It was an overall disappointing season in 2009 for the previous defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Expectations were of course quite high following their last second triumph in Super Bowl XLIII, but the Steelers missed the playoffs after finishing just 9-7. It wasn’t all bad news for the Steelers last season. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes set career highs in receptions (79) and receiving yards (1,248) – a nice follow-up to his SB heroics the year before. This off-season, which was supposed to be about getting the team back on track and ready to make another run at the playoffs in 2010, has been mired by yet another accusation levied against franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Holmes joined Mayhem in the AM on 790 The Zone in Atlanta to talk about what it was like being the hero of Super Bowl XLIII this past year (i.e., what kind of perks he received), how he butted heads with head coach Mike Tomlin at times last year, how he understands that Tomlin’s just trying to bring the best out of him, if he thinks the game-winning touchdown grab in the Super Bowl could ever be replicated, and his thoughts on the latest news concerning Ben Roethlisberger.
On what some of the perks of being a Super Bowl MVP have been this past year:
“You definitely get a lifetime pass to Disney World which is good for myself, the kids and the family. I got a 2009 or 2010 Escalade so…”
On if it’s true that he and head coach Mike Tomlin butted heads during the 2009 sason:
“Yeah, but he’s one of those guys that’s always on your case to make you a better person. And if he wasn’t that person, he wouldn’t be doing his job. I have to commend him for what he’s done for me. At the time, I didn’t [understand], but in the long run, I definitely have to see the big picture when it’s all said and done.”
On if he thinks the game-winning Super Bowl play in the corner of the end zone could ever be replicated again:
“I think it comes down to the throw being made precisely because I can go stand in that spot and be ready for the catch, but that pass has to be thrown just as perfect as it was that first time.”
On what it was like in the huddle at the start of that epic drive:
“Well when we first got into the huddle…before the huddle, I looked at Ben and told him I want the ball. If you have any confidence in me, then get me the ball, get it to me. I want to help you win the game, I want to be the guy that made the plays. And he basically zoned out and didn’t hear me, but he shrugged his shoulders like oh okay, whatever. And it just so happened that I did everything that I could do throughout that whole drive to make myself available to him.”
On if he’s had a chance to talk to Ben Roethlisberger since the news of his alleged assault broke last Thursday night:
“I haven’t. On my Twitter page, people have been hitting me up telling me to tell Ben to stay out of nightclubs and keep him this, this and that. I’m like he’s a grown man, he’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do. Unfortunately the incident came about. Hopefully it will get resolved and we can get on with our season.”
On the common held belief that athletes like Big Ben shouldn’t put themselves in potentially compromising situations by going out to clubs and bars:
“You say that now, but when you’re out having fun, you’re just having fun. Like I said, you’re entitled to go wherever you want to go. You’re not expecting those things to happen, you’re going to have fun and enjoy yourself. And when these things occur, how do you defend yourself?”