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Santonio’s Definitely Starting to Come Around

Posted by Eric Allen on November 11, 2010 – 5:11 pm

In his second start with the Jets, Santonio Holmes turned in his first 100-yard receiving game with his new club and made the critical play in overtime as the Green & White escaped Detroit with a 23-20 victory.

“I think I played fast — I played the way I’m supposed to. I’m finally coming around,” Holmes told me this week on “Four Quarters.” “I’m only four games in and a lot of people probably forget that I missed the first four games of the season, so that definitely plays a big factor into how well you play and how fast you play. I think it’s definitely coming around right now. Practice has been good for myself, filling in the voids and being where I’m supposed to be and on time, catching the passes, being in the right place for Mark. I think it’s starting to roll around right now.”

After forcing overtime with a furious rally, Mark Sanchez got the Jets into field goal range on a 52-yard hookup with Holmes. That moved the visitors to the 16 and set up Nick Folk’s 30-yard field goal three plays later.

“It was a big play for us with Mark stepping up in the pocket at first. I never saw the fact that he bobbled the snap, but he definitely kept his focus and when he stepped up in the hole, my job is to turn my body to him and give him a clean target to throw the ball to and he put the ball right where it needed to be,” Holmes said. “I kind of felt the safety right after I caught it coming down to make a big hit and I avoided him by continuing to run through the catch and I ran around the guy.”

While it wasn’t a surprise that Holmes got free around midfield, it was a stunner that a linebacker, DeAndre Levy, caught him from behind and prevented a touchdown.

“It just so happened that I looked up at the big screen and I think that’s probably what got me and had me veering off a little to the left instead of running with my blocker, which was Jerricho, and I probably would have walked into the end zone freely,” said Holmes who finished with five receptions for 114 yards. “It allowed the linebacker to catch me at an angle, running almost back into his running lane.”

Some of his teammates were amazed that Holmes, who estimates that he probably still can post a high-4.3/mid-4.4 time in the 40, was actually caught and gave him bewildered looks. But the clutch catch and run made a fellow big-play receiver — Braylon Edwards — offer gratitude.

“I got tapped on the back on the sideline by Braylon and he said, ‘I really appreciate you, dude,’ ” Holmes said.

While a 20-10 deficit late in the fourth quarter made Jets Nation tremble, Holmes and the offense had a belief tank that was full.

“I can vividly remember myself being one of those guys on the sideline looking at every one of my starters in the face and saying, ‘Guys, we’re going to be OK.’ With Mark’s help in the huddle at the start of that last drive, he looked at everybody and said, ‘Let’s go down and win this game.’ And we believed,” Holmes said. “We never stopped believing that we could do it.”

Holmes will make a return to Ohio this weekend as the Jets look to push their record to 7-2. This is a familiar opponent for him as the Ohio State product and former Steeler has averaged four catches and 73 yards in his eight matchups against the Brownies.

“You’re definitely going to get a bunch of guys in the stands yelling at me ‘O-H-I-O.’ Those guys really love their Buckeyes in the state of Ohio,” said Holmes, who totaled 25 TDs in his collegiate career. “When I was in Pittsburgh, those guys booed me and cheered me on. Now being a Jet, I don’t know how they’re going to take it as far as me coming back.”

The Browns are feeling good about themselves after shutting down the likes of Drew Brees and Tom Brady in consecutive games. Holmes knows what to expect and he’ll be sharing some information with his quarterback as preparations continue.

“They like to mix up their coverages a lot. They’re a team that likes to disguise the safeties, they like to bring those guys down into the run game, they like to roll guys over the top, they have their cornerbacks drop and play very soft in Cover-2 and Cover-4, so they have guys running underneath your routes at the bottom from linebacker depth. And that’s something that is very confusing to a lot of teams,” he said.

“I know once we get into our game-planning for the rest of this week, sitting in the meetings with Mark and being confident with him and letting him know all the different types of things that the Cleveland Browns do — being that I played against those guys for four years — is definitely going to help us just go out and play football.”

In the moments leading up to kickoff, Holmes will put his music on low and review the playbook to refresh his memory. He takes his craft seriously and has set the bar high for the remainder of the year.

“We get graded every week, when we play, on our performance throughout the whole game. This week I graded out at a 92. That’s something I’m going to pride myself on that I don’t go anywhere below that,” he said. “When I was in Pittsburgh for four years, not one of my tests went below a 92 or 93. I definitely want to do the same thing here now that I’m a starter for the Jets.”

EA’s “Four Quarters” feature with Santonio Holmes will be up on newyorkjets.com Friday, including highlight footage from Tone’s Ohio State days.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “Santonio’s Definitely Starting to Come Around”

  1. By scjoe on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    For the life of me I still can not understand how that LB caught SH from behind. That guy has to be one of the quickest LBs in the league, angle or no angle. I think SH coming up big this week could go a long way in deciding this game. It is a given that the Browns will be stacking 8-9 in the box until they force us into 3rd and long situations, if that happens to often it will be a long day.

  2. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, one of the things I love about football is the way watching it (not to mention playing it) really sharpens your mind and your instincts. (I still drive a car like the way I used to run with a football, looking for openings.) I could swear when Holmes was running I had this sense that it was weird that he seemed to be veering left when I thought I saw more daylight to the right. After he was tacked I figured he was just following a block or wasn’t sure about one, but it turns out he says his glance at the screen cost him a step and that he didn’t mean to go left. Amazing, though that MLB had a great angle on him anyway and didn’t really “catch up to him” at all.

  3. By IRA on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, He explained it to EA. Looked like when Kerry got caught from behind in the Cinny game. Holmes is a stud and we can thank him for the Denver and Detroit wins. He is only going to keep getting better each week as he and Sanchez develop a chemistry between them. And the way Cleveland plays their pass coverage the Jets will have chances for big plays down the field this week. I still expect a heavy dose of LT and more so Greene this week.
    See that Wilson will start at nickel this week and Drew will rotate with him as needed.
    They are so ready and long overdue for a big game and it will happen this week.
    GO JETS!!!!!

  4. By IRA on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Good idea of giving LT some rest during the week. They are going to have to TRY and MUST keep him as fresh as possible for the playoff run. Still think they should try and work McKnight in a little.

  5. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    According to Cimini, it turns out that Holmes suggested to Rex a few weeks ago that the starting O go up against the starting D in two-minute mode, something he saw at PITT. Cimini says this explains the O’s recent two-minute success and is leading Schotty to try some hurry-up O during the game but adds that Rex is clinging to ground-and-pound long drives. Well, you can guess where I stand on this, Rex is in the dark ages on O and we need a more explosive approach. And for those who think Sanchez is a bust I’ll add that we should find out if part of his problem is actually Rex’s inabilty to envision what SH, BE, J-Co, and Keller could be doing out there. If Schotty can pull this off — and we win — I might back him for OC in ’11.

  6. By Mike Jet Vet on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Sorry S-Holmes I’m sure most here didn’t forget you lost 4 games it showed in the 5th hoping that’s all behind you now and get back in game shape..sc joe-I thought that kind of strange myself what’s just as puzzling J-CO instead of reversing his field and throwing a block on that LB he just looked back and watched him get caught..Sooner or later M-S S-H B-E Keller J-CO L-T S-G T-R need to start clicking on all cylinders with the talent these guys have especially as a unit hard to see us not averaging at least 24 points a game..My belief is this 8 games played everyone players coaches management all know what mistakes need correcting and get what looks to be 1 of the most talented teams in the NFL into the playoffs and beyond

  7. By IRA on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Goodell and his staff need to worry about the awful officiating in this league instead of hitting Scott with a $10,000.00 fine because of a chin strap violation. Clearly this was to slap him on the wrist for his words about the Lions and their HC. Maybe Goodell should learn about freedom of speech. But its ok that his officials continue to blow calls that change the outcomes in games. Oh wait he is too busy trying to get a SB in London.

  8. By Alex.G on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Not feeling to good about these JETS games lately they play with a lack of the IT factor. They need a wake up game and soon. teams like the lions and browns and the talks of tough tight games is CRAZY… the JETS should be taking these team to pasture not going into overtime thriller’s if the BROWNS should win Sunday I honestly think the Elite teams will not be fearful of our JETS, they need to make a point. this game could shake some of the offense Blues off there Back.Shotty needs to open the play book and get these Receiver’s in motion.

  9. By IRA on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    One thing you can bank on this week Stuckey will throw a pass or two. He played QB in high school and some as a b/u QB @ Clemson. I just hope the Jets will be ready for that.

  10. By Q on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    gang green will be fine & i think san tonio will turn it up more week by week

  11. By scjoe on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Good idea about those pushups for penalties in practice. Mangini used to go with laps, either way I think it is a step in the right direction. It appears penalties are up all around the league and they are just a part of the game, but there are a lot that the player can control, especially those late hits near the sideline, just ask the Lions, it just cost them a football game. In this game coming up, the key players I believe, will be Hillis, Cribs, Watson, and Stucky out of the slot for the Browns. I agree the receivers do not scare anybody. It just may be a good idea to have Revis cover the slot receiver.

  12. By Tom Spicer on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    This is going to be a very hard game these are not the Browns of old.The are very good vs the run, they play well at home, Rob Ryan is going to have them ready for the things we will look to do on D, they run the ball well & Rob Ryan & Mangini would like nothing better then to beat us they will have there guys ready to play. There last two games the Browns beat the Saints by 17 on the road & beat the Pats by 20 this is going to be a dog fight.

  13. By nyjetsholdupsbtrophyin2010 on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    WE dont need McKnight ,we need Shonn Greene to get 20+ touches ,he came out this week and said I get stronger as the game goes with more touches, I think we are really neutralizing and real home run threat , I love what LTD has came in here and done ,but shotty seems to have forgotten the all-world performance Greene did in the playoffs..gotta get him more carries he beats on a D,wears them down ,and then come back with the change of pace LTD…

  14. By Pranit on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Need no more dropped passes from Santonio….And hopefully his heart is really with the jets…I think BE is really showing something…and i think the jets should offer him a short-term contract with 4 Mill per year…specially because the drops have gone away, and he’s a big play threat at all times…

  15. By Hogan on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Right on Ira, The ref’s have been really bad this year, and Goodale needs to stop with all this stuff. “players protection”? then why are all the players against it? I even heard him say he thinks one day the three point stance will be gone, thats the day I get more into the Yankees.

  16. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Pranit, if you watched Eric’s interview with Holmes yesterday, his heart really seems to be with the Jets but he also seems to have a nice, healthy, winner’s-sized ego about his own performance. If that’s true about never grading below 90 on PIT, that’s pretty impressive. And I think BE has obviously stepped up partly because SH’s on the team. Hogan, Goodell speak with forked tongue and I hope his last stand as commissioner comes sooner than later and is as final, if not as violent, as Custer’s.

  17. By Christopher on Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    64 Tom, While I agree with your point about Rex maybe not fully understanding the potential of the offense, that alone does not make Sanchez miss a wide open Braylon Edwards in that Green Bay game that would have scored a TD. He obviously never saw it. I’ve been guilty of it, but it is still too early to call him a bust (although I feel he is overacheiving, and that is kinda sad). I will say this Sanchez got very lucky he landed with the Jets, if he wound up on the Rams, Lions, Bills, Panthers, fill in the next bad team….he would have really struggled and everyone would have questioned him coming out early. In my opinion, the Jets woulda been better off if they stayed put and picked Josh Freeman instead.

  18. By Christopher on Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    Pranit, I agree 100%. We NEED to resign Braylon Edwards. He is such an important piece to this offense, and not just in the passing game, he makes key blocks that open things up for our RBs. If anything we can afford to lose J-Co and draft a slot receiver next year.

  19. By GaryC on Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    Egos alone will not allow the jets to keep both Holmes and Edwards, why has neither one signed an extension.are their rules preventing it.Or maybe one is waiting to see what the other signs for.jets still would be wiser to trade one to acquire draft picks to help this defense.Kerrigan of Purdue comes from a long list of guys from that school that can rush the passer, Colvin, spencer, Shaun Phillips, even avril from last week is purdue grad.and when does Sanchez go to rex and shotty and say let me get my bud from USC in the game and open the offense a little.Isn’t it time Sanchez got in the face of rex and shotty a little bit like simms did to parcells.

  20. By Christopher on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    Way to go Sanchez and Holmes. Maybe I am wrong about Sanchez. He played great today. His best throw was probably the INT. You don’t see things like that on the stat sheet.

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