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fordfixer
08-20-2008, 01:07 AM
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... rss&feed=9 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_583895.html?source=rss&feed=9)


Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes hasn't returned a punt in a regular-season game since his rookie campaign in 2006. It's why he's looking forward to having an opportunity to return punts in Saturday's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings.

"I'm a little bit excited. I'm a little nervous at the same time because I haven't done it in over a year," Holmes said Tuesday. "But I think once the first punt comes back, I'll be alright."

Coach Mike Tomlin said Holmes is developing so well as a receiver that he felt comfortable allowing Holmes to return punts. Holmes averaged 10.2 yards per return and had a 65-yard touchdown two years ago.

"It's not about you catching the ball, because I treat every punt like it's a deep ball so I can catch it pretty much with one hand," Holmes said. "I try to put a lot of trust in the guys up front that they can block the guys like they're supposed to and they can leave the rest up to me."

Linebacker James Farrior said the Steelers will treat their third preseason game more like a regular-season contest.

"We're getting all the looks that we need in practice. Going into this third game is going to be more like gametime preparation," said Farrior, who expects to see more action against the Vikings. "We're starting to get into our in-season mode when we're starting to look at tape. We're game-planning a little bit. We've got all of our game preparation stuff like it's in-season, simulating a regular game week."

Coach Mike Tomlin said Justin Hartwig will start his second consecutive game at center. Sean Mahan, who started all 16 games last season, started the preseason opener against Philadelphia. Hartwig was signed as a free agent this offseason. He started last week's game against Buffalo.

Safety Ryan Mundy (ankle) and linebacker Mike Humpal (stinger) did not practice and probably won't play against Minnesota. Tight end Cody Boyd (shoulder) was limited in practice.
Digits

75 -- Roster limit after the Steelers make first cuts next Tuesday

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

proudpittsburgher
08-20-2008, 06:29 AM
"I'm a little bit excited. I'm a little nervous at the same time because I haven't done it in over a year," Holmes said Tuesday. "But I think once the first punt comes back, I'll be alright."

He may be, but I won't. This is a bad move, IMO. It is the opinion of many that he is our No 1 receiver right now, and those who don't think that still recognize him as our home run threat. No way do you compromise that. Especially since our offense is more than capable of recovering from bad starting field position.

frankthetank1
08-20-2008, 07:32 AM
what a stupid idea. he had issues before holding on to the ball on punt returns, now he is exited and a little nervous? great :roll:

Oviedo
08-20-2008, 07:59 AM
:2c I hate the idea of our best receiver getting nailed returning punts. This is going to prove to be a really bad idea.

I think Tomlin has pretty much gotten everything right since he has become the coach, but I think he is taking his pledge to "improve the Special teams" a little too much to heart to the point he is trying to make a statement Even if Santonio would guarantee a 2-3 yard better average than Moore, Reid or Drummond in the big scheme of things that would be nothing and definitley not worth losing him as receiver--look at what happened to Joshua Cribbs this past weekend.

rpmpit
08-20-2008, 08:10 AM
Pretty much agree with all of you. Not worth the risk.

MeetJoeGreene
08-20-2008, 08:28 AM
what a stupid idea. he had issues before holding on to the ball on punt returns, now he is exited and a little nervous? great :roll:
Right.

Its not like he was the cat's meow at returning punts to make it worrth the risk.

AngryAsian
08-20-2008, 09:56 AM
This aspect of our return game scares me into eggrll-****z. :shock:

rpmpit
08-20-2008, 10:00 AM
This aspect of our return game scares me into eggrll-****z. :shock:


Would that be ****z caused by eggrolls - or ****s that look like eggrolls???

http://d2.biggestmenu.com/00/00/49/ebb3ac0fa53d7a0a_m.jpg

And now I'm hungry :x

AngryAsian
08-20-2008, 10:01 AM
This aspect of our return game scares me into eggrll-****z. :shock:


Would that be ****z caused by eggrolls - or ****s that look like eggrolls???

http://d2.biggestmenu.com/00/00/49/ebb3ac0fa53d7a0a_m.jpg

And now I'm hungry :x


Appearance....LMAO. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

papillon
08-20-2008, 10:28 AM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.

Lets play some Steeler football!

There's always this.. :brownssuck and a little bit of this... :ratsuck and, of course, :bungalssuck

Pappy

RussBII
08-20-2008, 10:39 AM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.


I agree. I don't think he's competing for the full time PR position. I think they want to use him like Ed Reed or Steve Smith, as a situational returner. He was pretty lights out as a PR for OSU if I remember correctly. He's already taken one to the house in an NFL game, I say we see what he can do.

Besides, I'm not 100% sure I buy into the whole "Special Teams is an injury risk" thing. I don't see how its anymore of a risk than playing in any other play.

