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 Holt takes safety promotion in stride 
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RIP Killer
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Post Holt takes safety promotion in stride
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=k ... &type=lgns

BY CURT SYLVESTER, FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Quote:
As much as he fights it, Terrence Holt can't help hearing the talk.

"I hear all the time guys say, 'You don't have speed, you can't run this, can't run that,' " Holt said Wednesday. "But every time I watch film or watch other safeties, I see just as much range as some of the top safeties, if not more.

"So I sort of ignore comments about the lack of speed. Whatever someone said, at this point it really doesn't matter. Running 40s and stuff like that really doesn't matter. What matters is your playmaking ability."

And Holt, the third-year defensive back from North Carolina State, is taking every opportunity he gets in this two-week minicamp to show the Lions he can make all the plays required of their free safety.

He made another Wednesday, slicing into a tight end's route to intercept a pass and take off on a dash for the end zone.

"He had some interceptions as a rookie, if you recall. He didn't get to play a lot last year but now he's lining up there as the one safety with Kenoy," coach Steve Mariucci said, referring to strong safety Kenoy Kennedy.

"And he's (Holt) doing a good job. He's a vocal guy, he's a headsy guy and he's getting better with practice. All those sort of things add up, they're good for him."

With the Lions' decision to release 12-year veteran Brock Marion, Holt was promoted to the No. 1 free safety position, joining Kennedy and cornerbacks Dre' Bly and Fernando Bryant in the defensive secondary.

Mariucci isn't saying Holt has the job won, and there is always a chance the Lions could land a more experienced player before training camp in late July.

But Holt says he is content with his situation and will do all he can to claim the job as his own.

"Throughout my career, I think it'll be a learning process," he said. "I want to continue to learn, I want to continue to grow, to be a better player every year, whether it's my third year or my 10th year.

"I think there will always be something I can learn and pick up on. But right now it's a learning process. I'm continuing to grow as a player, mature as a man on the field, learn how offenses will attack you and how certain defenses will take things away."

Although some questioned his speed, Holt showed as a rookie that he had a knack for getting to the football. Forced into duty as a backup cornerback -- and finally starting the final two games of the 2003 season at free safety -- Holt responded with three interceptions and 38 tackles.

He got less playing time last year behind Marion, but was the third-leading tackler on the Lions' special teams. Now, he is hoping to be in the starting lineup when the Lions open the season Sept. 11 against the Green Bay Packers.

A few more interceptions and his critics might even forget about his alleged lack of speed.

"Every pick I get, I love 'em," Holt said.

"The momentum and change of a turnover can kill a team's morale, especially when they're driving and they're maybe in your red zone.

"The pick I got today was a pick I would have taken to the house and would have definitely been a momentum killer if they would have had been moving the ball. The next series we got another interception with Fernando; it can be contagious."

NOTEBOOK: Defensive end Kalimba Edwards was back at practice after spending the past couple days in jail and being arraigned Tuesday on charges of resisting arrest and failing to produce a driver's license during a weekend traffic stop in Southfield.

Through a Lions spokesman, Edwards declined to discuss the matter, but team president Matt Millen said the legal situation would not affect his status. "I'm fine with Kalimba," Millen said. ... The Lions are continuing to evaluate the free agent market. Cornerback R.W. McQuarters, who played two seasons (1998-99) for Mariucci in San Francisco, is expected to visit the Lions today and Millen said he is getting updates on former New England cornerback Ty Law, who is recovering from a broken foot he suffered last season. ... Defensive tackle Dan (Big Daddy) Wilkinson is missing the voluntary camp this week for personal reasons. ... Mariucci was pleased with the second day of minicamp. "It was a lively practice," he said. "I loved the energy today. We were bringing it. We had a couple of blitz periods and it got pretty feisty."

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June 2nd, 2005, 9:21 am
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman

Joined: March 22nd, 2005, 8:42 pm
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Rumor has it he made two big plays in practice yesterday. Like Harrington, he is in Mooch's doghouse. The difference is that I have no clue why. Everytime he has been on the field he has seemed to make big plays. I have not seen enough of him to know if he misses routine plays or something of that nature, but he did not seem to be getting burned or exploited on the run. It is really a mystery. And once again the talk: should we sign Law, who can we put at the FS position. Usually teams want to give younger players a leg up on the basis of potential even if they do not deserve it. I wonder what is going on here?

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June 2nd, 2005, 11:44 am
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RIP Killer
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I know that Holt defends his lack of pure footspeed, so maybe that has something to do with Mariucci not really favoring him. But fact is fact, footspeed is very important at the free safety position. Holt is a playmaker, he proved that his rookie season. But you can't teach strength, size or speed. I thought Holt deserved a shot last year at strong safety, ahead of Bracy Walker who was just plain awful. But like Scotty Bowman, Mariucci would prefer a broken down veteran over a youthful unproven player. Sad, but true. I don't support the Lions making a move just to make a move. But if better talent can be added at the safety position without hurting the cap, I'm all for it.

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June 2nd, 2005, 1:11 pm
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