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83-Steelers-43
11-21-2006, 04:01 AM
Santonio's wonderful weekend

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Santonio Holmes watched with bated breath.

That didn't make the receiver different from any of the other players on the visiting sideline Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

For Holmes, an entire weekend hung in the balance -- along with Charlie Frye's final pass. When it fell to the ground, after giving the Steelers a scare, Holmes had every reason to celebrate.

Holmes' first NFL touchdown helped the Steelers overcome a 10-point, second-half deficit for a 24-20 win. And the previous day, he watched on TV as his alma mater, Ohio State, outlasted Michigan to advance to the BCS title game.

As weekends go, they don't get much better than the one Holmes experienced.

"It felt great to come back to Ohio and get my first touchdown and just play good for the team and make big plays," Holmes said.

He made two huge ones against a Browns team that controlled Sunday's AFC North game through the first three quarters.

With the Steelers trailing, 13-3, early in the fourth quarter, Holmes caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger. He had kept the drive alive earlier by making a 21-yard reception on third down, when the Steelers needed 20 yards to move the chains.

While overshadowed by Roethlisberger's heroics, Holmes caught four passes for 64 yards in the fourth quarter.

"I guess he was motivated by the Ohio State win," Roethlisberger said, with a laugh. "I think that will do wonders for his confidence."

Roethlisberger tried to get Holmes focused after Holmes dropped a first-quarter pass that would have given the Steelers a first down.

"I told him after he dropped that first one, 'Listen: I'm coming back to you, so be ready,' " said Roethlisberger, who led the Steelers to scores on their final four possessions. "I'm never going to shy away from a guy that drops the ball, because they're my lifeline. I'm getting more confidence in him every week."

As well he should.

Holmes may be more associated with the balls he hasn't hung onto -- his fumble issues during kickoffs and punt returns have been well documented -- but he appears to be coming into his own as a receiver.

Holmes has 29 catches for 455 yards, and his 5.7 yards after-the-catch average leads the Steelers. The 25th overall pick of last April's draft is on pace to have one of the more productive seasons by a Steelers rookie receiver.

"I'm happy for him, because he's worked very hard," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "It's just good to see, because the quarterback starts developing some confidence in you."

Cowher has shown supreme confidence in Holmes, and he got rewarded for it with the plays the latter made in the fourth quarter against the Browns.

The clutch catches, the touchdown, Ohio State's win over Michigan -- none of that would have mattered had Browns receiver Braylon Edwards caught Frye's pass on the final play of the game. Edwards got his hands on the ball but couldn't hang on to it.

"I was scared, because I know what kind of player he is," Holmes said of Edwards, who starred at Michigan. "I was so excited that he dropped the ball. I was the first one on the field."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_480714.html

19ward86
11-21-2006, 07:53 AM
i was proud the4 way he played, we need more plays from him.

Infamix
11-21-2006, 08:33 AM
Good read 83, I'm really liking the trust that Santonio and Ben are building together.

Atlanta Dan
11-21-2006, 10:40 AM
When I look back on the preseason concerns, I had Santonio at the top of the list.

With everything else that has gone wrong, I am glad to see him develop as a receiver.

Now let's hope Cowher quits trying to prove whatever point he is attempting to make by continuing to have Holmes return punts.

Haiku_Dirtt
11-21-2006, 11:19 AM
Now let's hope Cowher quits trying to prove whatever point he is attempting to make by continuing to have Holmes return punts.

If I didn't know any better Santonio returning the final kick should be construed as a failed attempt to scuttle the victory.

It really does seem like Cowher is extending "privileges" for Holmes more so than any rookie since...well, ever. Makes me wonder if the decision to take Santonio is the first round was anything but unanimous.

As far as we know the negligent procreation and felonious behavior are in the past. And that slick pivot move into the throw that Holmes is showing more and more is hopefully the future of many many YACs.

OX1947
11-21-2006, 12:53 PM
If you know football, you can tell how good players are. I think Holmes will be a 1500 yard reciever in the up coming years. Ward, Hines and Miller will be a great triple threat and hopefully next year Willie reid can stay healthy and be our randle el in punt returns....

RoethlisBURGHer
11-21-2006, 01:07 PM
I wish Cowher would do two things:

1. Stop letting Holmes return punts and put Reid back there.Holmes was drafted to be our #2 reciever so how about letting him focus on just that?

2. Make Holmes the #2 guy.Wilson is too short and slow...Holmes speed must be respected which means less double coverage for Hines Ward.Not to mention Holmes can catch a short pass and take it a long way.

MyCuz64Furness
11-21-2006, 01:23 PM
i was proud the4 way he played, we need more plays from him.


I've been doubting him lately with his mistakes and ST screw ups.......but I have to say he earned a little respect from me Sunday:tt02:

dSharp
11-21-2006, 05:04 PM
Reid is injured.. has been since the Chargers game.

Elvis
11-21-2006, 05:50 PM
:thumbsup:
yeah.. I was one of the hardest people in our forrum on Holmes in the pre season and I hope that he continues to prove me wrong. He has all the talent to replace Wilson and it will come by the begginning of next season I'm Sure... I hope that Reid makes it back soon or that simply means that it was alot more severe than they hoped...:wave:

clevestinks
11-21-2006, 06:33 PM
It was nice to see Holmes move around when he saw Ben out of the pocket