-Russ

Shawn
08-20-2008, 10:40 AM
what a stupid idea. he had issues before holding on to the ball on punt returns, now he is exited and a little nervous? great :roll:

Lets be fair...Holmes has the best hands on this team. Yep, IMO he has better hands than Ward. He was a nervous rookie...I say give the guy another shot. Lets not forget how unbelieveably explosive Holmes is...I mean the guy is a threat to score everytime he touches the ball. I think this could be a very good move.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 11:07 AM
I have to disagree with the general opinion here. There have been many number one WRs and DBs that have been terrific punt returners. IMO, you put your playmakers in position to make plays. You can't place Holmes in bubble wrap. How often do you see a PR guy hurt on a PR? Injuries happen everywhere.

proudpittsburgher
08-20-2008, 12:12 PM
How often do you see a PR guy hurt on a PR?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21E6TWD42RL._AA280_.jpg

Never the same again

Shawn
08-20-2008, 12:45 PM
How often do you see a PR guy hurt on a PR?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21E6TWD42RL._AA280_.jpg

Never the same again

How long ago was that? I could name many WRs hurt playing WR. My point is you have to get the ball into the playmakers hands. If Holmes can prove to be explosive on PRs then how can you keep him off the field? If he proves to be average...then you might have a point. Give the man a shot and see what happens.

Oviedo
08-20-2008, 01:01 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

AngryAsian
08-20-2008, 01:13 PM
We need another Rod Woodson. God I miss that calibre of player in the return game. He was my secret weapon on Tecmo Bowl.


http://www.consoleclassix.com/info_img/Tecmo_Bowl_NES_ScreenShot1.jpg

SteelerOfDeVille
08-20-2008, 01:24 PM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.


I agree. I don't think he's competing for the full time PR position. I think they want to use him like Ed Reed or Steve Smith, as a situational returner. He was pretty lights out as a PR for OSU if I remember correctly. He's already taken one to the house in an NFL game, I say we see what he can do.

Besides, I'm not 100% sure I buy into the whole "Special Teams is an injury risk" thing. I don't see how its anymore of a risk than playing in any other play.

-Russ
agreed... of course, this is assuming he's significantly better than the other guys.

if it's a wash, i don't play him on ST. unless the other guy only returns and it allows me to cut him.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

I don't think Chuck Noll's philosophy is law. If Holmes provides a significant increase in our abilities at PR...he must be our guy. I think Tomlin will agree.

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 02:04 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

This.

Oviedo
08-20-2008, 02:07 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

I don't think Chuck Noll's philosophy is law. If Holmes provides a significant increase in our abilities at PR...he must be our guy. I think Tomlin will agree.

To average 2-3 more yards at most. I hope not. Have Ben throw the ball to Spaeth and have him just fall forward and you have gained those same 2-3 yards. That kind of shows you how meaningless it would be.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 02:11 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

I don't think Chuck Noll's philosophy is law. If Holmes provides a significant increase in our abilities at PR...he must be our guy. I think Tomlin will agree.

To average 2-3 more yards at most. I hope not. Have Ben throw the ball to Spaeth and have him just fall forward and you have gained those same 2-3 yards. That kind of shows you how meaningless it would be.

I don't know what to say if you believe PR isn't an important part of the game. Tell that to Cribbs and Hester.

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 02:12 PM
To risk him in this regard is sheer lunacy. I'm a Tomlin supporter for the most part, but I disagree with this 1000x over.

rpmpit
08-20-2008, 02:30 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

This.

...is this. This isn't something else. This is this.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/deerhu.jpg

Shawn
08-20-2008, 02:32 PM
I'm sure Tomlin will lose sleep with this new revelation.

frankthetank1
08-20-2008, 02:38 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

I don't think Chuck Noll's philosophy is law. If Holmes provides a significant increase in our abilities at PR...he must be our guy. I think Tomlin will agree.

To average 2-3 more yards at most. I hope not. Have Ben throw the ball to Spaeth and have him just fall forward and you have gained those same 2-3 yards. That kind of shows you how meaningless it would be.

I don't know what to say if you believe PR isn't an important part of the game. Tell that to Cribbs and Hester.

holmes isnt cribbs or hester as a return man though

Shawn
08-20-2008, 02:41 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

I don't think Chuck Noll's philosophy is law. If Holmes provides a significant increase in our abilities at PR...he must be our guy. I think Tomlin will agree.

To average 2-3 more yards at most. I hope not. Have Ben throw the ball to Spaeth and have him just fall forward and you have gained those same 2-3 yards. That kind of shows you how meaningless it would be.

I don't know what to say if you believe PR isn't an important part of the game. Tell that to Cribbs and Hester.

holmes isnt cribbs or hester as a return man though

How do we know that? Because he fumbled a couple punts as a rookie? The guy is explosive...and I want to see if he has what it takes to become an elite PR guy. If not...I agree with you guys...use someone else. But, if he is indeed elite...it would be sheer lunacy not to use him out of fear of injury.

Oviedo
08-20-2008, 03:28 PM
It is more sheerer lunacy to lose him as a wide reciever where is averaged 18.2 Yards per catch last year so he can average at best 8 yards per punt return. He will have a much bigger impact as a receiver than returner.

Who do you think is more important to the Stains, Braylon Edwards or Joshua Cribbs? What do the following NFL greats have in common: Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Art Monk, John Stallworth? They didn't return punts for the vast majority of their career. The punt return in a way overrated part of the game. I'd rather just fair catch the ball and turn it over to our potent offense with a healthy Santonio at WR. He will score more TDs as a receiver than returning punts.

Let the "freakishly athletic" Nate Washington return punts.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 03:40 PM
It is more sheerer lunacy to lose him as a wide reciever where is averaged 18.2 Yards per catch last year so he can average at best 8 yards per punt return. He will have a much bigger impact as a receiver than returner.

