Holt will represent Rams; Jones is second alternate

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ST. LOUIS -- Despite the St. Louis Rams' dismal 3-11 record and a knee injury that hampered him all year, Torry Holt earned his seventh Pro Bowl berth Tuesday.

Holt was the only Rams player honored besides punter Donnie Jones, a second alternate, which made the honor that much more meaningful. Holt is among the league leaders with 83 receptions for 1,055 yards, his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season, with a 12.7-yard average and seven touchdowns.

"This one right here is definitely the most special one that I've made," Holt said.

The team also thought linebacker Will Witherspoon and safety O.J. Atogwe had worthy seasons, but neither were honored.

Running back Steven Jackson, Holt and quarterback Marc Bulger went to the Pro Bowl last year for a team that went 8-8. It's the fourth straight season for Holt. Jackson and Bulger have both been injured at times this season.

"Both of those guys are having great years," Jackson said of Holt and Jones. "Torry is a fine representative for our team and we're all happy with him.

"I'm just disappointed a few other guys couldn't make the trip with him."

Holt has caught passes from three quarterbacks working behind an injury-riddled offensive line, and making do with a balky right knee that has required daily treatment. Nothing has slowed him down.

Holt is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 yards receiving.

Jerry Rice (11) and Tim Brown (9) are the only players with more consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Holt, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison each have done it eight straight years, and Holt's career average of 83.8 yards per game is the highest in NFL history.

He's tied for fourth in the NFC in receptions and fifth in the conference in yards receiving. Five more catches would give him 800, sixth most among active players.

"You just look at Torry's numbers," coach Scott Linehan said. "They're still right there with all the league leaders. I'm very impressed."

Holt was the Rams' first-round pick in 1999 and helped them win the franchise's only Super Bowl that season. He's made the Pro Bowl every year since 2000 except for '03.

"Making the Pro Bowl is a goal of mine every year," Holt said. "I've had some mishaps and I could have done some things better, but overall I thought I played fairly consistent."

Holt said he's had to be diligent to stay on the field every week. An injection before the season to add cushioning has helped.

"I've dedicated a lot of my time and energy to making sure I maintain my knee to where I can come out and play every Sunday," Holt said. "I cut back a lot of stuff that I could have done to self-promote myself."

Notes: C Brett Romberg, who has missed five of the last six games

with a high right ankle sprain, will replace veteran Andy McCollum in the lineup against the Steelers on Thursday. Romberg dressed but did not play each of the last two weeks. Both players said they were told Romberg would get the nod even before Sunday's loss to the Packers.

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