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Old 06-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Super Bowl MVP
http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/arti...-wide-receiver

The catch that made Holmes famous. "I knew I was in bounds, never had a doubt."

On February 1 in Tampa, Steelers wideout Santonio Holmes capped his third season with four receptions for 73 yards on the winning drive of the Super Bowl. A diving touchdown grab along the sideline with 35 seconds to play won him the game's MVP award--"Just an average football catch," he says--and put the former first-round pick back on the clock: What will he do for an encore?

Holmes, 25, discussed his football career, his challenge-filled upbringing and his ongoing love affair with Ohio State in a wide-ranging Sporting News Conversation with Steve Greenberg. Here are some excerpts and outtakes from the magazine interview that is on newsstands now:

Q: Deion Branch, Dexter Jackson, Desmond Howard, Larry Brown--fine players all but hardly true stars, especially not after they were named Super Bowl MVPs. Many years from now, are you going to be looked back on as a true star or as the answer to a Super Bowl trivia question?

A: Before I started in the NFL, before I got drafted, I told a group of friends that no matter what I did throughout my career, I wanted to be in the Hall of Fame. That is something that would touch me more than everything that comes with being a star. ... That's still my goal. Regardless of me winning the Super Bowl, playing in the Pro Bowl, having a 1,000-yard season, I want to be in the Hall of Fame. And whatever it takes to get into the Hall of Fame, that's what I'm going to do.

Q: We already know you look good in gold, right?

A: Honestly, it's the legacy that just carries on. When you're dead and gone, guys are still going to talk about you: "That was one of the greatest guys that played this sport." It's not about what his race is, what his color is; he played the game with such passion that no one can really describe unless you're one of those guys that gets selected.

Q: Did it surprise you last season that your teammate Hines Ward actually had his most receptions and yards in five years while your numbers dropped a bit?

A: Not at all, because I saw a steady increase in the number of defensive backs covering me throughout the season. Guys are not leaving me out there in one-on-one coverage anymore, and now that's freeing up Hines to play a lot better in the slot than at any time in the past.

Q: Does Ben Roethlisberger look your way enough?

A: We're definitely off every now and then, not on the same page. ... But it's definitely steady progress. He realizes that he can throw that slant ball to me at any time and be just as confident as any quarterback would feel if they had a Marvin Harrison or a Terrell Owens on the field.

Q: What's it like to huddle up with this team--this bunch of tough guys like Ward and Roethlisberger?

A: We all have a knack for the game and we all try to feed off each other's energy. You can take five guys from our offense and make a Pro Bowl team. Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, myself, Ben Roethlisberger--we can make the Pro Bowl any time we want to. With that chemistry we have ... (we) should be looking forward to making the playoffs every year.

Q: Before the Super Bowl, you shared a personal story of dealing drugs on a street corner in Belle Glade, Fla. What kind of drugs, and how old you were at the time, you didn't say. Is there more to that story that you're prepared to share now?

A: This was when I was about 6, 7 years old. I was just, like, doing stupid stuff with friends. But I won't talk about what I was selling. ... I don't think the story got out the way it was supposed to. They didn't talk about, "These are some of the things that changed his life as a kid." Everybody made it seem like that's just what I did as a kid.

Q: What else did you do as a kid?

A: Take care of my brothers. I grew up in the house with four of us; I'm the oldest. My mom worked day and night. She would leave the house at 3 or 4 in the morning and not come home until 6 or 7 at night sometimes. I'd have to be the one getting them up for school, walking them to school, walking them to the bus stop. After school, I couldn't go to practice until she came home; I would have to be there picking them up from the bus stop, taking them home and making sure they were taken care of. If I had a game to go to, I would have to take them over to my grandparents' house and have them take me to my game. Things like that are what got me going in the right direction.

Q: Analysts never describe plays as well as the players who made them. What happened on that Super Bowl-winning touchdown?

A: When Ben called the play, I looked down and started smiling to myself. We'd missed this play the whole postseason in practice; we didn't connect on this play one time in the postseason in a game. But I knew this was the play that was going to win us the game. I lined up and looked around, and when I looked to the corner of the end zone as I was putting my mouthpiece in, I started smiling again. When I came off the ball and nobody touched me, I was like, "OK, I got this." So I just slipped right into the back of the end zone and threw my hand up so Ben would see me. And I don't think he could have thrown a much better pass ever in his life--to place the ball probably within 2 feet from the sideline, right over the defenders' jumping bodies and arms, to drop right in my arms. All I could think about was just grabbing this ball as tight as I could, making sure my feet touched the ground. And when I caught the ball and fell to the ground, I almost had tears in my eyes. "Thank you," I said. I knew I was in bounds, never had a doubt, never even thought to look up to the referee and see if he was giving me the signal. "Man, I won the Super Bowl. I did it."

Q: At what point in that winning drive did you know the Steelers were going to score? And did you have a feeling you would be the guy to do it?

A: Before the drive happened, I told Ben, "Give me the ball. I want the ball." And before the kickoff, I was sitting on the sideline just talking to myself: "It's time to be great." That was my drive.

Q: Who's better, Buckeyes fans or Steelers fans?

