Some players never seem to stray far from the public eye, and want to be sure that they are the ones being talked about. The New York Jets have just such a player in Santonio Holmes, but if recent unconfirmed reports are correct, Holmes is not at all happy with being a Jet or with his role with the team.
Holmes, who was traded to the Jets from the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2010 for a fifth-round draft pick, has never seemed to look comfortable in New York and has had numerous brushes with both teammates and the New York media.
The Jets’ mercurial receiver was benched by head coach Rex Ryan during the final regular season game of 2011 in a situation in which Holmes called himself a “scapegoat.”
“It was playoffs on the line and your best receiver doesn’t get but two passes thrown his way in 60 minutes of football,” he said. “That’s just hard to understand when you want everything just as bad as everybody else does and it just doesn’t happen. And nobody has the answers for it…. but the scapegoat is answer. And that’s what happened.”
And as always, Holmes made sure that the media took their fare share of the blame for his troubles.
“What we had in Pittsburgh was a net family, guys who stuck together, who believed in one other. No matter what was said in the media, it never affected nobody in our locker room. No matter who said what. But coming here… now understanding how the New York media works,” Holmes said, “and the players in the locker room not believing or understanding that it can only drive these guys to be successful or it can break you. And we were caught in the crossfire.”
After wearing out his welcome in Pittsburgh by not always knowing when to keep quiet, his behavior in New York has actually been even worse. His tenuous relationship with both quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ offensive line are well documented and Holmes even recently took a backhanded shot at former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer while attempting to compliment new O.C. Tony Sparano.
“He’s more of a coach,” Holmes said of Sparano. “He knows how to coach the team as opposed to being an offensive coordinator. Coaching each one of those positions up to being the best guys that we can provide for this team is what we needed and we didn’t have last year.”
If Holmes has indeed asked for a trade, which I can’t see being granted at this point, it would make the Jets’ already paper thin receiving corps look like cheesecloth and defensive back Antonio Cromartie would actually then become the best receiver on the team.