Who do you think is more important to the Stains, Braylon Edwards or Joshua Cribbs? What do the following NFL greats have in common: Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Art Monk, John Stallworth? They didn't return punts for the vast majority of their career. The punt return in a way overrated part of the game. I'd rather just fair catch the ball and turn it over to our potent offense with a healthy Santonio at WR. He will score more TDs as a receiver than returning punts.

Let the "freakishly athletic" Nate Washington return punts.
And it's the sheeristiest lunacy not to use an elite PR guy because we are afraid of some possible injury. :) Why do you assume he will get hurt returning punts? I have never seen evidence that states returning punts is anymore dangerous than running a route across the middle of the field. Personally, I would rather Holmes to return a punt...with his eyes ahead...than to make a leaping catch across the middle of field with a guy like Ed Reed waiting to take his head off. Should we also keep Holmes from running dangerous routes? Maybe we should sit him on the bench...unless we really really need him. I mean where do you draw the line and what evidence do you have for drawing that line where you draw it? I say let the playmakers make plays. I think Tomlin will agree and Holmes will prove to be an awesome option at PR.

RussBII
08-20-2008, 04:31 PM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.


I agree. I don't think he's competing for the full time PR position. I think they want to use him like Ed Reed or Steve Smith, as a situational returner. He was pretty lights out as a PR for OSU if I remember correctly. He's already taken one to the house in an NFL game, I say we see what he can do.

Besides, I'm not 100% sure I buy into the whole "Special Teams is an injury risk" thing. I don't see how its anymore of a risk than playing in any other play.

-Russ
agreed... of course, this is assuming he's significantly better than the other guys.

if it's a wash, i don't play him on ST. unless the other guy only returns and it allows me to cut him.

Bingo, this is only applicable if he's a threat to take it to the house every time....ala Reed or Smith.

But we won't know if he is or not, if we don't let him try...

BURGH86STEEL
08-20-2008, 04:40 PM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.

Lets play some Steeler football!

There's always this.. :brownssuck and a little bit of this... :ratsuck and, of course, :bungalssuck

Pappy

I agree. Woodson returned in his prime. Have to let your best players touch the football as much as possible. Hopefully Holmes has the skills to return punts at this level.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 05:11 PM
I like the idea and looking forward to see what he can do. It's football, put your best players out there and play football. Injuries are going to happen and you have to have contingency ready to go regardless.


I agree. I don't think he's competing for the full time PR position. I think they want to use him like Ed Reed or Steve Smith, as a situational returner. He was pretty lights out as a PR for OSU if I remember correctly. He's already taken one to the house in an NFL game, I say we see what he can do.

Besides, I'm not 100% sure I buy into the whole "Special Teams is an injury risk" thing. I don't see how its anymore of a risk than playing in any other play.

-Russ
agreed... of course, this is assuming he's significantly better than the other guys.

if it's a wash, i don't play him on ST. unless the other guy only returns and it allows me to cut him.

Bingo, this is only applicable if he's a threat to take it to the house every time....ala Reed or Smith.

But we won't know if he is or not, if we don't let him try...

And there it is...$$$

Flasteel
08-20-2008, 05:48 PM
I like the idea of a situational punt returner. Kind of to electrify the crowd and give the team a spark when needed. If he proves to be that much better than anyone else we've got, then let Holmes return all of the punts.

I agree with the sentiment that you put the ball in the hands of your best weapons.

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 06:44 PM
It is more sheerer lunacy to lose him as a wide reciever where is averaged 18.2 Yards per catch last year so he can average at best 8 yards per punt return. He will have a much bigger impact as a receiver than returner.

Who do you think is more important to the Stains, Braylon Edwards or Joshua Cribbs? What do the following NFL greats have in common: Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Art Monk, John Stallworth? They didn't return punts for the vast majority of their career. The punt return in a way overrated part of the game. I'd rather just fair catch the ball and turn it over to our potent offense with a healthy Santonio at WR. He will score more TDs as a receiver than returning punts.

Let the "freakishly athletic" Nate Washington return punts.

Stop making sense...it's clearly not working.

I hope he muffs every practice and pre-season attempt so we can put this BS to rest once and for all. If he were a Devin Hester type returner the Steelers would know it already.

Oviedo
08-20-2008, 06:45 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 07:13 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

In my mind a terrific PR can mean 2 more wins a year. But, to make someone choose...either/or is short sighted. You act like if Holmes is the PR guy...he will get hurt. I don't know where you are getting this.

If you try him...and he is mediocre...put Moore back there. But, if he is a star...let the man play football and stop trying to bubble wrap the guy.

AkronSteel
08-20-2008, 07:26 PM
I like the idea of Holmes returning punts. He is good at it, as he showed his rookie year against Carolina. He returned punts at OSU too and did pretty well there too! I think he can give the team an added weapon in that capacity. Like 86 said, Woodson returned kicks in his prime and I'm sure none of us really worried about him getting hurt. Heck when he wasn't back there I was more concerned.

