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Old 08-16-2007, 04:06 AM   #1
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Default Holmes needs to be a starter

Ron Cook: Holmes needs to be a starter
It doesn't take much of a detective to realize that wide receiver Santonio Holmes, a deep threat, needs to be in the starting lineup

Thursday, August 16, 2007

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

From the beginning, new Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has talked of the importance of having an open mind. Let things play out through training camp and the exhibition games, he has said time and again. The tough decisions regarding player personnel will become obvious.

So it is with the team's split end position.

Santonio Holmes has to be the starter.

"He's one of our home run hitters," quarterback Charlie Batch said.

That's one reason.

"I can do it all over the field," Holmes said.

That's another.

That's why it was nice to see Tomlin bump Holmes up to the first group this week, ahead of Cedrick Wilson, in time for the third exhibition game Saturday night at Washington. It was inevitable, really. It would have happened at the start of training camp if not for an undisclosed, non-football related surgical procedure that forced Holmes to miss the first week.

Holmes showed he was healthy and dangerous Saturday against the Green Bay Packers by getting behind cornerback Will Blackmon and safeties Atari Bigby and Marviel Underwood to turn a deep ball from Batch into a 49-yard gain. Actually, he showed it the week before against the New Orleans Saints when he blew by cornerback Jason David to catch a 41-yard pass from quarterback Brian St. Pierre. He completed that drive moments later by catching a 3-yard touchdown pass, beating corner Jason Craft with a sweet fade pattern in the right corner of the end zone.

I can do it all over the field ...

It is Holmes' big-play capabilities that are so intriguing. Teammate Nate Washington also can get deep, but he doesn't always catch the ball. That can be a problem for a wide receiver, you might have heard. Holmes is much more reliable.

"He's got deceptive speed. It's like he's a glider," Batch said. "There are times you think you put the ball out there too far for him, but he puts it in another gear and goes and gets it."

Holmes showed his burst on the final play of last season. He took a slant pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in overtime in Cincinnati, sliced through linebacker Brian Simmons and cornerback Tory James before they could squeeze him and outran safety Madieu Williams to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

The play didn't just send Bill Cowher out a winner in his final game as Steelers coach ...

"It gave Santonio the confidence to know he can take it all the way on any given play," Batch said.

Well, yeah, there was that, but I was thinking more about how it made a lot of people forget about Holmes' two arrests last year, not long after the Steelers made him their No. 1 draft choice, before he even joined the team.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Funny how terrific talent trumps just about all.

Give Holmes credit for winning the fans over the right way after his rough start. It helped that charges against him for disorderly conduct in Miami and domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio, were dropped. It also helped that he kept improving as his rookie season went on. He started the final four games after Wilson's ankle injury and took full advantage of the opportunity with 16 catches for 320 yards and that overtime touchdown, throwing in a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown against Carolina Dec. 17 as a bonus.

Holmes' finish last season and his start this summer have eased concerns about the Steelers' mostly young group of receivers. Hines Ward, Holmes, Wilson, Washington, Willie Reid and Walter Young aren't bad, especially when Washington holds on to the ball. There might not even be a roster spot for Young; all he did against the Packers was catch a 41-yard touchdown pass from Batch.

The good news is there's a spot in the starting lineup again for Holmes. That means there's plenty of potential for him to have many more postgame conversations this season like the one he had with the Packers' Blackmon the other night.

"I know him. We came out [of college] together and trained together in Orlando," Holmes said.

"Oh, yeah, I made sure we talked after the game. I told him, 'I got you that time. I beat you deep.' "

That's why Holmes has to start.

Tomlin was right.

It's become obvious.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07228/809885-87.stm
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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Ron Cook: Holmes needs to be a starter
And in other news.....

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Fire burns. Etc., etc.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

I don't think that will be an issue Holmes is soon to be the no.1 reciever.He will probably have just as many catches and yards as ward.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

As long as he holds on to the freakin' ball.............................................. ....................
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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Originally Posted by galax steeler View Post
I don't think that will be an issue Holmes is soon to be the no.1 reciever.He will probably have just as many catches and yards as ward.
I agree completely. As long as Ben is capable of putting the ball in his hands I see no reason why he can't have a good season. Get him the ball, Holmes is capable and has the talent. He started proving that during the second half of his rookie season. The numbers speak for themself IMO.....


NFL rookie leaders from last season

Receiving:

Marques Colston - 1,038

Santonio Holmes - 824

Reggie Bush - 742

Greg Jennings - 632

Hank Baskett - 464

Receptions:

Reggie Bush - 88

Marques Colston - 70

Santonio Holmes - 49

Maurice Jones-Drew - 46

Greg Jennings - 45
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
And in other news.....

