We know Randy McMichael's in for a career resurgence under new offensive coordinator Al Saunders. We also know that Steven Jackson figures to be the Rams offensive weapon of choice, the second coming of Preist Holmes and LT all rolled into a top four fantasy draft pick.
But what about Torry Holt? We know he's healthy coming into this season, but we almost take it for granted that he'll put up 1000+ yards and 7 or so TDs. But with Al Saunders running the offense now, questions about Holt's value, real and fantasy, have emerged. Check out this line from Fox Sports in their WR rankings that appeared today:
Still, Saunders failed to produce prodigious fantasy receivers with ensuing stints in Kansas City and Washington. So the jury's still out on whether he will boost Holt's stats.
It's true. In Saunders' last two stints prior to coming to St. Louis - 2001-05 in KC and '06 & '07 in Washington - the tight ends' stats ranked right up there with the teams' wide receivers' numbers. Last season in Washington, Chris Cooley led the team in catches and receiving TDs and had just 22 fewer yards than team leader Santana Moss. Don't forget, Washington's QB situation was a mess during Saunders' time there. With the Chiefs, Gonzalez led the team in receiving in all but two seasons during Saunders' stint there, when Eddie Kennison edged him out
Now, compare Torry Holt with Moss and Kennison. The later two are solid, but have never been on the same tier as Holt, who had his breakthrough season in 2000 with, who else, Al Saunders coaching Rams wide receivers.
But what about this year? Obviously, the predictions for Jackson and McMichael are spot on, each gives the Rams a unique weapon. But don't relegate Torry Holt to the status of a mere possession receiver. For a parallel, or as close of one as you can get, look to the 2006 season. Jackson had numbers consistent with what we might expect from his this season, big totals in rushing and receiving (90 catches, 800+ yards, 3 TDs) categories. The biggest difference was the lack of a TE that season. Holt had 93 catches for 1188 yards and 10 TDs. Bruce had 74 rec, 1098 yards and 3 TDs. This season, I would expect Jackson and McMichael to pick up some of the catches once reserved for Isaac Bruce, with Bennett, Avery and Burton getting a share too.
Thoughts on Holt's role in the Al Saunders' led offense?