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View Full Version : Holmes' TD run-back validates Cowher's faith in him


lamberts-lost-tooth
12-19-2006, 05:25 AM
Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Bill Cowher didn't blister the punt returner that's made Steelers fans more nervous than Steelers opponents this season.
Instead, he simply said, "Tone, you're way better than that."

Given yet another vote of confidence from his coach -- not to mention a reprieve, since a penalty nullified his lost fumble against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday -- Santonio Holmes returned the next punt 65 yards for a touchdown.

His second NFL touchdown -- and his first on a return -- came early in the fourth quarter and left the Panthers looking like road kill.

After the Steelers' 37-3 victory at Bank of America Stadium, a relaxed Holmes talked about shrugging off the punt return that he botched.

That's something the rookie may not have been able to do earlier this season, which is probably as good an indicator as any of the progress Holmes has made.

The Steelers' No. 1 pick in April's draft started his second consecutive game at split end and came up just short of the end zone twice after catching Ben Roethlisberger passes.

He appeared to stretch the ball across the goal line in the second quarter, and officials initially gave him a touchdown. But the Panthers challenged the call, and it was overturned.

Holmes eventually scored that elusive touchdown in the fourth quarter, after the Panthers were called for an illegal procedure -- they had recovered his fumble on the muffed punt. And Holmes made them pay, while also atoning for his mistake.

The blocking was so well executed on the return, Holmes said, "I think if I would have caught it (on the play he fumbled), I probably would have (scored), but I took my eye off the ball."

That problem plagued Holmes early in the season, as he fumbled a handful of times on punt returns and committed a critical turnover in the Steelers' 41-38 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Cowher, perhaps keeping his eye on a bigger picture, stuck with Holmes.

And Holmes has rewarded Cowher for the faith he's shown in the former Ohio State star. Holmes has gradually become a bigger part of the offense, while also reducing the drops on special teams.

"The guys know, on this team, that I can make plays, and I have confidence in myself," said Holmes, who is second on the team in catches (40) and receiving yards (610) and is averaging 10.3 yards on punt returns.

Holmes is making the kind of plays the Steelers envisioned when they moved up in the first round of the draft to take him.

Meanwhile, his relaxed play mirrors that of the Steelers, who have won five of their past six games after starting the season 2-6.

"Early in the year, we kept pressing. Guys were trying to do too much," receiver Hines Ward said. "It seems like we respond better when adversity sets in and our backs are against the wall, because guys play a little more loose. They don't play uptight."

Uptight is what Holmes might have been earlier this season after fumbling a punt.

But he put Sunday's drop behind him as quickly as he did the players on Carolina's punt coverage team.

After getting to the outside, Holmes saw that he only had to beat Panthers punter Jason Baker to get to the end zone.

"The one thing that was running through my mind was: 'Don't let that kicker tackle you like he did in Atlanta,' " Holmes said.

stlrtruck
12-19-2006, 07:24 AM
When he's consistent on the punt return, then I'll stop holding my breath

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-19-2006, 07:27 AM
When he's consistent on the punt return, then I'll stop holding my breath

:iagree:

HometownGal
12-19-2006, 07:48 AM
I agree with both of you, but you gotta give the kid props for that return TD - he turned the jets on and got into the endzone to redeem himself. Nice play kiddo! :thumbsup: :tt02:

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 08:49 AM
When he's consistent on the punt return, then I'll stop holding my breath

I agree. I've already seen enough of that from Colclough in the beginning of the season. Redeem him when he proves he can go five weeks without fumbling or bobbling a punt.

Infamix
12-19-2006, 09:31 AM
Speaking of Colclough, why did Cowher keep him back there? I mean, why did he even return kicks in the first place. I know he's athletic, but he's just a bust when it comes to playing football.

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 09:49 AM
Speaking of Colclough, why did Cowher keep him back there? I mean, why did he even return kicks in the first place. I know he's athletic, but he's just a bust when it comes to playing football.

One of the many coaching decisions made this year that baffles the mind. Unless your one of those people who feel "Ricardo dropped the ball, Cowher didn't". Then I guess you don't believe it was a bad coaching decision. That's normally the well thought out response to this topic even though it was Cowher's decision to put Colclough in there to begin with.

Once again, he looked shaky in 2005 when it came to PR's. Before this season even started reports out of Latrobe stated that he didn't look all that great when returning punts. Coach still put him in there over the guy we drafted for that particular situation.

Infamix, I have no idea. If you find out, let me know and I'll pass it along to the majority of the media and fans in this city who were asking the same question for the first three weeks of the season.

Stu Pidasso
12-19-2006, 11:27 AM
I still say bench him on returns. How many people would go with a guy who has one return TD, but fumbles in almost double digits?

Two words: Najeh Davenport.





Aw man, could you see Polamalu back there returning kicks? :banana:

clevestinks
12-19-2006, 11:31 AM
I still say bench him on returns. How many people would go with a guy who has one return TD, but fumbles in almost double digits?

Two words: Najeh Davenport.





Aw man, could you see Polamalu back there returning kicks? :banana:

I agree, he did get us SIX when we didnt need it. But how many points did he give up on his turnovers in our losses????

SCSTILLER
12-19-2006, 12:33 PM
I agree, he has not shown me enough to gain my confidence. He returned a punt for a TD after fumbling and losing the first punt that was called back for illegal procedure. Carolina gave him two chances. I know that myself and my Steeler buddies yell "FAIR CATCH, TAKE A KNEE, RUN AWAY FROM THE BALL, RUN OUT OF BOUNDS" evertime the opposing team punts to Holmes! Like him as a receiver, not so much as a return guy!

polamalufan43
12-19-2006, 05:01 PM
I don't care. The point is that he is starting to feel comfortable with playing in the NFL. One touchdown on a punt return is a start. That, for now, is all we can ask for.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 05:11 PM
I don't care.

