FOXBORO, Mass. — Torry Holt‘s Patriots career never really got going. The 34-year-old wide receiver was placed on injured reserve Sunday, ending his 2010 season.
At the outset, it doesn’t appear to be a move that will have a real tangible impact on New England’s season. Holt was kind of lost in the shuffle of the Patriots’ younger, faster, more athletic wide receivers who were progressing rapidly through offseason camps. And in NESN.com’s last two roster predictions, Holt didn’t crack the 53-man squad.At the very least, the Patriots have overtly praised Holt for his leadership and locker-room presence. He taught his younger teammates a number of wide-ranging things, from being a professional to running proper routes, and there’s no doubt they’re better off because of their work with Holt. If he’s able to stay around the facility through the season, it will continue to benefit his teammates.
Holt’s lack of on-field productivity wasn’t so much his own fault as it was the emergence of Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate and — to a lesser extent — rookie Taylor Price. Edelman and Tate have been dynamic options in the passing game, and they each figure to have prominent roles throughout the season.
The Patriots have also been targeting their tight ends with higher frequency in practice, particularly rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. With the number of young receiving options on the team, Holt basically got lost in the shuffle, and he had very few reps with the first-team offense.
It would be a mistake to compare Holt to Joey Galloway, who was a dud in 2009. Last year, the Patriots really needed Galloway to step in and make real contributions, and that never came close to happening.
Holt, though, was considered a complimentary piece who, at best, could start as an outside receiver opposite of Randy Moss and Wes Welker. However, when Holt was signed to a $1.7 million, one-year deal in April, the Patriots likely didn’t realize how quickly they’d see positive results from Edelman and Tate.
On the whole, it was a signing that didn’t work out, but it’s not going to kill the Patriots.