Santonio Holmes’ troubles have been well-documented. However, after his first practice with the Chicago Bears, he said all the right things to the media. Holmes expressed how he wanted to put his checkered past behind him. He talked about his excitement to work with Jay Cutler. Most importantly, he talked about how he is thrilled for an opportunity.
Holmes realizing that this is an ‘opportunity’ was the most telling quote. “I’ve got an opportunity to play again and I feel great about it, “ Holmes told reporters. “I’m going to embrace this opportunity and take advantage of it.”
That is the sound of a humbled man — a man who was released by the New York Jets and received little to no interest in free agency until deep into the preseason. It sounds like a man who realizes that he needs to change his ways if he’s going to continue his NFL career.
Holmes continued to say the right things when he discussed his new quarterback, Jay Cutler. Holmes said, “I need to prove to him [Cutler] what I have to offer the team, which is showing up, being on time, being accountable, catching every pass from him and showing him how hard I want to work on offense.”
This does not sound like the same person who feuded with Mark Sanchez and pouted when he didn’t get enough opportunities. It appears that Holmes realizes he is going to have to work hard to make an impact on the Bears and not only rely on his natural abilities. He understands that nothing with Chicago will be given to him and everything will be earned. Holmes sounds like someone who realizes he needs to be a veteran leader on and off the field. He needs to be someone who doesn’t ruffle feathers in the locker room.
If his first session with the media is any indication, it appears that the Bears may have signed a humbled Holmes who is motivated to be a team player and resurrect his career. However, actions speak louder than words. We will find out soon enough if Holmes’ quotes are genuine and if he has truly matured or if he just told the media what they wanted to hear.
Time will tell.