I think having a better PR could give us a couple extra victories/year, look at what Hester does for Chicago (not that I'm expecting the same production from SH). He could improve our overall field position and maybe give the team lightning in a bottle a couple of times this year.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 07:34 PM
I like the idea of Holmes returning punts. He is good at it, as he showed his rookie year against Carolina. He returned punts at OSU too and did pretty well there too! I think he can give the team an added weapon in that capacity. Like 86 said, Woodson returned kicks in his prime and I'm sure none of us really worried about him getting hurt. Heck when he wasn't back there I was more concerned.

I think having a better PR could give us a couple extra victories/year, look at what Hester does for Chicago (not that I'm expecting the same production from SH). He could improve our overall field position and maybe give the team lightning in a bottle a couple of times this year.

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 07:46 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

There is simply no good reason to risk Holmes getting injured on a punt return pile up. If he gets hurt as a WR that's one thing since it is his position. Getting hurt doing something that in all likelihood can be done just as well by someone else is unacceptable.

I agree that a good punt returner is an asset to a team, but if they are so crucial then why do more teams not draft punt return specialists?

Flasteel
08-20-2008, 08:25 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

There is simply no good reason to risk Holmes getting injured on a punt return pile up. If he gets hurt as a WR that's one thing since it is his position. Getting hurt doing something that in all likelihood can be done just as well by someone else is unacceptable.

I agree that a good punt returner is an asset to a team, but if they are so crucial then why do more teams not draft punt return specialists?

They do. Many receivers or DBs increase their draft stck because of this ability. Very few of them however are so skilled at it and are at the same time so worthless as a position player that you don't see many drafted only for that purpose. Plus it's an extra roster spot which is hard to warrant unless a guy is really special.

I just can't agree with the thinking quite a few of my esteemed brethren have on this matter. Santonio's "position" is whatever he is assigned to do to help this football team win games and we have to trust that the coaching staff will put the players in a position to best use their skills. If Holmes demonstrates the ability to be a difference maker as a punt returner (even part time), then that's the only intelligent thing to do.

Aside from Jason Sehorne years ago, I can't think of another position player who's been seriously hurt playing special teams. There is no more a risk of injury in returning punts than there is playing receiver other than more touches. It's the same thing as being worried that Holmes gets used on more end-arounds or averages more receptions per game.

I never saw anyone complain when Harrison asked to go back on special teams and that goes for Woodson, Randle-El, Lipps, etc...

Whatever it takes to win games.

AkronSteel
08-20-2008, 08:30 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

There is simply no good reason to risk Holmes getting injured on a punt return pile up. If he gets hurt as a WR that's one thing since it is his position. Getting hurt doing something that in all likelihood can be done just as well by someone else is unacceptable.

I agree that a good punt returner is an asset to a team, but if they are so crucial then why do more teams not draft punt return specialists?

They do. Many receivers or DBs increase their draft stck because of this ability. Very few of them however are so skilled at it and are at the same time so worthless as a position player that you don't see many drafted only for that purpose. Plus it's an extra roster spot which is hard to warrant unless a guy is really special.

I just can't agree with the thinking quite a few of my esteemed brethren have on this matter. Santonio's "position" is whatever he is assigned to do to help this football team win games and we have to trust that the coaching staff will put the players in a position to best use their skills. If Holmes demonstrates the ability to be a difference maker as a punt returner (even part time), then that's the only intelligent thing to do.

Aside from Jason Sehorne years ago, I can't think of another position player who's been seriously hurt playing special teams. There is no more a risk of injury in returning punts than there is playing receiver other than more touches. It's the same thing as being worried that Holmes gets used on more end-arounds or averages more receptions per game.

I never saw anyone complain when Harrison asked to go back on special teams and that goes for Woodson, Randle-El, Lipps, etc...

Whatever it takes to win games.
:Agree 100%

Shawn
08-20-2008, 08:40 PM
Devin Hester had 4 TDs in 42 returns last year so taking it to the house is hardly a possibility on every punt. It is unlikely that Holmes would be anywhere as good as Hester. I'd rather make sure Holmes gets his 8TDs as a receiver than a couple as a returner.

There is simply no good reason to risk Holmes getting injured on a punt return pile up. If he gets hurt as a WR that's one thing since it is his position. Getting hurt doing something that in all likelihood can be done just as well by someone else is unacceptable.

I agree that a good punt returner is an asset to a team, but if they are so crucial then why do more teams not draft punt return specialists?

They do. Many receivers or DBs increase their draft stck because of this ability. Very few of them however are so skilled at it and are at the same time so worthless as a position player that you don't see many drafted only for that purpose. Plus it's an extra roster spot which is hard to warrant unless a guy is really special.

I just can't agree with the thinking quite a few of my esteemed brethren have on this matter. Santonio's "position" is whatever he is assigned to do to help this football team win games and we have to trust that the coaching staff will put the players in a position to best use their skills. If Holmes demonstrates the ability to be a difference maker as a punt returner (even part time), then that's the only intelligent thing to do.

Aside from Jason Sehorne years ago, I can't think of another position player who's been seriously hurt playing special teams. There is no more a risk of injury in returning punts than there is playing receiver other than more touches. It's the same thing as being worried that Holmes gets used on more end-arounds or averages more receptions per game.

I never saw anyone complain when Harrison asked to go back on special teams and that goes for Woodson, Randle-El, Lipps, etc...

