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Old 10-14-2009, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_648029.html#
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes was MVP of Super Bowl XLIII with nine catches for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He duplicated those numbers with nine catches for 131 yards and a 34-yard score in the 2009 opener against Tennessee.

What have you done lately, Santonio?

In the second game of the season, Holmes injured his left wrist and dropped three passes including a potential touchdown in the fourth quarter of a loss to Chicago.

He had another drop the following week in a loss to Cincinnati, along with being blamed for running the wrong route on Ben Roethlisberger's pick-six interception against the Bengals.

Coach Mike Tomlin defended Holmes at his weekly news conference following the Cincinnati game when asked if his receiver was having trouble focusing. In response, Tomlin talked up Holmes' prowess as a run blocker.

Focus?

How focused was Holmes when he made catches all over the field against Tennessee before injuring his wrist a week later?

"I don't think I have any lack of focus never did," Holmes said Wednesday.

A sore wrist isn't a receiver's best friend.


Holmes takes offense to the inference about his lack of focus, but he accepts full responsibility for his drops.

"That had an impact on me dropping those balls in Chicago," Holmes said about the wrist injury. "But, after that, no. I can't make any excuses. I play wide receiver. I'm supposed to catch the ball."

How about looking at the big picture and giving Holmes, who scored a touchdown in every postseason game last year, the benefit of the doubt?

When second-year receiver Limas Sweed dropped a touchdown pass against Cincinnati, Tomlin benched him for a game. The local media has blasted Sweed because he doesn't have a track record as a NFL receiver.

Holmes has a track record as a clutch receiver at least he did last season.

This season, Holmes is being treated like a player with something to prove instead of a proven commodity.

I'm giving Holmes the benefit of the doubt because of his accomplishments with the Steelers.

A four-year veteran, Holmes should just be entering his prime.

The results, so far, have been mixed.

Holmes is third on the team with 23 receptions for 334 yards.

In continuing what has amounted to an impressive trend for Holmes this season, all four of his catches in Sunday's 28-20 win at Detroit were for first downs.

In fact, 22 of Holmes' receptions have resulted in first downs this season. The only catch that didn't was a 9-yarder against Tennessee on first-and-10.

"I would probably prefer to have more catches than what I have at this point," said Holmes, who hasn't recorded more than five receptions or 83 yards in a game since the opener. "The way I started out, I wouldn't expect it to be such a drastic (dropoff) right now."

Holmes has been targeted a team-high 41 times. Hines Ward has been targeted 40 times.

Ward, however, has a team-high 33 catches 10 more than Holmes.

"If I want it thrown at me, catch it," said Holmes, who was targeted 11 times in the opener compared with only six times against Detroit. "That's pretty much our standard as a receiver in this league and in this locker room.

"The ball is definitely getting spread around to a ton of players. I can only go with whatever opportunities I get. If they throw me the ball eight times a game, I'm trying to catch all eight of them. If they throw it to me one time, I'm going to catch that one pass."

Displaying some of the negative effects of the wrist injury against Chicago and Cincinnati, Holmes had six receptions in those games despite being targeted 19 times.

In his past two games, Holmes has been targeted 11 times with eight receptions.

A sore wrist could have contributed to some of Holmes' uncharacteristic drops. Given his track record, I can accept that explanation a lot better than I can accept questioning any lack of focus on his part.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

i can't quite figure holmes out. the guy shows flashes of being great, then disappears for a few games and looks average.
holmes has 23 games of 3 catches or less. only twice has he caught more than 6 passes in a game.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

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i can't quite figure holmes out. the guy shows flashes of being great, then disappears for a few games and looks average.
holmes has 23 games of 3 catches or less.
But those flashes come at the most appropriate of times.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

He'll be fine.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

Why is this even an issue? Holmes is doing OK, and when he's not, the other receivers or Heath are usually kicking ass, and even the running backs are catching passes. He might not be an All-Pro, but whatever. We don't need him to be right now. The passing game is better than it has been in years, and I'll take that.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

A doubt about Holmes? I don't understand, never doubt about him this year. Everyone can't have 8 catch per game, and this year, defenses take care of Holmes, which result on more receptions from Miller. Holmes makes some great catches in every game.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

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A doubt about Holmes? I don't understand, never doubt about him this year. Everyone can't have 8 catch per game, and this year, defenses take care of Holmes, which result on more receptions from Miller. Holmes makes some great catches in every game.
Yeah, no shit. Did this guy even notice that Miller and Ward are both having a career year so far? Or that Wallace is making big plays, or that our running backs are finally catching passes too? Whether Holmes is putting up good fantasy football numbers is the least of our concerns.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

He dropz balllz....traderzzzz him!!!!
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

I am not worried about Holmes. He has dropped a few passes but so has everyone else. It is part of the game he will be just fine.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

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Whether Holmes is putting up good fantasy football numbers is the least of our concerns.
..... agreed..... W-d-F does 'fantasy-football' have to do with REAL football, anyhow?

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