QB’s in NFL history (‘will be considered deeply in two weeks) in Peyton Manning throwing him the ball (I’m not knocking Marc Bulger, but I’m saying Peyton Manning!)

Now think of it in this perspective: Say Torry Holt never was on the Rams and Harrison wasn’t on the Colts (ever), so Holt was drafted by the Colts. From 1999 to present 2006 (season), who knows how good of stats Holt would have right now if he had been the Colts #1 receiver from all those years.

You see, him playing for the Rams, from 1999-2001 (three seasons accordingly), he was apartof the Greatest Show on Turf trio of Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk with the former great (at those years) Kurt Warner throwing them the ball (We all know how Marshall Faulk set the standards for being the all-purpose back.) Now Holt has been putting up numbers for years and still staying atop the league as a receiver, and that’s impressive. He has to be the most consistent receiver on the league while playing for an average (if not, below average) team. While Marvin Harrison is playing for a juggernaut Indianapolis Colts’ team.

While the St. Louis Rams did have Mike Martz as the head coach for six seasons (as much the Colts’ offense has been this year mostly, just as the past couple of years where Edge didn’t get very many carries; but when he did, that Colts’ line sure did help), my point to bring out players to take it into judgement into being helpful wasn’t my argument of this article I’m creating here on Helium, but moreso being that it hurt Holt in the stats department when the ball would be going to Bruce, or Faulk out in the flats. Now, it’s Holt, Bruce, Curtis (Kevin..who will probably be leaving us in the offseason for a WR job in New England), AND Jackson, it’s hard for Holt to get his receiving yards. While it is a great deal for Holt to exercise his playing ability with other superstars on the team (from a few years ago most noteably), that has taken a hit in his receiving yards by splitting his catches with other receivers on the team. It just shocks me that he’s been doing that with Bruce for so many years, Faulk for 4-5 (when he was a deadly RB), now Jackson, and recently the past two seasons Kevin Curtis, it just makes me think in “ahh” on how Holt is still having a great deal of success to this day.

I’ll take a look at it in Harrison’s stat perspective by thinking about the other Colts’ receivers: Reggie Wayne, (he’s going to his first Pro Bowl this season; correct me if I’m wrong) Brandon Stokely, and Dallas Clark (isn’t a receiver but he sure as hell plays like a big ol’ fat one.) Now that has to hurt Marvin’s stats too as well as Torry’s stats have been hurt by splitting catches with other receivers. Wayne is extremely underrated, and he’s right up there in the Top 25-30 receivers right now. Dallas Clark is a legitimate scoring threat and if you find him open and throw it in the right spot, he’ll without a doubt catch the ball, and Peyton knows that.

But in the end, I’ll take Torry Holt over the rest of the NFL any day of the week. I could make the same case for Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Steve Smith, and possibly Randy Moss. However, Torry Holt has proven time and time again that he is the most consistent, best, and hard-working receiver in the NFL.

I don’t see how you can find Steve Smith inconsistent when he increased his yardage every year until 2004 when he broke his leg in the first game of the season and then came back with the best year of any WR that year. The media attention comes with a big year when you play for a super bowl contender. Again, I do not understand where you are getting this inconsistency from, especially when he wasn’t even the featured wideout.

And as for consistency, Chad Johnson has been just as consistent with 5 straight 1000+ yard seasons. Marvin Harrison, consistent as can be (8 straight 1000 yard seasons) Randy Moss was up there until he was traded to the worst sports team on the face of the earth. Donald Driver would even be in this conversation if Javon Walker hadn’t exploded onto the scene in 2003 (Driver would have 5 straight 1,000 yard seasons).

As for the whole off the field thing, I don’t see how you can add that in as a factor in the greatness of a player overall because Randy Moss was the best WR the NFL and he wasn’t exactly a good Samaritan.

You cannot start speculating on what would have been had Holt been drafted by the Colts. That never happened so you just cannot possibly use that as an argument. Harrison is an amazing player and I don’t care who is throwing him the ball. Manning may be great, but Harrison redefined route running, has phenomenal hands, and insane speed.

