Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes Getting it Back Together
By Alan Schechter
Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws an interception against the Miami Dolphins in the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
One of the biggest issues facing the Jets coming into the 2012 season was the relationship between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes. How solid was it? Can these two play together? Are they speaking? It’s all that went on all offseason. Many didn’t think that these two could be together on the same field anymore.
Well, all recent evidence is that they are doing OK. After a poor game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the duo lit it up against the Miami Dolphins, putting it all together in an otherwise ugly game, when Santonio Holmes put up his first 100 yard game since 2010. The big play connection for 38 yards set up the game winning field goal. Clearly, they are getting it right. The two of them talked about it in their meetings with the media yesterday. First, Sanchez on the feeling of connecting with Holmes:
It’s good for the two of us, it’s obviously beneficial to the team and it’s good for the other wide-outs because that’s where I want to be with all those guys. I feel great about (Jeremy) Kerley, can’t wait to get Dustin (Keller) back, Stephen’s (Hill) coming along. We have to get him to snatch that ball and come down with it, and we’ll just keep plugging away. It’s nice to see our guys working hard.
Mark talked about the OT throw as well, and he went into the chemistry of the two of them here as well:
We repped those quite a bit, but he had a great release, you just have to get him the football. I thought there were some other, not necessarily throws, but just timing on some routes and some connections we had in that game that reminded me of a couple years ago. One route, he was supposed to run one way (and) if he would’ve done exactly what it said on paper, he was going to run right into somebody and I’m going to throw it right into the defender. He gave me his eyes, gave me his numbers and kind of showed me he was going to sit down, and just sat right in the zone and I was feeling the exact same thing. Coach Sparano, he’s like, “This isn’t just free-wheeling zone. You guys don’t go out there (and do what you want), this isn’t street football, run to the blue Cadillac and turn right.” He’s like, “At the end of the day, you guys are making a play, and I appreciate that. Let’s not make a habit of it on every single play.” At times, it doesn’t happen exactly the way it’s drawn up on paper. To have that chemistry with Tone, just feels good and that’s where we’re supposed to be, so we have to keep building on it.
Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) talks to field judge Thaddius Foster in the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
Santonio Holmes talked about the improved on-field chemistry with his quarterback:
I think the practice, preparation, the things that we do during the off time when the defense is probably on the field, or (when) we’re doing special teams, how much time he and I spend together on the sideline just talking or just working on the routes that we have in practice that we didn’t connect on during the time we had practice (and) the extra meeting time that we have after practice every day, I think those things are really starting to (become a) factor for both of us.
When asked about his actual relationship with Sanchez, he wouldn’t acknowledge the need to rebuild it:
I wouldn’t call it a rebuilding stage because from the moment I walked in (the door), I believed Mark Sanchez was going to be our guy and I was going to be the guy to be beside him 100 percent. Three years has been a long time running together. You just kind of find that knack for each other and have a better understanding of how things can be done on both ends, whether he’s placing the ball outside with the technique of a defender playing me inside, he’s throwing the ball low when a safety is coming to make a tackle (or) he’s putting the ball on the outside. However those things work, he’s getting a better feel for how I play the game (and) how we should play the game together.
Good performance cures a lot of ills in a relationship. The two of them, Mark and Santonio, had their best game since 2010, and all is good. Whether they have had relationship problems or not, it seems to be improving. We can only hope that it continues, because if they falter, what do we have?