Share This Page

Holmes focused on game, not trade

Santonio Holmes said he is over it. Honestly. Truly. Almost.

Asked about Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Steelers, who traded him to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick in April, the receiver said the Jets' 22-17 victory in Pittsburgh last month was enough for him to finally let go.

"The personal game is out of the way," said Holmes, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP. "I got a chance to beat them the first time around. This time it means everything. The game is about getting to the Super Bowl. I don't care about the Steelers right now."

Really?

"If we win the Super Bowl, then everything is personal," Holmes went on to say. "That's a slap right back in those guys' face for trading me. But right now it's not a focus of mine."

Holmes' tenure in Pittsburgh was marked by highs and lows. He caught the game-winning catch in the waning seconds of Super Bowl XLIII, but he also was cited for cited for marijuana possession in 2008 and accused of throwing a glass at a woman in a bar in Orlando, Fla., in March.

The NFL suspended Holmes for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Holmes called the trade a "learning experience."

"I had to learn the business aspect of this game, which entitles things like this to happen," he said. "Things like this happen to big-time players."

Holmes has been a big-time player for the Jets, making crucial catches in each of their upset playoff victories over Indianapolis and New England. He wore a T-shirt celebrating "The Flight Boys," the Jets' trio of wideouts that also includes Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards.

"It's something we want to prove to ourselves that we can be a great group of receivers," Holmes said.

There is a fourth Flight Boy, the multipurpose Brad Smith, who is hampered by a groin injury. But he is more like a stealth pilot. "He's our secret service guy," Holmes kidded. "We don't talk about him too much."

They'll have to go through a player Holmes described as the best he has seen — Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who missed the teams' game last month.

"I honestly think Troy Polamalu is probably the greatest player I've ever played with or even seen play in person," Holmes said. "The things that he did in my four years of being there, and prior to me getting there, was just disrupt a team.

"He's jumping over the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball, tackling runners in the backfield, jumping up and intercepting the ball one-handed.

"In my eyes, I think he's the greatest player I've ever played with."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.