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GBMelBlount
09-12-2008, 06:10 AM
In Ohio, Holmes remains a standout

Steeler receivers Santonio Holmes and Hine Ward

Santonio Holmes has added 11 pounds, thickened his shoulders and forearms and strengthened his upper body, all to stay healthy for a 16-game season and tolerate the bumps and bruises he incurs in the NFL.

It's not because he's carrying the pride of the Ohio State University on his back.

It just seems that way every time he plays a game in Ohio.

"Not many guys get the opportunity to go back where they played college ball or where they played high school and have family and friends around," Holmes said. "They get a chance to see what you can do and what you did for those guys when you were playing there."

Holmes has certainly done that.

Maybe it's the juice he gets when he hears "Hang on Sloopy," the official rock song of the state of Ohio, being blared at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Holmes gets so animated when they play the song, his teammates tease him because he thinks he's back at Ohio State, where he was a three-year starter.

"They think I'm cheering for the Cleveland Browns," Holmes said.

Holmes returns to the state of Ohio Sunday night when the Steelers (1-0) play an AFC North game against the Browns (0-1), and, if recent history is any indication, the third-year wide receiver should have another red-letter performance.

In four games in Ohio since he left Ohio State -- two against the Browns, two against the Cincinnati Bengals -- Holmes has 17 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns. In last year's 34-7 victory in Cleveland in the season opener, he caught two passes for 55 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown.

If he keeps that up, pretty soon they might let him dot the "I" in "Script Ohio."

"I never look at it as being successful going back there," Holmes said. "It's the way the game plays out for me. I never go into a game thinking, in the back of my mind, 'OK, I'll show these guys.' It's the way game plays out."

Then he added, "But a lot of them wish I were with the Browns and not with the Steelers."

The Steelers did not use Holmes much in their 38-17 victory against the Houston Texans, but, then, they really didn't have to.

He caught only two passes for 19 yards, though the first one -- a 9-yarder over the middle on third-and-3 -- kept alive the first scoring drive that resulted in Willie Parker's 7-yard touchdown.

That could change against the Browns, a team with a tattered secondary.

Before the season, they traded their best cornerback, Leigh Bodden, to the Detroit Lions for nose tackle Shaun Rogers, and lost nickel back Daven Holly, a projected starter, to season-ending knee surgery. That forced the Browns to sign nickel back Terry Cousins as a free agent and trade a seventh-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Travis Daniels at the end of training camp.

On top of that, strong safety Sean Jones had arthroscopic knee surgery this week and will not play against the Steelers, and free safety Brodney Pool hasn't played since the second preseason game because of a concussion, his third in four years. Poole is expected to return Sunday night.

"That's a tough deal," Holmes said. "Maybe the more players they have out, the better we can perform.

"With the balance of running the ball and passing the ball that we have, that's been the biggest concern for them -- to cover us. It's hard for those guys to be in the right place at the right time."

Holmes had 52 catches for 824 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and his 18.1 per-catch average led all NFL receivers with more than 20 catches. But he also missed three games because of injury, which is why he decided to bulk up and get stronger in the offseason.

Holmes added 11 pounds with weightlifting and running and now weighs 197.

"I think that's the main key for me to stay healthy for 16 games -- put on a little more muscle and be able to withstand the little nicks and bruises here and there throughout the season," Holmes said.

Or maybe just play in the state of Ohio.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08256/911636-66.stm

NFL WEEK 2: Steelers vs. Browns
Friday, September 12, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette

SteelMember
09-12-2008, 08:17 AM
I'd like to see him get some more grabs this week, but if he just stretches the field to open up the middle, then someone like Miller could have a big day...ah-la J.Witten last week. Once we have established the underneath, they will start to take some deep shots over their secondary, which is questionable. However, once I say something like this, Ben will probably come out testing them deep in the first set and reverse the format. Either way, slowing down the pass rush with the running game is a necessity in order to get the ball downfield 25+ yrds unless you roll Ben out of the pocket off play action.

