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Old 09-29-2007, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, September 29, 2007


He didn't have a catch in the first half and finished with modest numbers: three receptions for 49 yards.
The statistics from the Steelers' 37-16 win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers may not have shown it, but Santonio Holmes took a significant step, one that bodes well for the Steelers tomorrow when they visit the Arizona Cardinals.

The second-year wide receiver stood out in parts of the game that don't show up in box scores or on "SportsCenter" highlights, and his efforts did not go unnoticed.

"All of the coaches congratulated me and said that's the best game I've played since I've been here," said Holmes, the Steelers' first-round pick in 2006.

Well, not all of them.
"But I would probably agree with that," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was Holmes' position coach last season. "He did such a great job of blocking. Everybody wants to judge wide receivers by catches, but there's more to it than that."

That's not to say Holmes wasn't a factor in the passing game.

Two of his catches came on third down when the 49ers were still in the game, keeping alive drives that eventually resulted in Jeff Reed field goals.

Holmes said he was "dead tired" after the game, and it's easy to see why.

He spent much of the day shadowed by Nate Clements, one of the premier cornerbacks in the game, and still held his own as a receiver and a blocker.

"He was physical in the passing game and in the running game," Arians said, "He went up against a great player in Nate Clements, and he competed at a level you would want a No. 1 (wideout) to compete at."

Holmes appears to be pushing Hines Ward for that distinction on the Steelers, and he could be the No. 1 wide receiver against the Cardinals. Ward has a sprained right knee and has ruled himself out of the 4 p.m. game.

Holmes said Ward's absence -- just his fourth in 10 years -- will not put added pressure on him. Coach Mike Tomlin's stance on injuries is they merely provide an opportunity for somebody else.

Nate Washington, who has caught three passes for 60 yards this season, will start in Ward's place. When Ward's situation was uncertain during the week, Washington did not change how he practiced.

"You have to prepare like a starter every week," Washington said.

Holmes supplanted Cedrick Wilson as the starter at split end following a solid rookie season, and he only figures to get better.

He caught a 40-yard touchdown pass in the season opener, and Arians said the Steelers missed a "wide open" Holmes several times last week or he might have had bigger numbers (i.e. ones more satisfactory to fantasy football owners).

Part of that had to do with the pass rush San Francisco generated on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which didn't allow for deep pass plays to develop.

"We didn't throw the ball as much as we wanted to," Holmes said, "but we made big plays when we needed to."

That apparently includes ones that don't show up in box scores.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

I would say holmes is inching closer to be the number one receiver he is looking better every week.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

Yeah he is Really Improving, I like Santonio's Style. He Brings Great Energy to the Offense. >>>>>>>>>>> First Down
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

I love the fact that the young man has taken his play to another
level this season. Alot of times WR's have a hard time in their
2nd year. He is a fine blocker and he is our
Big Play Guy
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

Thats good to hear. I've been kind of keeping tabs on him, since he was an Ohio State boy. I knew he would be an above average player in the NFL. When I learned that he landed with the Steelers, I was happy for him, knowing he was with a stable organization. He will ony get better... he's a talented guy.
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

It's easy to see the remarkable influence of Hines Ward at work in Santonio's development as a blocking receiver. Not to mention that Hines personally took Santonio under his wing during all the post-draft/pre-rookie season troubles, and to no one's surprise, we haven't heard even a whisper of a problem.

Santo is turning into that deep threat receiver so many of us have wished for, and unlike a certain former whiny, malcontent receiver who shall not be named, you don't get the feeling that Santo will quit on a play, ever.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

I remember back at the draft a lot of people figured we could have picked him up later, ort even in the second round... there was a lot of whining about the wasted draft picks.... I'm glad Santonio has proven all those people wrong.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

i have been very excited about holmes development this year. i thought that if he could step up this year that it would be a key to the steelers success. i was not sure if he would accomplish what we all had hoped, and i am very excited to see what he is doing three weeks in. he looked great in the preseason as well. he is becoming an all around player, and could eventually be considered an elite receiver if continues on this course. i could not be more excited!
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Holmes progressing in all aspects

It's looking more and more like the Steelers scored big on another 1st round pick. Holmes is a playmaker.
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