Whatever it takes to win games.


$$$

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 09:33 PM
Sorry but I don't feel Holmes is worth risking as a PR.

If I'm wrong and he turns out to be the next Deion Sanders or Devin Hester then I'll gladly admit it and leave the board. I know that will make some people happy around here.

That's how confident I am it is not a good idea to take a guy who has never been healthy for an entire NFL season, who has the potential to be one of the best WRs in the game and who has not shown any proclivity to be a punt returner in the NFL back there.

He won't be a difference maker and the risk is an unnecessary one.

And ftr, I don't like Harrison on ST either.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-20-2008, 09:37 PM
Points of reference:

Lynn Swann: 41 punts returns as a rookie, 7 the next year when he became a full time starter

Louis Lipps: 53 punts returns as a rookie, 36 the next year and 3 the third year.

Deduction: When a WR becomes your "go to" guy you don't risk him returning punts.

This will prove to be a really bad move if Holmes is out there on a regular basis just to increase the return average by about 3 yards.

This.



...is this. This isn't something else. This is this.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/deerhu.jpg

Best friggin movie ever, maybe. I watched it four times consecutively working offshore once. My brain was fried for a year. "You're just to good to be true ...", can't hear that without thinking of "this" .

Shawn
08-20-2008, 09:41 PM
Is that a scene from deerhunter? I have never seen it.

Flasteel
08-20-2008, 09:48 PM
Sorry but I don't feel Holmes is worth risking as a PR.

If I'm wrong and he turns out to be the next Deion Sanders or Devin Hester then I'll gladly admit it and leave the board. I know that will make some people happy around here.

That's how confident I am it is not a good idea to take a guy who has never been healthy for an entire NFL season, who has the potential to be one of the best WRs in the game and who has not shown any proclivity to be a punt returner in the NFL back there.

He won't be a difference maker and the risk is an unnecessary one.

And ftr, I don't like Harrison on ST either.

Leave the board?? Why in God's name would you even think about doing that if you were proved wrong on an issue? I'm wrong on something probably every day of my life and could be proven wrong here as well.

The fact is that when Holmes started to return punts his rookie year he dropped half of them and didn't look special at all. By the end of the season, he was looking very good at it (just ask Jom or any other Bengal fan :lol: ) and with more reps could prove to be a game-breaker. We won't know until he gets the opportunity, so no one can sit there and definitively say he will or won't be a factor. Again you keep mentioning risk, but it's not like they stuff his pockets with live hand grenades on every return. It's football. He could be injured being used in a variety of capacities on offense, in warm-ups, or just getting off the team bus.

If we have someone that can do a good job at this, then I agree it would be unecessary to put Holmes in a position where something could possibly happen to him. If our return game continues to be the same non-factor that it's been for the past several years, then the coaching staff has an obligation to put the best guy on the team back there. End of story for me.

eniparadoxgma
08-20-2008, 10:09 PM
Wow, the debate rages, eh?

Dunno about this one. I tend to lean more towards the idea that he shouldn't be back there. Put friggin Carey Davis in there and make him earn his money.

However, if I remember correctly, during the offseason Holmes said he wanted to return. In my opinion, if he knows the risks, thinks he's the best we have to do it, and wants to by all means let 'em.

Just my opinion. I could be wrong. 8)

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 10:10 PM
Sorry but I don't feel Holmes is worth risking as a PR.

If I'm wrong and he turns out to be the next Deion Sanders or Devin Hester then I'll gladly admit it and leave the board. I know that will make some people happy around here.

That's how confident I am it is not a good idea to take a guy who has never been healthy for an entire NFL season, who has the potential to be one of the best WRs in the game and who has not shown any proclivity to be a punt returner in the NFL back there.

He won't be a difference maker and the risk is an unnecessary one.

And ftr, I don't like Harrison on ST either.

Leave the board?? Why in God's name would you even think about doing that if you were proved wrong on an issue? I'm wrong on something probably every day of my life and could be proven wrong here as well.

The fact is that when Holmes started to return punts his rookie year he dropped half of them and didn't look special at all. By the end of the season, he was looking very good at it (just ask Jom or any other Bengal fan :lol: ) and with more reps could prove to be a game-breaker. We won't know until he gets the opportunity, so no one can sit there and definitively say he will or won't be a factor. Again you keep mentioning risk, but it's not like they stuff his pockets with live hand grenades on every return. It's football. He could be injured being used in a variety of capacities on offense, in warm-ups, or just getting off the team bus.

If we have someone that can do a good job at this, then I agree it would be unecessary to put Holmes in a position where something could possibly happen to him. If our return game continues to be the same non-factor that it's been for the past several years, then the coaching staff has an obligation to put the best guy on the team back there. End of story for me.

Just to clarify my point, I know there is risk involved with him playing WR but I think it is an unnecessary risk to have him return punts.

Shawn
08-20-2008, 10:29 PM
D...I have no desire for you to leave the board. The guys from here that know me personally...know I rarely hold onto a grudge. I said what I said...you said what you said...I know how you feel and you know how I feel. I think as men we can be cool with that. Sometimes we are just going to be on the opposite side of a debate with no ill will directed at the other guy. If you were not talking about me...I apologize.

