Although unlikely, signing Holt makes perfect sense

February 13th, 2010 - 6:30 pm

Torry Holt said it best in a recent interview on WMVP AM-1000.

“I think it’s a match made in heaven if they were to bring someone like me in to actually show these guys how to run this system, efficiently, effectively and consistently.”

Forgive me for being cynical as years of disappointing transactions have left me doubtful that Jerry Angelo will pull the trigger on bringing in a guy that would help new offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s offense work.

All last off-season, we heard from Angelo that the Bears were going to “go with the hand they’ve been dealt” in reference to the young receiving corps they seemingly neglected last summer.  Ironically, that position group was the least of the Bears’ concerns and arguably played the most consistently.

That doesn’t mean we can expect any one of them to become Pro Bowlers any time soon, and Angelo wouldn’t be doing his “due diligence,” as he frequently likes to say, if the Bears didn’t explore other outside options for upgrading the group.

Signing Holt, who was cut by the Jaguars this week after one season with the team, would make perfect sense for many reasons.  First, although he’ll be 34 when next season commences, and while his best years are certainly far behind him, Holt would step into Bourbonnais as the hands-down best receiver on the team.

Do I need to go any further than that?  I will, anyway.

Holt thrived for years in Martz’s offense while with the St. Louis Rams.  As it stands now, the only player on the Bears offense familiar with Martz’s system is Orlando Pace, and he may not be on the team for much longer.  While everybody else is trying to learn the system, Holt would be able to help teach it and, more importantly, show it.

Holt probably would be the most intelligent receiver on the team, too.  Football IQ is something that is far underrated.  How many fewer interceptions would Jay Cutler have thrown if he and his receivers were on the same page?  Easily, a half-dozen.  When a play breaks down, to where are receivers supposed to run?  Typically, intelligent veteran receivers know where their quarterback wants them to go.

Martz’s offense is so complex that the learning curve could be more than one season, and the players may only have one off-season to learn it all because everybody’s job security at Halas Hall is paper-thin.  How embarrassing will it be to watch a dysfunctional offense get obliterated every week because players are in the wrong position?  Well, think back to how you felt watching last year’s team get pounded and multiply that feeling by two.

If Earl Bennett couldn’t get onto the field his rookie season because he had trouble learning Ron Turner’s offense, how is he going to pick up Martz’s scheme?  What about little Johnny Knox from diminutive Abilene Christian? There’s a guy that froze up during a postgame interview following a preseason game because he wasn’t used to being in front of so many fans.  And how about Devin Hester?  Not exactly the embodiment of brains, he had to be positioned properly by Muhsin Muhammad nearly his entire first season as a receiver and several times miscommunicated with Cutler last year.

Critics and skeptics will say Holt is way past his prime and doesn’t have much left in the tank.  Sadly, I repeat: he’d be the best wide receiver on the team in Bourbonnais.  Others will claim he’ll cost too much.  Maybe, maybe not.  He did say during that radio interview this week that he’d be very interested in playing for Martz in Chicago, so he could give a discount.  Still others will say that the Bears don’t need a tutor and they already tried that, unsuccessfully, with Muhammad.  And they’ll claim that if all they want to do is bring in Holt to help teach the offense to these receivers, then they should hire him as an assistant coach.

The excuses are weak.  Especially from those who clamor that if the Bears are going to get receiver help, they should go after bigger fish like Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall.  Sorry, Bears fans.  That’s not going to happen.

For the best value to help improve the position and make the transition to Mike Martz’s system as seamless as possible, there’s one player that provides the perfect fit.  Let’s see if Angelo is smart enough to pull the trigger.

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