Holt is a great WR, but he is in no way EASILY the best WR in the NFL. He may be the best (which I’m not sure of), in no way does he garner that title with ease.

The season he came back? As I wrote in my article, sure he was amazing, but what was even more amazing was that Torry Holt missed two games that year, not even being 100% at health for 6 of them, yet he was still only three receptions from the receiving title. That was more amazing than Smith coming off an injury that, he’s had several different the past 6 seasons since he’s came into the league in 2001. Just as I typed in the article:
(Kudos for coming back from that leg injury, but can he STAY healthy for 3-4 consecutive years? We’ll see..maybe I’ll eat my words, if so, fine! And yes, Smith is still young, but when Holt was 3 years younger as Smith is to him, he made the most of it in his career, and hasn’t slowed much down yet.) Now lets look at this year:

Torry Holt’s 2006 statistics: 93 receptions, 1188 yards, 10 touchdowns
Steve Smith’s 2006 statistics: 83 receptions, 1166 yards, 8 touchdowns

While Holt is doing all that with a man named Isaac Bruce on the other side of the field, and with a guy named Steven Jackson (who’s the 3rd best back in the league in my eyes) lining up behind Marc Bulger with an extra terrible, inexperienced, offensive line. Hell, the Rams and the Panthers both went 8-8, yet the Cats were the better team by far, whipping us 20-0 in Charlotte (believe me, I had to hear it from Cats fans here for weeks.)

However, Holt has been the most consistent out of both Johnson and Harrison while being on a worse team, and doing it while being alongside (through the years) Isaac Bruce (future hall of famer), Marshall Faulk (a receiving threat from the backfield), Az-hir Hakeem, Ricky Proehl, and the last couple of seasons Kevin Curtis (he had 800+ yards the other year, but he only had 450+ this past year. He isn’t working out in the Linehan offense, pretty much.) Harrison has had the same quarterback passing to him all of his career (except for 1996 and 1997) yet Holt had to make a transition from Warner to Bulger starting in 2003 with different strengths of their type of game being challenged in the Martz system made it hard on him. Now this year switching to a more balanced attack (unlike the Colts have, even though they show signs of smash mouth football in the post-season) has lowered Holt’s numbers, yet he was only 112 from his seventh straight 1300 yard season.

It never happened, but what’s wrong with trying to see things thruogh on what could have been? Boston Celtics fans of the NBA do it all the time, drooling over Tim Duncan. However, this is a different scenario and scheme.

Anyway, Torry Holt is a great WR. If anyone says anything to the contrary, then they are obviously not NFL fans and should stick to Arena. But I have to question your stance on Marvin Harrison. You say that Holt has had a worst supporting cast? Ok, you told me Isaac Bruce was a great WR at one point (and is still a decent one) but then there was Marshall Faulk, Ricky Proehl had a good career, Steven Jackson and when Kurt Warner was at his peak; he was amazing.

Now who did Harrison have three seasons ago; when he was in the same area as Holt is in now?:

-Reggie Wayne before he broke out.
-Marcus Pollard in his twilight.
-Dallas Clark out for a season.
-Edgerrin James was great.
-Peyton Manning.
-Stokley wasn’t in the picture and he’s irrelevant anyway, as he only had one great season.

Now, let’s take this a step further. Holt’s best season was 2003. Harrison’s best season was 2001 (well, 2000 was better but in 2001 he had the most receptions ever).

2001’s Supporting Cast:
-Manning barely throwing for more TDs than INTs.
-An injured Edgerrin James who was replaced quite well by Rhodes.
-Marcus Pollard.
-6 – 10 record.

2003 for the Rams:
-Marc Bulger who had similar TD/INT stats to Manning’s 2001 season.
-Isaac Bruce who nearly had a 1,000-yard season to my knowledge.
-Marshall Faulk who put up 11 total TDs (know this because I found an old card)
-12 – 4 record.