Flasteel
08-20-2008, 10:34 PM
[quote="stlrz d":33pa7x6l]Sorry but I don't feel Holmes is worth risking as a PR.

If I'm wrong and he turns out to be the next Deion Sanders or Devin Hester then I'll gladly admit it and leave the board. I know that will make some people happy around here.

That's how confident I am it is not a good idea to take a guy who has never been healthy for an entire NFL season, who has the potential to be one of the best WRs in the game and who has not shown any proclivity to be a punt returner in the NFL back there.

He won't be a difference maker and the risk is an unnecessary one.

And ftr, I don't like Harrison on ST either.

Leave the board?? Why in God's name would you even think about doing that if you were proved wrong on an issue? I'm wrong on something probably every day of my life and could be proven wrong here as well.

The fact is that when Holmes started to return punts his rookie year he dropped half of them and didn't look special at all. By the end of the season, he was looking very good at it (just ask Jom or any other Bengal fan :lol: ) and with more reps could prove to be a game-breaker. We won't know until he gets the opportunity, so no one can sit there and definitively say he will or won't be a factor. Again you keep mentioning risk, but it's not like they stuff his pockets with live hand grenades on every return. It's football. He could be injured being used in a variety of capacities on offense, in warm-ups, or just getting off the team bus.

If we have someone that can do a good job at this, then I agree it would be unecessary to put Holmes in a position where something could possibly happen to him. If our return game continues to be the same non-factor that it's been for the past several years, then the coaching staff has an obligation to put the best guy on the team back there. End of story for me.

Just to clarify my point, I know there is risk involved with him playing WR but I think it is an unnecessary risk to have him return punts.[/quote:33pa7x6l]

Well, at least we are moving towards a point of understanding.

Apparently we agree that the risk involved is basically due to an increase of opportunity, not to an inherent danger in returning punts. If taking that risk is contingent on necessity, then the central issue becomes the definition of need.

In my opinion, our return game is sub par at best. If no viable candidate emerges from the pack to improve play at the position, then we need to put somebody back there that has the skill set to make a difference. The only way it can be determined if Holmes has what it takes is by sticking him in the fire and see how he responds. As Enigparadoxgma (really, how do we even appropriately abbreviate that dude...EP?) pointed out, Holmes wants the opportunity and believes he can be that difference.

The only rebuttal to that logic is if it is deemed that punt returns (translated: field position) is to be considered an unimportant aspect of the game. However, I think we can all agree that it is the very nature of the game. I understand the apprehension in increasing the exposure to the risk of injury, no matter how slight that risk may be. But in my opinion if no one else can show the potential to impact the game and Santonio does, it's a necessary risk to take.

fordfixer
08-20-2008, 10:50 PM
Let your play makers make plays That's why they are there :tt1

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 10:51 PM
Fla - I believe it's my fault for not being clear enough all along...until now.

I agree that field position (along with scoring) is the very nature of the game. It's just my opinion that Holmes isn't going to make a difference and we could end up losing his offensive contributions as a result of him returning punts. He averaged over 18 yards per reception last year...I don't want to lose that!

RussBII
08-20-2008, 11:13 PM
Fla - I believe it's my fault for not being clear enough all along...until now.

I agree that field position (along with scoring) is the very nature of the game. It's just my opinion that Holmes isn't going to make a difference and we could end up losing his offensive contributions as a result of him returning punts. He averaged over 18 yards per reception last year...I don't want to lose that!

Let me start by saying that in no way do I want Stlrz D to leave the board. I read this board way to much to lose a guy who posts 1/3rd of all messages.... heh.

That being said, your opinion is that he might not make a difference. We don't know though. It's my opinion that he MIGHT make a difference. Once again, no one is saying that he's back there for every punt. But if we have a team penned in at their 5, and they are going to punt... why not have our most explosive/dynamic PR returning the punt? If you have a Hester, Cribbs, Reed, or even a Dante Hall (circa 5 years ago), that is almost guaranteed points. Either 7 from a return to the house or an offensive TD or 3 from a FG due to a 10 to 20 yard return. You can almost kick it on first down. Let's not even think what this might mean in a come from behind/close game, when the defense stops them while they're trying to kill the clock. If Ben has to go 40 yards, instead of 70? That's huge...

I think the kid's got the kind of "two steps to full speed" acceleration that makes a PR guy incredibly dangerous. If he is our most explosive/dynamic PR then I want to use him when we can and it makes sense. Certainly not when we're up by 20, or they're punting from the 50. Then it is an unnecessary risk.

The bottom line is we don't know how Santonio will do, and we never will unless we give him a shot. Would we also never use him on a WR Screen because he might get hurt. Is his lot in life to be a deep threat and only a deep threat?

-Russ

Shawn
08-20-2008, 11:26 PM
Using the logic of keeping Holmes safe...we should ban all 10-15 yard over the middle routes. These routes tend to get WRs crushed when a safety pounces on the route. I personally can't see the logic in...one is the WRs job...the other isn't. Helping the team win is the WRs job and doing anything to help the team win should be on the menu. PR has not proven to be any more dangerous than anything else. So, I have never understood the mentality of some coaches to put their best plamakers on the bench in ST situations. Unless you are worried about the fatigue factor...it makes zero sense.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-20-2008, 11:27 PM
[quote="stlrz d":11y4poa2]Sorry but I don't feel Holmes is worth risking as a PR.

