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fordfixer
08-17-2008, 11:08 PM
Steelers could get many happy returns on Holmes
Posted August 16, 2008 8 :21 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... epressbox/ (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/viewfromthepressbox/)

I don’t want to say a light finally went on but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said today that Santonio Holmes will get a chance to return punts next Saturday night at Minnesota.

Or, as Tomlin put it, Holmes will “get a punt return or two” against the Vikings.

One, two, hey if Tomlin has to ease into something he clearly has resisted so be it. There is no doubt that the Steelers need to get the ball in Holmes’ hands as much as possible.

He is a dynamic playermaker, and judging by the way he has looked in two preseason games and in practice he is doing just fine at wide receiver and can handle more responsibilities.

Tomlin had been reluctant about using Holmes as a punt returner because he wanted the emerging star to concentrate on playing wide receiver. But who better on the Steelers’ roster to improve an area in which the Steelers were one of the worst teams last season than Holmes?

It looks like Tomlin may have been asking himself that same question.

“I grew up in a generation in Virginia where Darrell Green was a situational return man for the Redskins and when he went back there it kind of electrified the crowd,” Tomlin said today at practice. “We’ve got a vision of maybe that developing with Santonio. We’ll see how it goes.”

Other Steelers notes and observations...

• After leading the Steelers in receiving in their first preseason game, Limas Sweed caught two passes for just 9 yards last Thursday against the Bills.

The rookie wide receiver, however, said he made improvement from his first NFL game to the second one.

“I played a lot faster than I did the first (game) and that was my main thing to make the reads and have less errors than I did,” Sweed said. “I made a few mistakes. I’m not happy about it because we lost but there was improvement.”

• Folks claiming that Tomlin overreacted earlier this week when he called out a newspaper story equating an Anthony Smith hit in practice to an act of thuggery are overreacting themselves. At least some of them are.

I’ve gotten several emails saying that Tomlin has more important things to do than defend Smith. True, but what he said at a news conference is hardly taking away from the other responsibilities that he had.

Tomlin, in fact, did the smart thing in taking the layup that was offered to him when asked about Smith. He came across as a coach that sticks up for his players.

What is wrong with that?

• I felt a little guilty about all of the griping I have done about the road trip to Canada after seeing Jon Dekker at lunch today.

The third-year tight end is on crutches and out for the season after blowing out his knee on the awful surface at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

“I don’t think many guys liked playing on it,” Dekker said of the artificial turf that appeared to be coming apart in some places. “I’m ready to rehab it and put myself in position to play football again.

That’s all I can do.”

The Steelers were probably lucky they only lost one player to a serious knee injury in Toronto.

RuthlessBurgher
08-18-2008, 01:41 AM
Tomlin had been reluctant about using Holmes as a punt returner because he wanted the emerging star to concentrate on playing wide receiver. But who better on the Steelers’ roster to improve an area in which the Steelers were one of the worst teams last season than Holmes?

It looks like Tomlin may have been asking himself that same question.

“I grew up in a generation in Virginia where Darrell Green was a situational return man for the Redskins and when he went back there it kind of electrified the crowd,” Tomlin said today at practice. “We’ve got a vision of maybe that developing with Santonio. We’ll see how it goes.”

Am I the only one that remembers Santonio muffing more than one punt the last time he was placed back there? If they sent him out there as a punt returner, I will not be one of the members of the crowd who is suddenly electrified by his presence. Only two thoughts will be going through my mind the whole time...don't fumble the freakin' ball, and don't blow out your freakin' knee, because we can't lose you as a WR weapon, since although Nate and Limas will be valuable reserves in multi-WR sets, neither is ready for the prime time gig of starting WR. Let Mewelde Moore return punts. If he happens to go down with a special teams injury, I will feel much more confortable with Gary Russell filling his role in the running game than I would losing Santonio. Knock on wood.

frankthetank1
08-18-2008, 07:31 AM
i really dont want him returning punts. he is only in his third year but so far he hasnt been all that durable. im not saying he is like a terry glenn hurt all the time but still. why risk an injury to holmes? not to mention when he returned punts his rookie year his hands werent all that great. i thought thats why they got moore?

phillyesq
08-18-2008, 08:33 AM
Count me among those that doesn't want to see Holmes returning punts. Mewelde Moore was a good punt returner in Minnesota, and should be just fine doing the same thing in Pittsburgh.

Tough break for Dekker. I feel bad for the guy, but at least he'll be able to collect an NFL pay check while he rehabs.

stlrz d
08-18-2008, 08:37 AM
Tomlin had been reluctant about using Holmes as a punt returner because he wanted the emerging star to concentrate on playing wide receiver. But who better on the Steelers’ roster to improve an area in which the Steelers were one of the worst teams last season than Holmes?

It looks like Tomlin may have been asking himself that same question.

“I grew up in a generation in Virginia where Darrell Green was a situational return man for the Redskins and when he went back there it kind of electrified the crowd,” Tomlin said today at practice. “We’ve got a vision of maybe that developing with Santonio. We’ll see how it goes.”

Am I the only one that remembers Santonio muffing more than one punt the last time he was placed back there? If they sent him out there as a punt returner, I will not be one of the members of the crowd who is suddenly electrified by his presence. Only two thoughts will be going through my mind the whole time...don't fumble the freakin' ball, and don't blow out your freakin' knee, because we can't lose you as a WR weapon, since although Nate and Limas will be valuable reserves in multi-WR sets, neither is ready for the prime time gig of starting WR. Let Mewelde Moore return punts. If he happens to go down with a special teams injury, I will feel much more confortable with Gary Russell filling his role in the running game than I would losing Santonio. Knock on wood.

No, I remember too.

Add me to the list of folks who don't want a guy who does have some injury issues returning punts.

Put him at WR and leave him there.

Oviedo
08-18-2008, 08:47 AM
No way do I want our best and most explosive receiver returning punts. It is not worth the risk of losing him to average maybe 2 yards more per punt return than you would with Moore, Reid or Drummond. Those two yards are meaningless if you lose him to an injury.

This scares me.