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Torry Holt: Missing piece to the Tennessee Titans’ Super Bowl puzzle?

Several years ago, rookie Torry Holt’s 3rd quarter touchdown played a key role in the St.Louis Rams’ 23-16 heartbreaking defeat of the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Almost ten years later, the now-veteran Holt could eventually end up playing for the team he helped to defeat on that icy, late January day in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Titans’ hypothetical pursuit of Holt that we previously discussed has become a reality, thanks to the Rams’ decision to cut their accomplished veteran WR.

After contributing to the dismantling of Jeff Fisher’s Lombardi dreams a decade earlier, could Torry Holt be the missing piece to a Tennessee Titans’ Super Bowl run in 2009?

The Titans already have several key components in place that are needed to make a legitimate push for a championship.

Great head coach, check. Solid veteran QB, check. Stout running game, check. Strong in the trenches, check. Tough defense, check. Clutch field goal kicker, check.

Noticeably absent from the paragraph above is the wide receiver position. Justin Gage is a solid #2 guy currently masquerading as the team’s #1 WR. I like the acquisition of Nate Washington but at this point in his career, his potential outweighs his actual production on the football field.

On-the-field production is unquestionably a strength for veteran Torry Holt. His 64 catches for 796 yards in 2008 was easily his worst year as a pro since his rookie year. Despite those “sub-par” numbers, sadly, Holt would have finished as the Titans’ leader in both the reception and yardage categories last season.

Of course, the decline of Holt’s numbers will serve as a red flag to those who fear that signing him will equate to the Eric Moulds’ experiment of a few seasons ago. However, I’m not sure if you can attribute Holt’s decreased production to the aging process.

Playing on a helpless Rams’ squad, Holt was tossed to the backburner as the team decided to make Donnie Avery the focus in the receiving game. Instead of garnering the type of attention he grew accustomed to as the Rams’ #1 receiving threat, Holt became an afterthought as a result of the team’s decision to go in another direction at WR.

In the right situation, (such as Tennessee) I’m somewhat optimistic that Holt can still produce at a high level, if given the chance to do so.

Here’s another reason why the Titans should make a run at Holt: their 2009 schedule is littered with passing-friendly opponents. Next year, 11 of their 16 games will come against teams with pass defenses that were ranked in the league’s bottom-half last season:

Seattle (32nd), San Diego (31st), NYJ (29th), Miami (25th), Jax (24th), Ariz (22nd), San Fran (20th), STL (19th) and Houston (17th).

Of course, the rushing attack is and will continue to remain as the Titans’ bread-and-butter on offense. However, adding another receiving threat won’t be a bad idea as they prepare to face some of the league’s worst pass-defense units in 2009.

So, there you have it, folks: My case for Holt being a piece of the Titans’ potential Super Bowl puzzle next year.

Now, it’s your turn…Are the Titans a Torry Holt away from making a run at the Lombardi Trophy?