If I'm wrong and he turns out to be the next Deion Sanders or Devin Hester then I'll gladly admit it and leave the board. I know that will make some people happy around here.

That's how confident I am it is not a good idea to take a guy who has never been healthy for an entire NFL season, who has the potential to be one of the best WRs in the game and who has not shown any proclivity to be a punt returner in the NFL back there.

He won't be a difference maker and the risk is an unnecessary one.

And ftr, I don't like Harrison on ST either.

Leave the board?? Why in God's name would you even think about doing that if you were proved wrong on an issue? I'm wrong on something probably every day of my life and could be proven wrong here as well.

The fact is that when Holmes started to return punts his rookie year he dropped half of them and didn't look special at all. By the end of the season, he was looking very good at it (just ask Jom or any other Bengal fan :lol: ) and with more reps could prove to be a game-breaker. We won't know until he gets the opportunity, so no one can sit there and definitively say he will or won't be a factor. Again you keep mentioning risk, but it's not like they stuff his pockets with live hand grenades on every return. It's football. He could be injured being used in a variety of capacities on offense, in warm-ups, or just getting off the team bus.

If we have someone that can do a good job at this, then I agree it would be unecessary to put Holmes in a position where something could possibly happen to him. If our return game continues to be the same non-factor that it's been for the past several years, then the coaching staff has an obligation to put the best guy on the team back there. End of story for me.

Just to clarify my point, I know there is risk involved with him playing WR but I think it is an unnecessary risk to have him return punts.

Well, at least we are moving towards a point of understanding.

Apparently we agree that the risk involved is basically due to an increase of opportunity, not to an inherent danger in returning punts. If taking that risk is contingent on necessity, then the central issue becomes the definition of need.

In my opinion, our return game is sub par at best. If no viable candidate emerges from the pack to improve play at the position, then we need to put somebody back there that has the skill set to make a difference. The only way it can be determined if Holmes has what it takes is by sticking him in the fire and see how he responds. As Enigparadoxgma (really, how do we even appropriately abbreviate that dude...EP?) pointed out, Holmes wants the opportunity and believes he can be that difference.

The only rebuttal to that logic is if it is deemed that punt returns (translated: field position) is to be considered an unimportant aspect of the game. However, I think we can all agree that it is the very nature of the game. I understand the apprehension in increasing the exposure to the risk of injury, no matter how slight that risk may be. But in my opinion if no one else can show the potential to impact the game and Santonio does, it's a necessary risk to take.[/quote:11y4poa2]

:wft Who let Mr. Friggin' Spock on the board?

Just kidding, I think that's exactly the way to start thinking about this. Thinking about it a bit more ...

Two choices ... only 1 right answer. I think we can agree that's the one that increases our chances of winning more games. If we then say that is the same as scoring more points it's a little easier to compare, even if that isn't always the same thing.

So for each choice add up the differential benefits and subract the differential risks, and compare. What do I mean by differential? Well, mainly how many extra points will we score on STs with SAH there, how many fewer points will we score if he is injured and not playing WR?

When we think of this, we have to remember, it's not a zero sum game. For example, if he is not back there catching punts, someone else has the opportunity to make a huge play on blown punt return coverage, so those points aren't necessarily lost forever. Similarly, if he gets injured, and can't play WR, those points he was destined to score could be scored by someone else - another WR, or maybe a TE, RB, etc.

So the benefits to SAH playing WR are more points from better field position (or flat out TDs); risks are injury. WR? Similar comparison. Pretty obvious, and not so helpful in coming up with an answer.

The next step is the crucial one ... we have to guess how probable each of these benefits/risks are. For example for SAH as a PR - how many extra points will we have with SAH fielding punts? If he's injured running back PRs, how many points would we not score that we would have if he'd just played WR?

So the things we need to know are:

#1) How many points we can count on from SAH as a pure WR this year. Tough to predict of course, but we can do this in any number of ways - connect the dots from the last two years and extrapolate, superimpose Hine's curve or Swann's or Stallworth's on SAHs, etc. Let's just say we've got this one down.

#2) What is the risk of injury at PR? I think we can probably get this number as well. My gut is that it's not that high, but any data dredger could do this (where's MSM when you need him!).

#3) How many extra points will we get on STs this year if SAH is back there?

Once we know these things we can say that the net benefit of SAH fielding PRs is:

[# extra points a game STs will score with him back there] - [likelihood SAH gets injured badly on STs] x [# points we won't get on offense if he is injured]. If this is greater than zero - let him field punts. If less than zero - keep him off STs.

Clearly it's #3 that we have the worst handle on. Presumably Tomlin and his staff are in the same boat, and so they're giving him a chance so they can collect some data ... and then do the math. My first reaction to the proposition of SAH fielding punts was "no friggin' way, keep him safer at WR", but the more I think about it, the more I think it's probably an OK idea to see if he can be another Hester or something. In principle, it's not too far removed from the decision to let Big Ben hang on to the ball for an eternity while roaming around the backfield looking for a target, rather than throwing the ball away after 4.2 seconds. There's definitely more risk of injury in letting him play like he does - ah, but that sweet upside!

