|Holmes reportedly doesn't care about the Tebow trade he just wants the ball. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Almost everybody has weighed in in Tim Tebow, the latest member of the New York Jets, but one person who hasn't -- and probably won't anytime soon -- is Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The silence is intentional; Holmes, the face of the team's Week 17 meltdown against the Dolphins, has spent the offseason traveling, training and steering clear of the spotlight.
On Thursday, after a four-hour workout, the Jets' team captain told the New York Daily News Manish Mehta that "The media don’t make me and the media don’t break me. I’m Santonio Holmes . . . and that’s it."
As for Tebowmania descending on the Big Apple, not only has Holmes publicly avoided commenting, those close to him say he's indifferent. "He didn’t really care (about the trade)," said a player who trains with Holmes in Orlando. "'Tone' just wants the ball."
It's exactly what New York cornerback Darrelle Revis said earlier this week when he described the Jets' locker room as "in disarray right now."
"People were just trying to find ways to win," Revis told ESPN. "Santonio wanted the ball. It wasn't negative, I think he wanted to be the guy who wins games for us. And then it blew up out of proportion and then it was Santonio is not siding with Mark [Sanchez], and it just blew out of proportion. And then [then-offensive coordinator Brian] Schotteheimer was in the mix of it too with the play-calling."
To recap: Holmes just wants the ball. It's pretty much what any NFL wide receiver would say. The difference: Holmes was frustrated with Sanchez last season, so there's a history there. It's one of the reasons head coach Rex Ryan held a day-after-Dolphins press conference admitting that he'd lost the locker room and that he'd spend the offseason fixing it.
It also explains this line of thinking: "[Santonio] said it’s all on Sanchez this time,” said the same player who trains with Holmes in Orlando. "If Sanchez trips (up), then he’ll be on the bench going, 'Tebow! Tebow!' like everyone else."
(Our initial reaction: be careful what you ask for, Santonio.)
Holmes' longtime personal coach, Tom Shaw, says that Holmes still has confidence in Sanchez.
"He wants Sanchez to be successful," Shaw told Mehta. “He’s never told me that this guy sucks. The one thing about Sanchez is that he doesn’t want to make mistakes. And that’s what Santonio says. Ben Roethlisberger would just let the ball go. He doesn’t care if (Holmes) is triple covered. If Ben thought Santonio could make a play for him, he’s shooting it in there. The more experience Sanchez gets, the more chances he’ll take. Then you’ll start seeing more balls to Santonio.”
Shaw does admit that things "got bad" for the Jets and Holmes late last season. “He was painted as a non-team player. When he got back here (to the training center in Florida), we talked about it in front of everyone. He said, ‘It wasn’t like that.’ It wasn’t all about where he was actually screaming at everybody on the field and then he came off the field and just quit."
As for Holmes, he's not interested in talking about the Jets. Mehta writes that even when given one last opportunity to refute the perception that he played a non-trivial role in tearing the locker room apart last season, Holmes had just three words: "I don't care."
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