Last season, New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes suffered a Lisfranc injury in Week 4 that kept him out for the remainder of the season. Heading into this season, his status was extremely questionable, and there were rumors that he would start the season on the PUP and accusations that he didn’t want to play this year.
However, Holmes got himself ready and was on the field Week 1. He was on a snap count, and he was clearly rusty. While being covered mostly by Darrelle Revis, Holmes only managed to record one catch for 13 yards.
Luckily for the Jets, Week 2 saw Holmes begin to look like the player he used to be. He caught 3 balls for 51 yards, including a toe-tapper on the sideline that displayed the balance and coordination that has been Holmes’ hallmark. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith seemed comfortable targeting Holmes, especially in the clutch, and Holmes picked up a first down on each of his receptions.
The Jets need a clear No.1 receiver to emerge, and second year man Stephen Hill is continuing to go through growing pains. Holmes was once the star receiver for the Jets, and it looks like he could reclaim that role. Holmes is a perfect fit in the West Coast offense with his quickness, precision route running and reliable hands. He is exactly the type of target the Smith needs, and as his health improves his production should increase rapidly.
Of course, attitude has been an issue with Holmes during his stay in New York, and one has to wonder whether or not he will mentally check out if the Jets go on a losing streak. However, he knows there is a very good chance he will be a free agent after this season, so he should be motivated to play at as a high a level as possible.
The Jets’ biggest weakness right now is the passing game, but improved play from their wide receivers will go a long way to fix that. Hill and slot receiver Jeremy Kerley are continuing to develop, and adding a revitalized Holmes to that mix will give the Jets a solid group of pass catchers.
Holmes is starting to answer the questions surrounding him this offseason, and he looks like he could be the answer to the Jets’ problems at receiver.