That’s comparing their best two seasons, in terms of RECEPTION totals. Your argument saying that Harrison had great teammates has ONLY been true for the past two seasons. Wayne didn’t hit his stride until then, Edge was good but he actually got better as his career progressed, an inconsistent team, one good TE and an overall better team in the late 90s-to-early 00s.

Also, the Bengals have been good for about two seasons. They were pretty abysmal before then.

I was moreso talking about the whole careers of Holt and Harrison. They’ve both had their struggles and reasons of this and that of this date, but the thing is, Harrison, for the 90-95% of his career, has been THE go to guy for the Colts, being the one depended. Holt truly wasn’t considered the Rams’ go-to-guy until ’03 (he did have games in ’02 where he was the first string receiver, but I’m talking full-time), then Holt made his magic happen. Holt did have better teammates than Harrison (Hell, the ’99-’01 Rams were unstopable. The 2000 Rams were, IMO, the best offense ever. I wrote an article on that that I will post up) but as of late, you pointed out, the past couple of seasons we’ve noticed how good/great the Colts are as they have rolled in stride to becoming Super Bowl champions. Now that Bruce calmed down a couple of years ago, it’s allowed Holt to show the league what he has and the elements added to his game, just to put up great numbers. Has he done so? Yes he has.

Comparing Marc Bulger to Peyton Manning, IMO, is like comparing LeBron James (not that Bulger can even come close to comparing with James’ figure of the way he is in basketball, but I’m just using an example) to Michael Jordan. He has the potential, but he’ll never come close to being as good as Peyton Manning has been in his career. Manning is a force, and will go down as one of the top 5 NFL Quarterbacks of all-time. I don’t see Bulger getting close to there. However, you were just saying the 2001 season compared to the 2003 season; in 2001, Manning passed for more than 2190+ (4131) yards than Bulger’s 3835 yards. Bulger had barely more of a better completion percentage, but Manning attempted while completed (obviously) more passes.

Well, then I don’t get where you are coming at in your criteria for considering who the best receiver in the NFL is? You sound like in your latest post that Harrison is it but your article says that Holt is. Is the best WR the one who is on a better team or one who can be depended on as of right now to be a #1 WR for their respective team? If that’s the case, based on longevity of consistency, wouldn’t you still have to give it to Marvin? If you are talking about being just a #1 then you can easily say Lee Evans or Andre Johnson given the inferior talent surronding them.

I love Manning, I’m a Colts fan, but if you were to compare those two seasonal stats I threw out then you would see that Bulger/Manning were near in TD/INT and Bulger played in one LESS game so essentially he was one good game away from nearing Manning in yards and just needed 9 completions to eclipse him in completions.

Well to put all of it in a nutshell, in my opinion, Holt is the best receiver in the league. I think he’s one of the most consistent receivers in the league, even if he’s being injured for short periods of time, or long few week tenures, he always has a way to come back strong, then to motivate his teammats on the sidelines, and is a lot like a leader of the Rams’ offense. Whereas Marvin, he’s even more quiet than Torry, and we all know Torry is another guy that never runs his mouth; however, Torry, in my mind, is just a better overall receiver than Marvin if you match the two up one on one. I guess it’s a matter of strengths of one category to another that you can’t really take stats into an account, but more being that by watching the two teams play on television to see truly for a fact who can come up more. I think Holt is more of a leader, more clutch, and can make plays around multiple defenders making a large attempt to contain him than Marvin (since Marvin can find a lot of holes in defenses with his masterpiece route running, a lot like the way Isaac Bruce could do (still does when he can)) can pull off making the catch. If I was the coach of a team, and somehow Holt and Harrison were the two receivers being double covered, and I had to direct my quarterback to throw to one of them, I’d pick Holt because of his balance to jump up and make the play better with being covered than Harrison. Marvin in my eyes, is more of a wide-open catcher, whereas Torry Holt can make plays all over the field in tight spots. I’m not denying that Marvin can, but Torry does it oh so often and executes that way especially with some deadly comeback routes that he really burnt defenders with this season.

