Mixed reception for Holmes in return to Pittsburgh

By Marc A. Greenberg

“They made a big mistake getting rid of you.”

Those were the words from New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to Santonio Holmes in the tunnel at Heinz Field after the Jets defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for Holmes reception, the one he predicted would be all warm and fuzzy?

It was not.  Holmes heard boos from the fans all game on his way to a 6 catch, 40 yard game.

Before the game, coach Rex Ryan had Holmes go out alone as the team captain for the coin toss, a gesture that wasn’t lost on Holmes.

“I couldn’t stop looking at the big screen,” Holmes said. “I just remembered every game, sitting on the sideline getting ready before the game, always looking at the big screen, just knowing that I’ve got these guys behind me. And this time looking at the big screen, I only saw the Steelers up there and I knew I had a group of guys that were going to be behind me.

“When those guys told me, ‘Tone, you’ve got the captain by yourself’ and those guys just stood out there and watched. They were ready to roll once I turned around. They knew the game was ready to kick off. They knew the fire was burning in my eyes that I really wanted to win this ballgame.”