Starting Fresh- Torry Holt Hopes to Return to Form With Jaguars

Joel LefevreAnalyst IMay 28, 2009

It's been three seasons that the Jaguars have missed a deep threat at receiver.  Jimmy Smith's retirement following the 2005 season left a huge hole at wide receiver that the Jaguars have yet to fill in the past three seasons.

The Jaguars hope Torry Holt is able to fill the void left by Smith.  Holt signed a three year deal with the Jaguars after spending 10 seasons with the Rams and winning a Super Bowl his rookie year in 99. Despite a disappointing past couple of seasons Holt believes he can still be a difference maker for the Jags.

"You tell me what guy in his 11th season is who he was when he first came into the National Football League," Holt said . "I bet you won't find too many of those guys. Am I the guy I was back then? Absolutely not. I feel like in a lot of ways I'm a lot better and I'm a lot craftier than I was back then.

With the release of former first round pick Matt Jones, Reggie Williams and Jerry Porter Holt  at 33 will have alot of expectation going into the season.  While be realises his best days are behind  him he does not seem concerned by his drop off statically the last couple of seasons. Despite having serious knee surgery two years ago he does not believe that affected his play.

"You never heard me complaining about having any knee problems," he said. "You never saw me miss any games last year. I think it came down to the fact that we were not that good offensively. We fired our coach after the third or fourth game of the season. We had our quarterback, Marc Bulger, benched. There was no chemistry, no continuity within our offence period, so everyone struggled, everyone suffered.

Entering his 11th season in the Holt ranks 11th on the NFL's all-time career list with 869 receptions.  Holt believes he can still play another six seasons in the NFL and can still be the big play guy he has be known for his whole career.  The man nicknamed "Big Game" has some lofty goals that he is determined to accomplish.

"My goal is always 90-plus catches, 1,300-plus yards and 10-plus touchdowns," he said. "That's always been my goal, and those goals won't change. You have to set them pretty high to give yourself something to strive for and reach for.

Jaguars GM Gene Smith has equally high expectations for Holt, having invested 20 million dollars in him for the next three years.  "We didn't just get a player with the ability to help us win, but somebody who can be a positive, veteran presence in the locker room," general manager Gene Smith said. "He's not in his prime years, but he definitely has a lot left and certainly can come in here and play at a winning level. He's bringing more than just talent, and that's what was very attractive about adding a guy like him to the locker room."

Holt expects to be the go to guy both on and off the field and will get his share of opportunities to help this team.  In the twilight of his career he realizes at his age he will need to work that much harder to be even close to the player he once was.  He is optimistic about his lofty goals but is also smart to not get ahead of himself.

"Now, will I reach those goals? Who knows. Do I have the potential to reach those goals? Absolutely. Will I be given those opportunities? I hope I will be given those opportunities in Jacksonville."