“Tone Time” on Sunday night didn’t come in the fourth quarter, but in the locker room after the game.
In a post-game meeting, Jets wide receiver and team captain Santonio Holmes called out his teammates for their sloppy offensive play in a 34-17 loss in Baltimore. In the game, Holmes had just three catches for 33 yards, despite being targeted 12 times by quarterback Mark Sanchez. A frustrated Holmes lashed out, according to Sanchez, who told the media on Wednesday about the meeting, but said the details would remain inside the Jets locker room.
Holmes acknowledged the comments, but no details emerged about an incident that is already making a splash in the media. He said he’s already forgotten about the remarks and is focused on the next game.
“I talked about everybody and if anybody feels bad about that, then I’m sorry, but as a captain that’s my job to point it out, amongst ourselves. And if the media took it the wrong way, then I’m sorry for it,” Holmes said. “But meaning it to dictate something negative on our team, I didn’t sign back here to be that guy.”
Since being acquired in a trade last spring, Holmes has emerged as the Jets’ most consistent playmaker. His clutch plays late in games has earned him the nickname “Tone Time.” In fact, his partnership with Sanchez has been seen as a major reason why the young quarterback developed so quickly last year.
But after the disappointing loss to the Ravens, Sanchez seems to have emerged as a target of Holmes’s choice words. In response to his honing in on Sanchez, Holmes said he called out everybody on the offense from the line to the wide receivers and not just the player nicknamed “The Sanchise” by his teammates. Going just 11-of-39 for 119 yards and an interception on Sunday night, Sanchez had one of his worst performances as he now enters his third year in the league. He has been constantly hit this season — including 15 sacks — as the Jets’ offense has failed to make strides from last year’s postseason run.
Sanchez didn’t complain about Holmes’ remarks, but he also said that something like this will not go public again.
“Moving forward, that won’t happen. We’ve talked about it, and those individual improvements and stuff, that happens on a personal level,” Sanchez said. “You go with your coaches and you go through your reads, and I’m going to get better, but that kind of stuff doesn’t go past this locker room.”
Holmes endorsed his quarterback and said that his relationship with Sanchez was fine Wednesday at practice.
“As far as what he has going on, he’s our starting quarterback — we’re going to continue believing in what he’s doing for us right now,” Holmes said. “And I think right now, he’s doing a wonderful job. What I said in the meeting before, I don’t remember, that’s last week.”
Making matters worse, former Jets quarterback Joe Namath — for the second time in as many weeks — leveled criticism at the offense and called out Holmes for his play. Holmes, who was combative in his response to the media for much of Wednesday afternoon, brushed aside Namath’s remarks.
“Joe Namath doesn’t work for the New York Jets. He doesn’t coach here; he doesn’t have anything positive to say about us,” Holmes said. “We can’t feed into what he talks about on the outside to the media.”
Holmes made it clear that no one was spared in his remarks after the Baltimore loss, including himself.
“Whatever it is we talk about, it’s among ourselves,” Holmes said. “I have to do a better job of holding onto the ball; he needs to do a better job of completing the pass. I think we can go on from there.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.