While Holt is unsure if that will ultimately be his next career move, he’s about to take the next step toward making that determination. When the Rams meet the Browns in Cleveland tonight at 8 E.T., Holt will step into the booth to provide color analysis for the team’s local broadcast.
“I’m excited,” Holt said. “It’s my first time so there will be some trial and error for me but I’m excited about it. Most importantly, I talked to quite a few guys leading up to this and they said ‘be yourself, talk football.’ That’s one thing I am familiar with and I know and that’s football.”
Holt will serve as the second color analyst alongside former teammate Marshall Faulk and play-by-play man Andrew Siciliano in the three-man booth. Faulk and Siciliano have handled those duties alone in recent years and Orlando Pace, another former teammate, has also contributed along the way.
Having Faulk by his side should help Holt feel at ease.
“Having Marshall there I think is going to be good,” Holt said. “He and I can share some stories and talk about the game. Just being there with him, picking his brain and learning on the fly, I am excited about all of that so it’s a great opportunity. I am thankful to the Rams for giving me the opportunity to get back in the booth and continue to improve on my craft.”
Working the preseason games will provide Holt his first extended opportunity to provide in-game analysis though it’s not his first crack at it, either. He worked a Carolina against Cleveland game for FOX Sports in 2010.
Holt actually got his first broadcasting opportunity as an active player when, in 2005, ESPN added him to its draft coverage. He was the first active player to sit on ESPN’s main set during the draft. Since his retirement, he has also provided analysis for NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” show.
To Holt, working in the booth versus a studio show provides an array of challenges including the pace of the game. He said he hopes to provide passion and be more concise this time around than he was in his first go at broadcasting a live game.
“That was a very overwhelming experience,” Holt said. “There was a lot going on in the booth, it was very fast and then trying to call the game, it was tough. I had some good moments; I had a lot of bad moments so I learned from it. I am looking forward now to getting back in the booth and just working on those things that I didn’t do well and trying to improve on them.”
Holt is also scheduled to call the Rams’ three other preseason games and hopes that when he’s finished he’ll be a better broadcaster and have a better idea if it’s something he wants to pursue long term.
If nothing else, Holt should feel at home sitting next to a former teammate like Faulk and talking to an audience that adores him.
“It just gives me a chance to talk to the fans here in St. Louis, talk to the people that are familiar with me, people that respect what I did on the football field, that in itself makes me very comfortable,” Holt said. “So I’m looking forward to it and we’ll see how it goes and see what kind of responses we get.”