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Old 04-13-2010, 07:07 AM   #1
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Default How the Steelers WRs move on without Holmes

How the Steelers WRs move on without Holmes
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Monday April 12, 2010 11:49 PM

The locker of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes no longer has his name on it, but the contents remain at the Steelers' practice facility locker room Monday, April 12, 2010, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers traded the 2009 Super Bowl MVP to the New York Jets on Monday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ decision to bring back Antwaan Randle El looks like a stroke of genius.

Now that chronic trouble maker Santonio Holmes has been traded, the Steelers need a new starting wide receiver.

It could be Randle El, the former Steeler who signed a free-agent contract last month after spending the past four seasons with the Redskins.

Or it could be Mike Wallace, a third-round pick in the 2009 Draft who caught 39 passes for 756 yards and six touchdowns last season as a rookie.

Either way, Randle El figures to play an important role in the Steelers’ passing game.

The vacancy at wide receiver was created due to yet more off-the-field troubles for Holmes, who was dealt to the Jets on Monday for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. But before the Steelers officially acknowledged the trade, the NFL slapped Holmes with a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

On March 7, Holmes was also involved in an incident in an Orlando, Fla., bar in which a woman accused him of throwing a drink on her.

The incident in Florida was the fourth time since the Steelers picked Holmes in the first round of the 2006 Draft that his named has appeared on a police blotter.

In May 2006, he was arrested in Miami for disorderly conduct. In June of that year, he was arrested in Columbus, Ohio for domestic violence. In October 2008, he was arrested in Pittsburgh for marijuana possession.
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All those charges against Holmes were eventually dropped.

Late Monday afternoon, Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ director of football operations, issued a vague statement regarding Holmes.

“We have agreed to trade Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets,” Colbert said. “We believe the move is in the best interests of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Besides signing Randle El during free agency, the Steelers also signed Arnaz Battle, who spent the past seven years with the 49ers.

Also on the roster is seldom-used Limas Sweed, who’s going to get one last chance to prove that his selection in the second round of the 2008 Draft wasn’t a mistake.

Even before trading Holmes, there was speculation that the Steelers would take a wide receiver in this year’s draft. But now that Holmes is history, the Steelers will surely select a wideout or two. They have 11 picks in next week’s draft.

In recent weeks, the Steelers brought in 30 prospects for interviews at team headquarters, and seven of them were wide receivers: Antonio Brown of Central Michigan, Emmanuel Sanders of SMU, Rejus Benn of Illinois, Carlton Mitchell of South Florida, Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State, Golden Tate of Notre Dame and Joe Webb of Alabama-Birmingham.
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