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Fire burns. Etc., etc.
LOL

Right on.

I think we all know a 'filler article' when we see one!

I guess its pretty standard at this time of year - the main subject goes beyond the obvious and it also touches on other stuff that has been written (Washingtons' lack of hands.....etc)

The one 'dig' I did take note of was the 'terrific talent trumps all' summation of the Steeler fanbase (and I guess all fanbases) - and it just isn't true, the way I see it.

Of Holmes alleged offences (he was guilty of both, in my opinion) only one was of a serious nature and as the female in question more than likely got paid off (again, opinion) it would be difficult for Steeler-nation to crucify the guy for it.
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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The one 'dig' I did take note of was the 'terrific talent trumps all' summation of the Steeler fanbase (and I guess all fanbases) - and it just isn't true, the way I see it.
No, by and large, IMO, it's not true. I happen to think Cook is a hack, which is also why I posted what I did before.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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LOL

Right on.

I think we all know a 'filler article' when we see one!

I guess its pretty standard at this time of year - the main subject goes beyond the obvious and it also touches on other stuff that has been written (Washingtons' lack of hands.....etc)

The one 'dig' I did take note of was the 'terrific talent trumps all' summation of the Steeler fanbase (and I guess all fanbases) - and it just isn't true, the way I see it.

Of Holmes alleged offences (he was guilty of both, in my opinion) only one was of a serious nature and as the female in question more than likely got paid off (again, opinion) it would be difficult for Steeler-nation to crucify the guy for it.

You're right the second was the serious one. I've had experience with Domestic Violence situations in the past on a professional level. I highly doubt the girl got paid off. She did exactly what a lot of women (and men) do in such situations, they call the cops because they're scared (and rightfully so). Then when it comes time to actually pressing charges they don't want to go through with it because they "love" the guy.

Since this happened before training camp last year, my only hope is that organization has addressed this issue with him in a private manner and he's listening, but we'll never know for sure.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
And in other news.....

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Fire burns. Etc., etc.
Exactly.....my thoughts 76....I swear Mr. Cooks articles get worse and worse.....Plus he went to college to do what he does......
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Holmes needs to be a starter

Watch out!!! Here comes John Harris!!!!!

Holmes is Steelers' best playmaker
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just give Santonio Holmes the darned ball.

With each catch and every big play, Holmes becomes more entrenched as the Steelers' playmaker at wide receiver.

Picking up where he left off from his rookie season, Holmes has the magic touch.

Dating back to the Cleveland Browns game last December, when he made his first NFL start, Holmes has become the Steelers' hottest offensive player.

In that game against the Browns, Holmes led the Steelers with four receptions for 81 yards, with a long gain of 25 yards.

The following week against Carolina, he returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Against Baltimore, he had five receptions for 90 yards, with a long gain of 31 yards. And in the season finale against Cincinnati, he had four catches for 124 yards, including the game-winning 67-yard touchdown in overtime.

Against New Orleans, in this year's exhibition opener, Holmes caught a 41-yard pass and then made a 3-yard touchdown grab on a beautiful fade route. Last week, against Green Bay, he made a gorgeous 49-yard catch.

Holmes' hot streak continued Saturday night in the Steelers' 12-10 exhibition win against the Washington Redskins. He caught two passes for 51 yards.

His 29-yard catch-and-run on third-and-17 in the second quarter helped set up the Steelers' first score. His 22-yard catch on the first play of the same drive was the Steelers' second-longest offensive play in the first half, when both teams' starters were on the field.

"I really just don't believe that anybody on any other team that we play can stop me," Holmes said after the game. "The more plays I make on the field makes me believe that even more."

Returning to the starting lineup against Washington after missing the early part of training camp because of a non-football related surgical procedure has spiked his confidence -- to the point where he doesn't mind talking frankly about his development.

"The more opportunities you get, the more you play, the more confidence you gain in yourself and the more confidence you gain from your teammates," Holmes said.

Hines Ward may be the people's choice, but Holmes is the Steelers' salvation at receiver.

Moving Ward around, including to the slot, makes the Steelers' all-time receptions leader more difficult to defend. But it's also a concession to Father Time for Ward, 31.

This is Holmes' time.

"He's capable of that. That has to be our personality," coach Mike Tomlin said of Holmes' playmaking ability. "We don't make any bones about that. We've got to win by attrition, but we've also got to be a quick-strike offense."

Just give Holmes the darned ball.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_523031.html
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