For some reason when the opposing team recovers a fumbled punt and takes over on our 30 or 40 it tends to bother me just a bit. I know, I know, call me crazy.

floodcitygirl
12-19-2006, 05:28 PM
I totally enjoyed seeing him run that ball down and it did help to redeem him in my mind for that fumble ...in that game. I believe that there is a ton of talent there that we've only begun to see. I do have to admit though that I still hold my breathe when he's going for a catch. I'm looking forward to getting past that.

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 05:30 PM
One touchdown does not balance out six or seven fumbles.

Bingo.

tony hipchest
12-19-2006, 06:50 PM
I'm not buying this. One touchdown does not balance out six or seven fumbles. You're not going to win many football games if you call that an even trade.and on the flipside, devin hesters 6 td's DO balance out his one fumble.

point is, when youd rather just see a ball roll out of bounds, something should be done.

holmes is the best we got right now and i hope the validation continues. even a successfully fielded fair catch would make me happy at this point.

clevestinks
12-19-2006, 07:31 PM
and on the flipside, devin hesters 6 td's DO balance out his one fumble.

point is, when youd rather just see a ball roll out of bounds, something should be done.

holmes is the best we got right now and i hope the validation continues. even a successfully fielded fair catch would make me happy at this point.

Exactly! how many games did he cost us this year? Not him alone, but when you fumble punts you know you set up the oposing team in great position.

floodcitygirl
12-19-2006, 07:41 PM
One touchdown does not balance out six or seven fumbles. Agreed. Of course it doesn't balance out when you look at all of the mistakes from the season. Hopefully the TD is a sign of things to come and something that many people believed he had in him.

steelerbackr4life
12-19-2006, 07:45 PM
The run back was nice but I dont think it was as important to the outcome of the game as all of his other miscues were to each respective game.
Without the runback we still win the game. With out the turnovers we wouldnt be staring at a 7 in the loss colum right now.

clevestinks
12-19-2006, 07:51 PM
The run back was nice but I dont think it was as important to the outcome of the game as all of his other miscues were to each respective game.
Without the runback we still win the game. With out the turnovers we wouldnt be staring at a 7 in the loss colum right now.

Exactly what I was trying to say twice. And as far as some people saying that maybe " It is a sign of things to come" Remember 30 seconds before his run back he fumbled again. IAs a Steelers fan I hope and pray that he is a stud, but for now he cannot be trusted returning punts.

steelerbackr4life
12-19-2006, 08:14 PM
Having exceptional athletic ability is one thing, being able to use that ability in pressure situations is what seperates good athletes from the exceptional.

Infamix
12-19-2006, 08:29 PM
The fact that he fumbled on the first try, and returned it for a touchdown when he got a second chance, shows his abiltiy to improve, and quickly. I'm buying it. Even though he fumbled, that return for a td will boost his confidence enough for him to fair catch it when he needs to, and make a play when he needs to.

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 08:59 PM
It's called consistency. How about Santonio learns that term in the offseason. Until then, I'm holding my breath. Or we can continue to praise the guy for one PR for a TD while fumbling and bobbling how many?

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 09:02 PM
Having exceptional athletic ability is one thing, being able to use that ability in pressure situations is what seperates good athletes from the exceptional.

While being able to hold onto the ball on PR's.

polamalufan43
12-19-2006, 09:17 PM
For some reason when the opposing team recovers a fumbled punt and takes over on our 30 or 40 it tends to bother me just a bit. I know, I know, call me crazy.

Ok, quit the crap. I know, it bothers me too. But hey, we will recover. One fumble isn't the end of the world, give the kid a freaking chance.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 09:23 PM
Ok, quit the crap. I know, it bothers me too. But hey, we will recover. One fumble isn't the end of the world, give the kid a freaking chance.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

Simply pointing out that I do care. I'm sure many were saying the same about Colclough last season when he was muffing and fumbling punts. But oh well. Many were "passing it off".

One fumble? Much like Champ Bailey not making the Pro Bowl, check again.

As for giving the kid a chance, here you go: http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=9082&highlight=Plax

polamalufan43
12-19-2006, 09:28 PM
Fine, but if anyone starts calling him Plax I swear somebody's getting punched, lol. Anyway, I'm just saying that we need to be patient with him, I mean, it's not like we drafted him from another team in his 5th season. He's a rookie, meaning these mistakes will happen and happen often for the first half of the year and possibly the entire year. I'm talking about the one major fumble he had this year. All thoes other one's I wouldn't consider major.
As for that Champ Bailey thing, wrong roster/site error. Case in point, I looked on a stupid site that wasn't the NFL one.
~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 09:30 PM
All I'm saying is that "I don't care" is sort of a funny way of looking at it. That's all. It's sort of scary really.

As for his future in the PR business: http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=13342&page=3

polamalufan43
12-19-2006, 09:34 PM
All I'm saying is that "I don't care" is sort of a funny way of looking at it. That's all. It's sort of scary really.

As for his future in the PR business: http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=13342&page=3

Lol, in time you will understand my lingo.
I don't care can be translated to "Give the kid a chance" in this case.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
12-19-2006, 09:44 PM
Lol, in time you will understand my lingo.
I don't care can be translated to "Give the kid a chance" in this case.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

Oh, that's how it can be translated? Thanks for clarifying that. Much appreciated. Good job. :thumbsup:

floodcitygirl
12-19-2006, 10:37 PM
Geesh! LOL! I don't think anybody is saying that the fumbles are to be overlooked because of one TD. It's kind of hard to overlook that many.....as I said....I hold my breathe every time. Just saying that I felt better about him during that game after the TD. He shows promise.....he's not there....just shows promise. And, he did a good job on that return.