Dang, gotta quit chewing on those cocoa leaves :wink:

BTW. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night :roll:

fordfixer
08-20-2008, 11:36 PM
[quote=

BTW. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night :roll:[/quote]


Did it help at all? :P

stlrz d
08-20-2008, 11:55 PM
It's simply not worth it to risk losing this. http://www.nfl.com/players/santonioholm ... =HOL657297 (http://www.nfl.com/players/santonioholmes/profile?id=HOL657297)

There isn't anything that anyone here can do, say, present, type, conjure or in any way convey that will convince me otherwise.

NKySteeler
08-21-2008, 12:22 AM
While there is a more inherent risk of injury returning kicks (probably the reason more teams don't utilize thier players for it, but some do), we have a glaringly deeper weakness in this category than most teams do, for whatever reason.... He may not score points from this position, but may be able to put the offense in a BETTER position than otherwise, thus resulting in more points scored...

...Personally, I am torn on this issue. I see both sides for the advantages. But since Dan didn't hire me to make the call, I'll just wait and see what Coach T decides... I think it can work.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 12:25 AM
While there is a more inherent risk of injury returning kicks (probably the reason more teams don't utilize thier players for it, but some do), we have a glaringly deeper weakness in this category than most teams do, for whatever reason.... He may not score points from this position, but may be able to put the offense in a BETTER position than otherwise, thus resulting in more points scored...

...Personally, I am torn on this issue. I see both sides for the advantages. But since Dan didn't hire me to make the call, I'll just wait and see what Coach T decides... I think it can work.

Hey that certainly hasn't stopped me. :mrgreen:

fordfixer
08-21-2008, 12:31 AM
While there is a more inherent risk of injury returning kicks (probably the reason more teams don't utilize thier players for it, but some do), we have a glaringly deeper weakness in this category than most teams do, for whatever reason.... He may not score points from this position, but may be able to put the offense in a BETTER position than otherwise, thus resulting in more points scored...

...Personally, I am torn on this issue. I see both sides for the advantages. But since Dan didn't hire me to make the call, I'll just wait and see what Coach T decides... I think it can work.

What did Dan hire you for? :D

ikestops85
08-21-2008, 01:56 PM
I don't know why we are bantering this back and forth when we have the perfect return man sitting right on the bench. That's right. I'm talking about

Gary Russell

Russell ... Russell ... he's our man
if he can't do it nobody can ... YEA!! :Boobs :tt1
just kidding :lol:

For all intents and purposes it's a great move if Santonio turns out to be a fantastic return man and he doesn't get hurt. The flip side is no matter what type of returner he turns out to be if he gets hurt people will be calling for Coach T's head.

I'm really on the fence about this ... well maybe a little on the 'Don't let him do it side' just because I can't forget his return man audition as a rookie. What a disaster.

Now if Santonio isn't any good I have another candidate (it's not like we haven't tried everyone but the pope). I don't know how good his hands are but he certainly has the moves and speed. Dennis Dixon. What do you think?

AngryAsian
08-21-2008, 02:36 PM
I don't know why we are bantering this back and forth when we have the perfect return man sitting right on the bench. That's right. I'm talking about

Gary Russell

Russell ... Russell ... he's our man
if he can't do it nobody can ... YEA!! :Boobs :tt1
just kidding :lol:

For all intents and purposes it's a great move if Santonio turns out to be a fantastic return man and he doesn't get hurt. The flip side is no matter what type of returner he turns out to be if he gets hurt people will be calling for Coach T's head.

I'm really on the fence about this ... well maybe a little on the 'Don't let him do it side' just because I can't forget his return man audition as a rookie. What a disaster.

Now if Santonio isn't any good I have another candidate (it's not like we haven't tried everyone but the pope). I don't know how good his hands are but he certainly has the moves and speed. Dennis Dixon. What do you think?


I generally don't like to put a guy with a reconstructed knee into a position he's never played before. I'll give you that his skillset would be an assest, but I'd rather him be our number 2 qb than return punts. Russell would be a good option. In college he had great and dependable hands. Interesting thoughts.

Jom112
08-21-2008, 03:06 PM
The fact is that when Holmes started to return punts his rookie year he dropped half of them and didn't look special at all. By the end of the season, he was looking very good at it (just ask Jom or any other Bengal fan :lol: ) and with more reps could prove to be a game-breaker.

All I can say is that it makes me very happy to hear that Holmes will be returning kicks again.

We have TJ back returning punts ever so often and it always bothered me. Have fun holding your breaths everytime Holmes returns a kick and runs into a pile of defenders...

rpmpit
08-22-2008, 09:20 AM
Is that a scene from deerhunter? I have never seen it.

Yes, that is from Deerhunter. And you definitely have to check it out. Great movie!!

frankthetank1
08-22-2008, 09:31 AM
Is that a scene from deerhunter? I have never seen it.

Yes, that is from Deerhunter. And you definitely have to check it out. Great movie!!

probably deniro's best. it is the only movie i have ever gotten teary eyed from

Shawn
08-22-2008, 10:36 AM
Is that a scene from deerhunter? I have never seen it.

Yes, that is from Deerhunter. And you definitely have to check it out. Great movie!!

probably deniro's best. it is the only movie i have ever gotten teary eyed from

Awww you big softy...I'll definately have to check it out now. :mrgreen: