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Old 07-25-2006, 06:03 AM   #1
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Default Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

Cook: Free advice for Holmes ... Sign now
Tuesday, July 25, 2006

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Here's some unsolicited advice for Steelers No. 1 draft choice Santonio Holmes.

I'd love to give it to Holmes personally, but, with him not even taking calls from Ben Roethlisberger, what chance do I have of getting through?

This will have to do.

Get a contract done this week and be in camp on time Friday afternoon.

Holmes needs to get to Latrobe to start mending the fences he damaged with his two arrests in a three-week period in late spring. He needs to do it with Bill Cowher. He needs to do it with Roethlisberger and his other new teammates.

It's not as if Holmes won't end up with a good contract. Players are slotted based on their position in the draft and are paid accordingly. It's also not as if the Steelers aren't going to be fair with Holmes. Dan Rooney is on record as saying the kid deserves a second chance. Like all pro sports teams, the Steelers are big on second chances, especially for a player with extraordinary talent.

The team could insist that Holmes takes less money in a signing bonus and gets more next spring in a roster bonus if he stays out of trouble. Or it could insist on a contract clause that calls for repayment of a portion of his signing bonus if he has additional legal problems. How can Holmes say no? What leverage does he have after his arrest in Columbus, Ohio, on domestic-violence charges June 18 and his arrest in Miami for disorderly conduct Memorial Day weekend?

The guess here is Holmes' contract will be done before Friday. He -- or at least his agent -- will realize he has far more to lose by being a training-camp holdout. He also will realize he'll be able to more than make up for the money he loses now if he turns out to be as good a wide receiver as he and the Steelers think he will be.

Make that Aug. 15 court date go away under any circumstances so you don't have to miss any preseason practices.

There still seems to be a chance the domestic-violence charges against Holmes will be dropped before the court date. Lashae Boone -- Holmes' alleged victim and the mother of one of his three children -- has said she doesn't want to proceed with the case.

But even if the charges aren't dropped, there's no reason there has to be a trial. Holmes could plead guilty to a lesser charge. Columbus prosecutors can't be expecting jail time, not without cooperation from the alleged victim. It's not hard to imagine Holmes getting off with a fine and community service. If he does and is able to go through training camp without an interruption, he should consider himself fortunate.

Of course, pleading guilty to a crime could result in additional punishment for Holmes from the NFL. It could impose its own fine or maybe send him to one of those anger management/sensitivity classes that did so much for baseball's John Rocker and Ozzie Guillen. In the worst-case scenario, the league could suspend Holmes for one game.

Even that unlikely suspension would be better than missing a significant portion of camp. If Holmes is sitting in court instead of practicing at St. Vincent College, he won't be ready for the first game, anyway.

The guess here is Holmes won't miss any camp time.

Make peace with Big Ben.

It's still hard to believe Holmes didn't respond when Roethlisberger reached out to him after his second arrest. "I called him a bunch of times and left a bunch of messages for him, and he has never called me back, so I don't know how to take it," Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise two weeks ago. "The ball is in his court ... "

What was Holmes thinking?

Didn't they teach him at Ohio State that the most important thing he can do is to keep his quarterback happy? The quarterback decides where to throw the football. The quarterback can make you a star.

And Holmes turned his back on Roethlisberger's helping hand? When Roethlisberger was trying to be a good leader and a good teammate? When he was trying to do what Jerome Bettis had taught him? At a time when he was dealing with some fairly significant issues of his own?

Here's hoping Holmes merely was too embarrassed to return Roethlisberger's calls. In any case, he needs to find Roethlisberger as soon as he gets to camp, apologize to him and thank him for his support.

The guess here is Big Ben will accept Holmes' apology unconditionally and the two will get along just fine, especially if Holmes catches all of the passes thrown his way.

It's not as if Roethlisberger wasn't young once.

It's not as if he didn't make a foolish decision or two.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06206/708356-87.stm
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

Great read and it makes a lot of sense. The Steelers have the upper hand here and I'm sure Holmes and his agent know it going in. Santonio - get the contract taken care of, get to camp, address the team as a whole and apologize for your actions, mend fences with Ben and then go out there and show Cowher, the team and the fans that you are worthy of being the Steelers #1 pick. Last but not least - grow up - you're playing with the big dogs now.
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

Unfortunately, my recollection is that Holmes has the same agent as Reggie Bush. I am not optimistic and anticipate some blunt comments from Cowher when Holmes is a no show on Friday.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

If he doesn't show up on Friday (in which I feel he will), he's going to take a ton of heat from the fans and media in this city. Rightfully so. After two arrests it will hurt his relationship with the team in general. From the very top on down. Santonio has to ask himself a question.......is it worth it?

While Holmes may have the same agent as Reggie Bush, Holmes is in no position to hold out after what he has shown us these last two months. I'm sure Santonio's agent is aware of that and will get his client in camp on time.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

"Didn't they teach him at Ohio State"

Yeah Buckeye fan. I guess soft competition in college fosters this behavior.

Maurice Clarett and now Holmes. Becoming North Miami U should NOT be an aspiration.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

If Holmes wants to play around, someone should remind him of what team drafted him and the NATION that follows them. If he wants to play around, do it out in a place like Oakland or Cleveland.

In Pittsburgh, and for the followers known as Steelers Nation, this is more than just play time, it is show time. Show me what you can do, do it, stay out of jail while doing it, prove yourself to be worthy of the black and gold, and then you can crunch numbers!

Until then - sign a deal and get to Latrobe (the change will do you good).
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal
Great read and it makes a lot of sense. The Steelers have the upper hand here and I'm sure Holmes and his agent know it going in. Santonio - get the contract taken care of, get to camp, address the team as a whole and apologize for your actions, mend fences with Ben and then go out there and show Cowher, the team and the fans that you are worthy of being the Steelers #1 pick. Last but not least - grow up - you're playing with the big dogs now.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal
Great read and it makes a lot of sense. The Steelers have the upper hand here and I'm sure Holmes and his agent know it going in. Santonio - get the contract taken care of, get to camp, address the team as a whole and apologize for your actions, mend fences with Ben and then go out there and show Cowher, the team and the fans that you are worthy of being the Steelers #1 pick. Last but not least - grow up - you're playing with the big dogs now.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ron Cook: Advice to Holmes, Sign Now.

I agree that it makes sense, but Holmes and his agent aren't people who have taken a long term view of things, so far anyhow. I wonder what will happen. The Steelers won't budge if he holds out, I don't think they see him as this year's answer to anything.

I still think Holmes is going to turn out OK. It's all going to come down to what happens when the pads go on and how much of an influence the rest of the team has on the man personally. You know, imagine if he and Polamalu hit it off, if they like the same music, the same movies, laugh at the same jokes. Tings happen when people are put together.

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