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Should Sean McVay Take Torry Holt’s Advice?

Sean McVay

During the debut of the Los Angeles Rams Camp Virtual Tailgate, co-host and ex-Rams megastar receiver Torry Holt might have handed the Rams the most effective solution to what plagued the offense last season. Keep in mind, this is not you or I or just any jock-turned-analyst. This is one of the best receivers to ever grace a football field at the pro level on one of the all-time best scoring offenses ever. Therefore, it’s not really a question of should but will Sean McVay consider Holt’s advice? 

Should Sean McVay Heed the Advice of Torry Holt?

Directed at receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp within the context of the live Rams Camp Virtual Tailgate via Zoom video conferencing, Holt had this to say: 

“You got Robert Woods as a two-time thousand-yard, you know, receiver – back to back…A thousand-yard wide receiver in Cooper Kupp, right? Van Jefferson all of a sudden is now on the roster. What will a 4-receiver set look like in L.A.?”

Kupp mentioned that the Rams “touched on that a little” in 2019, missing the point completely so Torry then quickly and excitedly added, 

“I’m saying with even more regularity…All of you can get open…That’s scary. Have you, [said] coach, [McVay] can you throw in a little bit more? I forgot to ask him!”

To be clear, it’s more likely than not that Holt was not intentionally giving the Rams head coach any advice on play-calling. This doesn’t mean that Sean McVay shouldn’t accept Holt’s plea as such. Let’s briefly examine the possibilities. 

Those who can, first try to remember the era of The Greatest Show On Turf. Do you remember the Rams having among the best offensive lines in the NFL during that time? How many blockers can you recall not named Orlando Pace? What does this mean?

Examining the main three seasons of Jared Goff held up to Super Bowl Champion and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner‘s three best with the Rams could shed some light on the possibility of the current Rams returning to their 2018 (or championship) glory. 

Kurt Warner

3-Year Passing Table
Year Tm G QBrec Cmp Att Yds TD Int Sk
1999*+ STL 16 13-3-0 325 499 4353 41 13 29
2000* STL 11 8-3-0 235 347 3429 21 18 20
2001*+ STL 16 14-2-0 375 546 4830 36 22 38
Provided by View Original Table
*Pro Bowl selection, +First-Team All-Pro. Generated 8/16/2020.

Jared Goff

3-Year Passing Table
Year Tm G QBrec Cmp Att Yds TD Int Sk
2017* LAR 15 11-4-0 296 477 3804 28 7 25
2018* LAR 16 13-3-0 364 561 4688 32 12 33
2019 LAR 16 9-7-0 394 626 4638 22 16 22
Provided by View Original Table
*Pro Bowl selection, +First-Team All-Pro. Generated 8/16/2020

Not too dissimilar in overall numbers until you get to touchdowns. Oddly, the similarity in total times sacked may indicate how success can be achieved despite having a mediocre offensive line, worst-case. The Greatest Show on Turf offense was speed, precision, and timing-based. What 2020’s crop of Rams receivers lacks in speed, it makes up in route-running ability and smarts. Can this be enough to restore any lost luster? With Goff’s off-season dedication to footwork and preventing turnovers, that quite possibly is the answer. Note: Jared Goff interrupted Holt’s commentary to announce his goal for the 2020 season is to have three 1000+ yard receivers, not two. 

Holt’s Credentials

Torry “Big Game” Holt: 1999 first-round NFL draft choice (6th overall), 7-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl XXXIV champion, First-Team All-Pro (2003), member of the NFL All-Decade Team (2000s) and 2020 Hall of Fame finalist.

Holt caught well over 1000 receiving yards eight of ten seasons while with the Rams (2000-2007). He led the NFL in that category twice (2000, 2003). What’s more, his totals might’ve been even better if not for sharing the stage with Hall of Fame receiver Isaac Bruce.

Is Torry biased in his comments, simply looking out for the team’s receivers? Sure, but his excitement stems from firsthand knowledge of what legitimate offensive firepower is capable of. Add rule changes becoming more offensive-friendly since he, Bruce and Az-Zahir Hakim ran amok, then stir. 

Expect the Unexpected in 2020

The powers that be blew up the roster this past off-season so don’t expect every game to go as planned. Rookie receiver Van Jefferson, for one, may be too good to keep off the field. At first glance, he enters the NFL running crisper routes than half the veteran receivers. Perhaps not good news for wideout Josh Reynolds but excellent news in the way of offensive creativity. Rookie running back Cam Akers probably won’t be mistaken for Marshall Faulk anytime soon but adds a respectable amount of dual-threat ability just the same.

Those two additions being mentioned, Sean McVay and company know not all that lay before them game plan wise. Additionally, it will take a great deal of faith and confidence from the coaching staff to consistently trust that these new weapons can handle it. It was, in fact, just as much confidence in drafting what amounts to the extra tools needed to be successful enough to overcome a bad or mediocre offensive line, should that problem return. Expect improvement as the season lengthens. This, in turn, can amount to a more competitive 2020 than many predict.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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