In the midst of their three-game losing streak, Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes added fuel to the fire in the Jets locker room by complaining about the play of the offensive line. Holmes hit hard at his teammates in the trenches, saying that they were not giving quarterback Mark Sanchez enough time in the pocket to find his receivers.
Now fast forward a few games. The Jets have won two in a row and are coming off a bye week, yet there is still an air of discontent from Holmes. Over the last two games, Holmes has just five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, a decline in production for the most expensive wide receiver on their roster.
Holmes got testy with the media when asked yesterday about his declining numbers.
“We’re winning ball games; we’re 4-3 right now. That’s really all I can ask for at this point. What, four touchdowns on the season I think? I think that’s a pretty good ratio — 22 catches for four touchdowns,” Holmes said. “That fits pretty well in my book right now.”
Pro-rated over the course of the next nine regular season games, Holmes would make 50 catches at his current rate during the 16-game regular season. That is $180,000 per catch for a player supposed to be a game-breaker. “Tone Time” may in fact be banker’s hours.
“In all actuality now, we’re here to win ball games. The numbers speak for themselves come the end of the day, whether you had three catches for one touchdown or four catches for three touchdowns. The numbers speak for themselves at the end of the day and all we can do is hope that we continue winning ball games,” Holmes said. “We can’t worry about how many catches and yards and touchdowns we put up in each game. We just know what we have to do week in, week out to help this team continue stacking wins.”
Somewhat backhandedly, Holmes talked about Sanchez needing to be calmed down emotionally at times throughout the season and then referred to his “young quarterback” and his maturation.
“He’s our general; he calms us; he keeps us under control. We have to control him a little bit when he loses his cool. He’s one of those guys always tapping us on the back, I got you next time, I got you this time,” Holmes said. “Just keeping us all spirited, high spirited. I think that’s a big key of being a young quarterback. Knowing you have two veteran guys who have been there, done that. We will complain a little bit about the ball but as far as the things he has to control right now, there’s a lot on his plate and he’s doing a real good job with it.”
This “I got you next time, I got you this time” mentality may explain why Sanchez sometimes seems locked in on his first read.
Sanchez denied that this was part of the Jets philosophy.
“We’re not in the business of keeping people smiling; we’re in the business of winning,” Sanchez said. “Whether it’s rushing it 100 times a game, is that the quarterback’s favorite game? No, probably not, but we win.
“I don’t think anybody is upset about it or anything like that.”
When asked about reports that he wasn’t happy with how much of the ball he is seeing, Holmes bristled.
“Never heard that one; next question,” Holmes said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it, never heard about it.”
Holmes was then asked if he’s happy with his current role. Rather than answer directly one way or another, he brushed aside the question, which will surely lead to similar questions in the future.
“We’re here winning ball games right now,” Holmes said.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.