Santonio Holmes did an interview on the NFL Network last night, most of you probably saw it and more of you surely know about the interview and what he said by now. I don’t normally like to write a piece on someone else’s interview that everyone has access to, but like Will McAvoy from the new HBO show The Newsroom, “I’m on a mission to civilize.”
This isn’t a takedown piece, the problems I’m addressing don’t have to do with the interview (well, one problem but more on that later), but with how other media members will, and in some cases have already, choose to address his comments. Let’s start with the headliner.
“Can a two quarterback system, even if it’s five plays, can that work in the NFL?” NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano asked.
“No.” Holmes said. “I don’t think so because you have to allow one quarterback to get into a rhythm of a game and it starts from the preparation in practice, knowing the first couple plays that he’s going to take these reps. It’s getting the feel for coming on to the field with the crowd awaiting you. It’s the making the mistakes early in the game to finishing the game at the end. You don’t just change a guy out just because he made a few mistakes early in the game. So I think coming into this season, we have a lot to expect from Sanchez.”
As soon as he said this some writers chimed in on Twitter saying here we go again, Holmes is already starting problems, which left many to wonder what exactly did he say that was so wrong? All quarterbacks need to get into a rhythm and get the chance to overcome early mistakes, an actual two-quarterback system would be a disaster in the NFL, fortunately for the Jets that’s not actually in their game plan, no matter what certain talking heads in the media say.
Which leads to the one problem I had with the interview itself. After Holmes answered that first question Siciliano asked, “But they’re going to change them out regardless, mistakes or no mistakes right?”
Huh? What is possessing people to keep saying or even thinking things like this? Do people really think the Jets are about to start running their offense like a college team that plays two quarterbacks, rotating them series-by-series? If Sanchez plays well from the first snap, do people really think they’ll take Sanchez out just to get Tebow some reps at quarterback?
Or are we just talking about Tebow being brought in in a similar fashion to how the Jets used Brad Smith in the two years they made the AFC Championship? If that’s what we’re talking about fine, but what’s the big deal? It sure seems Holmes (like everyone else who has recently spent time around this team) expects Tebow to be used in the Smith role.
“Tebow’s going to have plays, where he comes in and plays and whether he plays at quarterback or Sanchez is on the field or off the field. Holmes said in response to the ridiculous question, “Those are the plays that coach designed for Tebow to be ran that week and I’m pretty sure he’s going to get them done and he’s going to do his job just as well as any other quarterback would when they get an opportunity to get on the field.”
If Tebow has more success than Smith did running the Wildcat then sure they will call plays for him more, but the chances Tebow gets will be to add a new wrinkle or another dimension to the offense. If the day comes that the Jets have decided to give up on Sanchez, and no that hasn’t already happened, that will be the day they will look to try Tebow as their quarterback. For now he’s a football player that the Jets hope can help them win games, while Sanchez continues to be the starting quarterback.
“He’s going to be a football player … It says a lot because he has the quarterback tag, but in all actuality and respect Tim Tebow is a football player. The things that he did when he was at the University of Florida, all he did was win ball games.” Holmes said, “Whether he was throwing the ball (or) he was running it, he made plays. Came to the NFL and all he did was make a few plays and help win very big ball games when people counted him out and I think he’s going to be that same guy coming to New York. To help fulfill a role of us winning more than eight games like we did last year.”
In the interview they also addressed Ladainian Tomlinson’s recent warning that Holmes could be a problem again if he only has 15 catches after week six. Holmes didn’t exactly say he wouldn’t be bothered at all, but that probably has more to do with the fact that he’s thinking their record probably won’t look so good if that’s the case. Holmes wants his touches, but it’s not about numbers as much as it’s because he genuinely feels he can help his team win with every chance he gets. Holmes did admit to learning from last year, but if things collapse again no one would be surprised if Holmes caused a scene again, but at any point that would likely happen the season would already be a lost cause and fans could take solace in the fact that Holmes definitely wouldn’t return the following year.
So while some in the media will choose to spin this as Holmes stirring the pot and causing a controversy, it’s probably better to focus on the fact that everything he said was absolutely correct and he went out of his way to praise both quarterbacks. Most importantly, he expressed full confidence that, despite all the narratives flying around the Jets, Mark Sanchez can and will play like the quarterback the Jets need to get back to to their winning ways.
“Tebow looked pretty good, he was on target.” Holmes said, “Sanchez has done everything that he can do to keep his starting spot and I think he’s going to be our guy this season and I’m not saying that with any bit of less confident than the way I feel about him coming into this season. He’s going to be our guy that we depended for the past couple years and he’s going to get the job done this year.”
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