View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: Holmes will return some punts

08-17-2008, 03:33 AM
Steelers Notebook: Holmes will return some punts against Minnesota
Sunday, August 17, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Expect to see Santonio Holmes return one or two punts Saturday night against the Vikings.Mike Tomlin would not allow Santonio Holmes to return punts last season. Yesterday, the coach not only said he will get a renewed shot to do so but compared him to a Hall of Famer who returned punts.

"I grew up in a generation in Virginia when Darrell Green was a situational return man of the [Washington] Redskins," Tomlin said. "When he went back there, it kind of electrified the crowd. Hopefully, we have a vision of maybe having that with Santonio."

Green, inducted this month into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was a great cornerback and return man. He averaged more than 12 yards a punt return over his career on 51 tries.

Holmes averaged 10.2 yards a punt return and ranked among the AFC leaders as a rookie, scoring one touchdown. But Tomlin wanted him to concentrate on his position as a wide receiver last season and had been reluctant to use him on returns this year, even though Holmes fervently wanted to do so and said it helped him as a receiver, not hurt him.

"I think he craves that kind of pressure," Tomlin said. "I think that's what kind of makes him who he is."

Tomlin said Holmes will return one or two punts against the Vikings in Minnesota Saturday night.

Rooneys' meeting is delayed

The five Rooney brothers will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell Aug. 26 at NFL headquarters in New York, a week later than originally planned.

The four brothers of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney asked for the delay so they could prepare for the meeting and possibly meet beforehand with former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who has tried to facilitate their ownership discussions. Tagliabue, though, is attending the Olympics in China. The brothers are trying to find a way to abide by NFL rules regarding ownership of their racetrack-casinos, as well as the Steelers. Goodell wants to talk to them about the progress they have made toward doing so.

Center battle rages on

Justin Hartwig again ran with the first team at center yesterday, but Tomlin said not to read anything into it yet. He said the competition remains open between Hartwig and Sean Mahan, the starter last season.

Mahan started the first game, Hartwig the second, and a decision was expected on the starter this week.

"No, we're still looking at those guys," Tomlin said. "Both guys, I thought, played well. We'll continue to work . I think it's important we get a true evaluation of the position by allowing Justin to continue to work with the first group and get some cohesion things squared away, some communication, some silent-count issues."

[B]Townsend retains starting spot

It has been apparent for a long time, but Tomlin made it official: Deshea Townsend remains the starting right cornerback. Bryant McFadden will be No. 3. Townsend worked his way back into practice yesterday after missing last week, plus the game in Toronto, with a groin injury.

"Deshea is a quality guy -- he's the guy," Tomlin said. "He's just been experiencing some discomfort with his groin. He'll be OK."

Dekker prefers Heinz Field

All things considered, tight end Jon Dekker prefers the grass at Heinz Field, no matter the condition. Dekker will have surgery in a week to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, which occurred on what the players say was a poor playing surface at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

"It was non-contact. I was just planting and trying to cut on it," Dekker said. "It gave way. I knew it the second it happened."

The Steelers yesterday placed Dekker on the waived/injured list. As long as he clears waivers, he could rejoin the team later on their injured-reserve list. They signed tight end Lee Vickers to replace him and also waived defensive end Kevin Huntley after he failed their physical. They claimed him off waivers last week from the Redskins.

Dekker was bidding to make it as the third tight end.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger yesterday cited the poor playing surface in Toronto, where old, worn-out FieldTurf is rolled in and out by sections.

"I don't think many guys liked playing on it," Dekker said.

Vickers (6 feet 6, 275 pounds) will try to become the No. 3 tight end behind Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth. He was a defensive end when the Steelers signed him as an undrafted rookie from North Alabama in 2006. The Philadelphia Eagles signed him and switched him to offense on their practice squad, and that's where he played last season for Baltimore, which released him last week.


08-17-2008, 04:03 AM
holmes is gonna be real. like ive ssaid b4. btw, wtf is up with mcfadden? he obviously plays for money not pride.

Galax Steeler
08-17-2008, 06:45 AM
I just hope if Holmes gets to return punts he won't have a fumbling porblem like he had when he was a rookie I think with this being his 3rd year he will be better and can hold on to the ball.

08-17-2008, 01:00 PM
I don't care if Holmes fumbles in the preseason. We can't afford for him to get hurt on special teams. I wouldn't even mess with him back there. He's too valuable on offense.

tony hipchest
08-17-2008, 01:05 PM
holmes is gonna be real. like ive ssaid b4. btw, wtf is up with mcfadden? he obviously plays for money not pride.there is nothing obvious about that. steelers play plenty of nicklel and need 3 starter quality cb's. theres nothing wrong with mac or anything that suggests he lacks pride. :dang:

08-17-2008, 01:09 PM
holmes is gonna be real. like ive ssaid b4. btw, wtf is up with mcfadden? he obviously plays for money not pride.

I think this says more about Deshea than it does about McFadden. Deshea is a quality veteran CB. McFadden is a quality 3rd CB....and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Teams are atleast 3 deep in quality CB's now and McFadden gives us that luxury.

08-18-2008, 07:44 AM
It must be blatently obvious that all the Fa's signed for this position have failed to impress. What are they averaging? 8 yds? Mabey lower if you figure in 3 Bloom fair catches in game 1.idk

08-18-2008, 07:56 AM
Does this say anything about Moore's status with the team?.... or am I reading to much into this.