For Santonio Holmes, there was no other way this season could end.
Crash and Burn.
With the New York Jets 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Jets season has ended.
Now the drama begins.
Late in the fourth quarter, receiver Patrick Turner ran onto the field, tapped Holmes on the shoulder and told him to come out. The decision, made by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, had to be done. Holmes had quit on the team.
According to Jets players, Holmes had been “moping” through the game, not listening to quarterback Mark Sanchez. A veteran player approached him before he was yanked and told him to get off the field if he wasn’t going to help the team.
“Let me just say that there were guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone’s demeanor,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “And when you have a group of guys who are fighting their butts off, and one guy who – for whatever reason, his demeanor isn’t with ‘em – you’ll have guys try to say something to him, just pretty much tell him how they feel. That’s what you got today.”
Tomlinson added: “I’ll tell you what, it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. When you’re a captain, guys are looking at you, you’ve got to lead by example. You’ve got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that don’t happen, you have guys looking at you in a way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader. ”
According to one player, who asked to remain nameless, it wasn’t just this game.
“He quit,” the player said. “It’s happened for the past two to three weeks. It’s happened all season.”
During the fourth quarter, while in the huddle, Holmes and a teammate began arguing, and Sanchez and the others tried to defuse the situation. That’s when Schottenheimer made the call to yank Holmes.
Holmes finished the game with no catches, for the first time in his six-year career. “It’s Week 17; shouldn’t happen,” he said.
“He didn’t catch a ball?” Tomlinson said. “Well, you all have experience with receivers. T.O,. give me the damn ball, so you know. When receivers don’t catch a ball they don’t feel part of a game. That may have something to do with Tone’s reaction. But even if you don’t get a ball and you’re mad about it, there’s a better way to handle it. And that’s how my conversation with Tone will go.
Holmes was asked if he was confident in Schottenheimer.
“Right now?” he said. “Let’s hope for the best.”
Asked to clarify what he meant he said, “It wouldn’t be my decision to make that choice whether he returns or not.”
And what about Holmes’ future with the team?
“Thank you guys,” he said, abruptly ending his press conference.