Friday, September 19, 2008
Holt says offensive line needs to do better job of protecting Bulger
ST. LOUIS -- Receiver Torry Holt blames the offensive line for much of the Rams' problems when they have the ball.
Holt said Friday that the St. Louis line has to step up and protect quarterback Marc Bulger better.
The offense ranks No. 32 in the league -- that's dead last. Bulger has been sacked 10 times and is on a pace to be sacked 80 times.
"Those guys, the offensive line guys, have to continue to take more pride in what they're doing to keep the quarterback clean," Holt said after practice at Rams Park. "I can stand here and say what needs to be done and who needs to do what, but that's not going to solve anything.
"It's going to come down to the guys up front that's protecting Marc and giving Steven [Jackson] running lanes and giving us time to get open in the secondary to make things happen. They have to continue to take a stronger initiative, a more sense of urgency to keep No. 10 off his back. If he continues to get smacked around, we won't be seeing No. 10 for long."
Bulger, who acknowledged he is a little sore but not injured, said the sacks have to be reduced.
"It's a lot of hits," Bulger said. "We don't want to continue that, so we try to get our running game going and open up passes and we've got to get in a rhythm to be balanced."
The Seahawks (0-2) lead the league in sacks with nine.
Coach Scott Linehan acknowledged the Rams (0-2) will have a be ready to block because of the defense and the crowd noise in Seattle.
"It's a really tough challenge and they've always really been on their game at their place," Linehan said. "That's probably one of the best home-field advantages, especially for a defensive line, because of the crowd noise. That's going to be probably our toughest test and biggest matchup question of the game right there."
Last year, the Rams lost their first eight games en route to a 3-13 season. Holt said the club can't go down that road again.
To rebound, they have to win at Quest Field, which has not been a hospitable place for the Rams, who have lost the last six meetings with Seattle.
"A win there would be huge for us," Holt said. "I mean, hell, if we won at Frontenac Mall [an upscale St. Louis shopping plaza] it would be great. It don't matter where we win at. Heck, we just need a win whether it's on the road, at Frontenac Mall or the Edward Jones Dome or here at Rams Park.
"We need a victory. It would mean a tremendous amount to our football team."
Holt provided a big push in last week's loss to the visiting New York Giants. On his back, Holt caught a pass in the end zone for 45 yards. The score pulled the Rams within 20-13 early in the fourth quarter.
It was the first touchdown of the season for St. Louis, which has been outscored 79-16 in two games.
"It was a situation there where a play needed to be made," Holt said. "Marc put it up. [Safety Kenny] Phillips did a good job for the Giants. My eyes never left the ball. I did the best I could to come down with it. Once I had corralled it, I was saying to myself and I said to Steven [Jackson] last night on his radio show, I was telling the audience that we would have been on that ground for an hour because I was not letting that ball get out of my hands."
Holt kept the ball for his collection.
"Coach talked about someone sparking the fire and some energy being put into the building," Holt said. "I was going to do whatever I could to help our football team get things turned around."