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Santonio Holmes Showing a New Attitude

By Alan Schechter
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September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) reacts after a pass interference call against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Sunday afternoon, the Jets return to the place that put a troubling end to the 2011 season, Miami, Florida. We all remember how it ended week 17, no need to rehash. We all weren’t too happy with the performance, or attitude, of Santonio Holmes.

The trip to Pittsburgh didn’t turn out the way Santonio Holmes intended it either, as he recorded 2 catches on the first drive including a TD, and then one catch for the rest of the game. He spent most of the rest of Sunday afternoon dropping passes, and trying to get pass interference calls.

The part we don’t see is Holmes’ work ethic in practice. At Mark Sanchez’s press conference, he talked about how determined Santonio was to get right back at it on Monday:

“The best part about it has been the way we’ve both responded. I really commend him on his attitude and the work ethic he showed today in practice. He wanted to see some of those looks againl, he was talking about them immediately on Monday. It’s easy for someone to shy away from something like that and not bring it up until I bring it up. He was right there on Monday — ‘Hey, let’s talk. Let’s watch this. Look what I see. What did you see? Let’s get on the same page.’ That’s the most encouraging thing.

September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) scores on a 14 yard pass reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Santonio Holmes cashed in his season of 2010 with a huge contract. $50 million for a wide receiver comes with certain expectations. Namely, for that receiver to play like a number one receiver, and live up to that contract. Holmes has done anything but that lately, with 27 games passing since his last 100 yard performance. Holmes doesn’t think it reflects on much:

“I honestly don’t think it reflects anything about me as a receiver,” he said of the streak, “because my job is to do what I can do to help the team win ballgames. Whether I catch one pass for 13 yards, whether I catch nine for 1,000 yards, it really doesn’t matter. It’s about the performance that you put in from the first quarter to the fourth quarter and the grades that count out when you’re in your receiver room, and Coach wants to talk to you about the little things that you didn’t do, the techniques that you didn’t use. It’s those things that count. It’s not about how many yards you put up each week.”

He says he is trying to be an example, as the only veteran receiver, to the other receivers in the room:

“Attitude can mean many things,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean a good or bad thing. It can mean in a way that our team really feeds off of the energy that a person brings to the practice field. That’s what I try to bring to this team every day is great energy to the practice field because I think that these guys do feed off of the way I play, and the performance that I put on, because of my status of being the only veteran receiver here. These guys are depending on me to be the guy, and I’ve got to step up to the plate.”

This is all great for him to say. Some of our problems with him, at least from my standpoint, is that his effort doesn’t appear to be there. Sunday, for example, he seemed more concerned with influencing calls by the replacement refs, rather than catching the football. He is paid a lot of money, we want to see him make the tough catches. 11 targets, 3 receptions is just not good enough.

Some of what he talks about, is behavior that we won’t see, in the film room, practice field…etc. Hopefully, it will translate onto the field, and soon.

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