Just want the win...no matter what the gameplan.:tt03:

stlrtruck
09-12-2008, 08:29 AM
For Holmes this week:

13 catches
148 yards
3 TDs

The Duke
09-12-2008, 11:57 AM
holmes will have much better numbers this sunday. they didn't need to pass much against the texans, but I expect the browns to give them more trouble

still, holmes catches 2 tds. a very long one and a red zone TD

:tt:

Steelman16
09-12-2008, 12:28 PM
If the Browns play anything like they did last week, Holmes could have another great outing in Ohio.

xfl2001fan
09-12-2008, 12:38 PM
For Holmes this week:

13 catches
148 yards
3 TDs

13 catches? Ummm, no.

The Duke
09-12-2008, 01:17 PM
13 catches? Ummm, no.

any other time I'd agree. but who's going to stop him on the browns. crennel ? :flap:

xfl2001fan
09-12-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm just looking at it from a couple of perspectives.

1 - That's one hell of a feat...even against a defense that played as poorly as ours did last week.
2 - If we do play that poorly, Ben only completed 13 passes last week. You think Tomlin will risk injury and keep him in the game?

The only way he comes close to that is if it's a shoot out.

STEELtownHAVOX
09-12-2008, 02:34 PM
Santo will catch at max 7 receptions.

Galax Steeler
09-12-2008, 03:03 PM
I would like to see him have a 100 plus yards and a couple touchdowns that would suit me.

stlrtruck
09-12-2008, 03:27 PM
13 catches? Ummm, no.

My bad you're right 17 catches

And Ben goes 25 of 32 (4 dropped passes and 2 thrown out of bounds)
352 yards
4 TDs

revefsreleets
09-12-2008, 06:56 PM
Who, exactly, do the Brown plan on covering Santo with? He COULD have some kind of crazy game this week...the Browns secondary, with injuries, may be the most porous in the NFL. If they drop 8 into coverage against the Steelers, Parker/Mendenhall will eat up yards by the dozens.

This has the potential to be a VERY long afternoon for Cleveland's defense.

xfl2001fan
09-12-2008, 07:20 PM
My bad you're right 17 catches

And Ben goes 25 of 32 (4 dropped passes and 2 thrown out of bounds)
352 yards
4 TDs
Again, only in a shoot out...and if he has 17 catches, that means 8 go to Hines/Miller/???

I doubt Ben is that targeted in on one WR.

revefsreleets
09-12-2008, 07:41 PM
Holmes could have 5 catches...for 30o yards, and all of them TD's.

Again, who is going to cover him? Eric Wright is only one guy, and without Bodden back there as the #1...I don't know, man, I just don't know...

xfl2001fan
09-12-2008, 08:06 PM
5 catches, fine. I can accept that. But odds are, if you are scoring that much, it's a blowout, which means Tomlin will pull his guys and put in backups...which still mean not double digit catches.

Unless you really believe it'll be a shootout with the Browns offense shredding your defense. Because unless it's a shootout, if Santo has 2 or more TDs, it's likely a blowout in your teams favor...and starter will get sat just like against the Texans.

5-7 catches, possibly. Won't argue against that as it's within the realm of likely.

10+ ???

Get real. I don't care who's back there covering/not covering.

revefsreleets
09-12-2008, 08:40 PM
I'm just trying to soften the blow for you when it lands...it could get very ugly Sunday.

jjpro11
09-12-2008, 09:22 PM
any other time I'd agree. but who's going to stop him on the browns. crennel ? :flap:

crennel's fat ass is going to sit on holmes' leg and break it.

GBMelBlount
09-12-2008, 09:38 PM
Maybe it's the juice he gets when he hears "Hang on Sloopy," the official rock song of the state of Ohio

Yep, they're gonna be be holding their "sloopy's" when we're done with them...

RodWoodson26
09-13-2008, 03:03 AM
3 catches 92 yards this weekend and a touchdown. Hines right now appears to be Ben's favorite target among the WR'S on the underneath routes so Santonio will get his numbers with big plays down the field.