I guess I can understand that logic, I would take Marvin over anyone from my own homeristic views but honestly, there isn’t one great WR in the league. Personally, I would love to see Andre Johnson with a quality QB at the helm. Hell, he would do well with Sage Rosenfels but that’s another story for another day.

Well we all have our opinions and are entitled in them, so I can understand 100% why people would take Harrison over Holt, but me being a Rams fan, I sound extremely biased, and I will admit to that, I sure am, but I just enjoy throwing out some points, etc. and debating this topic alot. Over on the TeamXbox forums, on the sports discussion, we had a debate going for about 8-9 (I THINK) pages. Everyone vs. me, and this guy who was more of a St. Louis Cardinals fan than Rams, but he was there to post along. Good debating none the less.

For my argument with you, I think that you are mixing Consistency and Production. Holt has been more productive yes, but by looking at stats not more consistent.

So in your opinion, 7 straight 1000+ yard (6 straight 1300+ yard) seasons aren’t consistent? Before 2005, he’s never missed a game in his career. He’s only missed 2 games in his whole 8 year NFL career, and that isn’t consistent to you?

I never said he wasn’t consistent. I said Steve Smith was consistent.

How so? He’s not not even near as close to as where Holt is consistent.
———————————————————————————–

And the guy never answered. Maybe it was due to his inadequacy to try and tell me that Smith is more consistent than Holt despite being injured in 3 of the last 6 seasons, while Holt has only missed 2 games in his whole career — and those 2 games didn’t come until 2005. Boo-yah.

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5 thoughts on “Torry Holt: The Best Wide Out in the NFL

  1. That is one serious post. I’m with you. It’s what he’s done since Martz has left that’s really impressed me. He hasn’t dropped off at all. He runs great routes and has incredible hands. He’s been a little banged up the last two years, but always guts out injuries. He doesn’t have a big mouth and most importantly, he always shows up on Sundays.

  2. I AM THE NUMBER 1 HOLT FAN, AND YES HE IS THE BEST, LIKE THE MAN SAID HE HAS HAD BRUCE PROEL HAKEEM FAULK JACKSON CURTIS MCDONALD, NOW BENNET, MCMICHEAL, LOOKER…2007 SEASON IS TERRIBLE, ALL THE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ARE INJURED, HOLT HAS BEEN INJURED, BULGER INJURED AND THE BACK UP FERROTE, YET HOLT STILL MAD THE PRO BOWL AND HAS 11OO YARDS AND 7 TOUCHDOWNS WITH ONE GAME LEFT, GET OUT OF HERE WITH HARRISON HE IS SOLID BUT HE CANT TAKE OVER GAMES, SMITH CAN NOT RUN ROUTES HE JUST RUNS FAST AND STREAKS AND CAN PUT 130 YARDS ONE GAME AND 15 ANOTHER, CHAD JOHNSON WAS GOOD WHEN HE WAS THE ONLY ONE GETTING BALLS BUT NOW TJ IS BETTER THAN HIM, RANDY MOSS IF UR SO GOOD THEN U COULD DO IT WITH THE RAIDERS HOLT DONE IT THROUGH ALL THE INJURYS AND LOOK THE RAMS HAVE JUST AS BAD RECORD AS RAIDERS DID, TERREL OWENS WOW HES GOOD BUT NOT NEAR THE BEST HE IS ONLY BETTER THAN SMITH OUT OF THE PEOPLE I MENTIONED….JUST REMEMBER THIS ONLY HOLT AND HARRISON HAVE A RING…SURE RANDY MAY GET ONE THIS YEAR BUT THATS CAUSE HE PLAYS WITH THE PATRIOTS….GO TORRY HOLT FUTURE HALL OF FAMER WATCH OUT RICE!!!!

    CRAIG GEHLHAUSEN
    EVANSVILLE INDIANA

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