Santonio Holmes Starting to Pay Dividends for the Jets

November 16, 2010 – 10:45 am by Chris Fedor

Santonio Holmes is a Super Bowl MVP, he has had a very promising start to his career, but he has had some off-the-field issues as well. Once it was announced this past offseason that Holmes was going to be suspended by the NFL for the first four games, the Steelers decided that Holmes was expendable and the Jets were happy to meet their asking price. With a young up-and-coming quarterback like Mark Sanchez, it’s very important to give him some weapons and that’s exactly what the Jets did this offseason.

After missing the first four games, Holmes has picked off right where he left off in Pittsburgh. This past weekend, the Jets and the Browns were locked up in battle that was not able to be decided in regulation. After four quarters the Jets and Browns were tied at 20 and it went into overtime. In overtime, the Jets had their chances and the Browns had their chances as well, but in the end it was Santonio Holmes who came through in the clutch once again with under a minute remaining in overtime. He did it when he was with the Steelers, he did it two weeks ago against Detroit, and his touchdown catch from Mark Sanchez sent the Jets back from Cleveland with a 7-2 record.

Santonio Holmes joined ESPN Radio in New York with Michael Kay to talk about the play he made this past weekend against the Browns, whether or not he wanted that play called based on something that he saw during the game, how important the win was for Rex Ryan over his brother, and how tough it was for him being suspended at the beginning of the season.

On the play against the Browns that won the game for the Jets in overtime:

“It was just instinct. It was just playing football and being in the right place at the right time and not afraid to make any mistakes.”

On whether or not he asked for that play to be called:

“It was just something that I had a feel for the whole game as to how they were playing me. We as players and coaches, we communicate on the sidelines and the coaches should have some trust in believing in what we see on the field and in that particular time, we had been talking about it, myself and Mark, and just getting a feel for each other. Calling the plays at the right time and trusting that we could make it work.”

On the importance of the game for Braylon Edwards:

“The game was very big for him. He wanted to come out and prove to those guys that they made a mistake letting him go being one of the best players that they had at the time. He wanted to come out and make a statement early. Me as a player, I know how it feels right now because I’m in the same situation facing the team that I’m gonna be playing in a couple weeks from here. I know what emotions were running through his mind and I was just being a teammate and saying hey look we’ve got bigger things to worry about now and that’s winning this ball game by any means. He bought into it. Throughout the course of the game he calmed down, he started making the plays that he’s capable of making, and we continued to have fun from there.”

On the importance of the game for Rex Ryan coaching against his brother:

“It meant everything. Any time you’re gonna compete against your brother in any type of sports you always want to be the best. He wanted to show that he had the better team, but he respected his brother for being there and coaching up that team. A win is a win, he was in our way, and we’ve got to do whatever it is to get him out of our way.”

On how tough it was to sit out the first four games:

“Aw man it gave me a sense to see the game from a different perspective. To know that I was coming in as a highly favored player for the team, but I’m not gonna be a part of the team until the time is right, I stepped back and I evaluated it all the time and I started growing. I started learning the system more, I started taking all the time I could take with those guys in the meeting room, I took advantage of everything I was supposed to because I know what the game takes and the game is way bigger than me. I know that if I spend the time in the playbooks learning and getting on the same page, building the chemistry and trust with my quarterback, the team, the players, and the coaches, that everything else will fall into place.”

Listen to Santonio Holmes on ESPN New York here

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