A: In Pittsburgh, everywhere you go, you're going to see somebody in black and gold. But I see Ohio State people everywhere, period. Walk through any airport, and you'll see people with the scarlet and gray on. "O-H!" And they will turn around: "I-O!" And you just keep walking.

Q: Could you have gone to one of the major Florida schools?

A: That's a really sensitive subject for me to talk about. I wanted to go to the University of Miami, but the offer wasn't as I expected it to go. I didn't get offered by the University of Florida until they found out I was going to commit to Ohio State. I don't even think I got an offer from Florida State.

Q: Would you have been the best wideout at any of those schools?

A: I think so. But--and this is proven--the reason I chose to go to Ohio State is they have produced more wide receivers in the NFL than any other school. Cris Carter, Joey Galloway--I knew if I played at that school, I could be just as great as those guys. Looking back at Florida, not too many guys made it to the NFL that played wide receiver. True enough, they threw the ball like crazy, but how many of them spent more than six years in the NFL? ... At Ohio State, you had guys who were willing to block, willing to catch the ball no matter what the situation was, and guys with speed.

Q: What's it going to take for you, at 25, to move up a level and be that true star?

A: I tell my coaches, "If you can give me six catches in a game, or at least eight opportunities, I'm going to give you 100 yards and a touchdown every game."

This article appears in the June 22 issue of Sporting News Magazine. If you are not receiving the magazine, subscribe today, or pick up a copy, available at most Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson News retail outlets.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Nice article on Holmes. It is good to see he made someone of himself. Selling drugs and keeping up with his family at such a young age. Nice to see him make it to the big leauges.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Wow.......doing stuff like that at age 6 to help his family.......that is one very lucky young man. Someone in his life stepped up bigtime to steer him off that path to become what he is today. He's made some mistakes, yes, but I think he really gets it. He could be living a very, very different life today. I'm sure he knows alot of people from his hometown that were not as lucky.

Keep your eye on the goal, Santonio. You are made of steel.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Actually, I thought he kinda sounds like a profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilter 'n' balls in the article--- "we can make the Pro Bowl any time we want to".

Is that why he hasn't gone yet? I like confident people, but there is a fine line between being "confident in yourself" and being "self-assured".

I like Holmes, but he is a tad bit too self-important sometimes....he needs to work on having a statistically better season (or at least a single 1000 yard season) than his 32 year old counterpart before he puts on the attitude hat....
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Quote:
A: In Pittsburgh, everywhere you go, you're going to see somebody in black and gold. But I see Ohio State people everywhere, period. Walk through any airport, and you'll see people with the scarlet and gray on. "O-H!" And they will turn around: "I-O!" And you just keep walking.
me thinks santonio must have been high during his interview. i think he got that a bit ass backwards... i have NEVER seen OSU gear in my neck of the woods.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
Actually, I thought he kinda sounds like a profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilter 'n' balls in the article--- "we can make the Pro Bowl any time we want to".

Is that why he hasn't gone yet? I like confident people, but there is a fine line between being "confident in yourself" and being "self-assured".

I like Holmes, but he is a tad bit too self-important sometimes....he needs to work on having a statistically better season (or at least a single 1000 yard season) than his 32 year old counterpart before he puts on the attitude hat....
I got the same thing out of that article - he came across as a bit too c0cky to me. So long as he backs it up, I have no problem with it. You have to have a bit of a swagger if you're going to be successful in the NFL. I do like the fact that he wants to be great, though, and he seems willing to do whatever he has to do to be great. Unlike some receivers who changed their names in a lame attempt to be the center of attention.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
Actually, I thought he kinda sounds like a profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilter 'n' balls in the article--- "we can make the Pro Bowl any time we want to".

Is that why he hasn't gone yet? I like confident people, but there is a fine line between being "confident in yourself" and being "self-assured".

I like Holmes, but he is a tad bit too self-important sometimes....he needs to work on having a statistically better season (or at least a single 1000 yard season) than his 32 year old counterpart before he puts on the attitude hat....
What do you expect him to say, that he's not going to catch a single touchdown pass and only get 100 yards in an entire season?

I think he is going to have a big season this year. He will finally hit the 1000 yard mark, and he will have at least 10 TD catches this year.

I think Ben's gonna have a big year throwing the ball. With a strong run game, we should see the 32/11 Big Ben instead of last year's version.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
I got the same thing out of that article - he came across as a bit too c0cky to me. So long as he backs it up, I have no problem with it. You have to have a bit of a swagger if you're going to be successful in the NFL. I do like the fact that he wants to be great, though, and he seems willing to do whatever he has to do to be great. Unlike some receivers who changed their names in a lame attempt to be the center of attention.


I have no problem with Santo coming off as a little arrogant as long as he continues to "walk the walk". I love his motivation and desire to be the best - a true mark of a Pittsburgh Steeler!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

I love Santonio as much as the next fan, but he said the proverbial "I" a little to much for in that article for me. He said "I won the Superbowl, I did it". You would think Hines would say something like "We did it, we won the Superbowl". I may be mis-reading his intentions but he is sounding more and more like a me guy instead of a team guy.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sporting News Conversation: Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver

He's a WR - they all talk like that by nature.

What you expect him to say....
"Nah - I don't want to be a hero, I just want to collect a paycheck, I don't care about no superbowls or playoffs."
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