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fordfixer
10-15-2009, 01:18 AM
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Harris: Give Holmes benefit of the doubt

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, October 15, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 48029.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_648029.html)

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.

ikestops85
10-15-2009, 01:21 PM
I think Holmes does lose focus. He had many of the same problems the 1st half of last season but he was a stud in the playoffs. That's what drives me crazy about him. His playmaking ability after the catch is off the charts but his brain farts not running the hot routes or dropping the ball drives me nuts. Super Bowl hero or not he has to start becoming consistent or he is more of a liability than an asset. JMHO

anger 82&95
10-15-2009, 02:11 PM
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol?

Shoe
10-15-2009, 03:38 PM
Super Bowl hero or not he has to start becoming consistent or he is more of a liability than an asset. JMHO

Santonio Holmes will never be a "liability", as long as he can stretch defenses. Even with this purported poor play, he's still a threat no matter what. I'm hoping this was just a low stretch of games for him in a row, and that he'll emerge as the season progresses. Go Santonio!

williar
10-15-2009, 07:44 PM
Santonio will be fine. He is a big game, clutch player. I believe he will come up big for us when we need him the most. I trust that these drops won't continue.