LaDainian Tomlinson said the challenge for the Jets offense Sunday in Buffalo will be stopping the Bills blitz. And if they can do that, there figure to be plays made down the field for Santonio Holmes and company.
“Those young guys out there on the edge, let’s hope they’re prepared for a running-up-and-down-the-field battle. It’s going to be fun,” Tone told me on an installment of “Four Quarters” that will air this weekend on newyorkjets.com. “If those guys do decide to blitz us, I think we have the perfect remedy for those guys.”
The Green & White went into the bye on an offensive high, collecting 25 first downs, converting eight of their 13 third-down opportunities and rushing for 162 yards in their Week 7 win over the Chargers. Mark Sanchez threw three red-zone TDs to Plaxico Burress and a pretty score to Holmes was taken off the board due to a holding penalty.
The Bills are tied for the NFL lead with 18 takeaways and they are coming off a 10-sack effort in an impressive Week 8 shutout of the Washington Redskins. But the Jets are a confident group heading into this key battle.
“The guys up front have been doing a wonderful job these past few weeks, and the backs have been stepping in and filling up in those holes and protecting as well,” Holmes said. “I think everything else comes down to the receivers on the outside if we can win versus man-to-man. I think Coach Schottenheimer has the perfect plan put together this week for us to go out and win.”
Sanchez has quietly been efficient the last three games, tossing six TD passes against just one interception. Holmes believes the passing game should continue to progress in the season’s second half.
“It’s been a thing of beauty that we’ve been working on every day,” he said. “The little things that we do when the offense is not on the field that we take a little time out to communicate amongst ourselves — myself, Plaxico, Dustin — I think we’re starting to really build a great chemistry with Mark.”
Sunday will be the first time Holmes has played in Buffalo. He is looking forward to the electric environment as the Bills will don all-white uniforms and hope to create a “white-out” in the stands.
“I’m very excited. The excitement just comes from knowing you can silence their crowd,” he said. “When you make big plays over and over and over — offense, defense and special teams — it silences the crowd. And it allows you to play with the same confidence as an offense that you play when you’re playing at home when you don’t have to worry about the noise factor.”
Holmes, who has recorded 22 receptions for 311 yards and three TDs, is one of the NFL’s top route runners. He’ll be a handful for whichever cornerback — Drayton Florence, Leodis McKelvin or Terrence McGee — the Bills decide to match him up with.
“When I step on the field to run routes,” he said, “I’m always staring my defender in the face so I don’t give him any kind of indicator that I’m running a short route, a deep route, if I’m breaking in or I’m breaking out, I’m going on a post route or I’m coming down on a comeback route.
“I try to make everything look the same, so those guys never get a beat of what I’m doing when I’m on the field. I think that’s one of the keys to running good routes is staring your defender down and making every route look the same.”
On Monday night in Linden N.J., Holmes will host his second annual “Strikes for Sickle Cell” bowling event. He has invited 10 families through the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation to the event, which will include a silent auction.
Holmes’ son, Santonio III, has SCD and had his spleen removed in 2010 at the age of 8. He is flourishing down in Florida and his dad was proud to announce that the fourth-grader has spent some time on the Honor Roll.
“It’s just amazing to see him grow up, to see him do some of these things and to just be anybody he wants to be in life,” Tone said. “He doesn’t necessarily have to follow in Dad’s footsteps, but to just be a leader in whatever he does and do it well in life.”
Tags: Brian Schottenheimer, Buffalo Bills, Mark Sanchez, Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes
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