Santonio Holmes Interview Transcript 1/19/11

On Wednesday New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes addressed the media. Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On his emotions when he found out the Steelers traded him to the Jets…

“The main thing that went through my mind was what caused this to happen? I really didn’t ask any questions when it happened. I just accepted what was going on. I got a phone call from Coach (Rex) Ryan about five minutes after I got off the phone with the GM of the Steelers (Kevin Colbert), and I called my agent and told him I’ve been traded. (I’m) pretty sure he probably knew before I did. I got a phone call from Coach Ryan and he talked to me and said, “Welcome aboard.” I told him I’d see him tomorrow when I get in.”

On if he feels the Steelers gave up on him unfairly…

“I don’t know. I had to learn the aspect of the game and the business aspect of this game, which (allows) things like this to happen. I was very happy to get a second opportunity to play football and not really be concerned about what was going on. I had talked to Hines Ward prior to that happening. These type of things happen to big-time players. All you can do is just keep replenishing your career. If you get an opportunity to move somewhere else, don’t give up on yourself because someone else did. That’s exactly what I didn’t do.”

On if this game is personal for him…

“I think the personal game is out of the way. The personal game was (Week 15) when we played the Steelers. We got that game out of the way. I got a chance to beat those guys the first time around. This time it means everything, everything for myself, for this team, for this organization. We’re trying to get to the Super Bowl. I don’t care about the Steelers right now. Those guys are in my team’s way, which is the New York Jets. We have one goal, which is to beat those guys, and everything personal that happened (will be reflected) two or three weeks after. If we win the Super Bowl, then everything is personal. That’s a slap back in those guys’ face for trading me. Right now, it’s not even a focus of mine, and it shouldn’t be the focus of any one of my teammates or anyone in this organization.”

On Mark Sanchez’s leadership…

“He wants to be perfect every time. I think it’s our duty as receivers to let him know that mistakes are going to happen during the course of the game, but we need you to keep your cool because we’re going to ride with you no matter what. If you throw four interceptions, we still have to play until the end of the fourth quarter and if you want to continue to throw interceptions, that’s fine. But, if you want to give the play makers the ball and let those guys play and have fun, then do so because we’re going to have your back no matter what. I think he takes that approach now that he understands that he has three playmakers as receivers. He’s got two good running backs. I wouldn’t even say good, I’m going to use the word great running backs. In my eyes, these guys are great. He has time to give his playmakers the ball and let them do what they need to do.”

On the nickname “Flight Boys”…

“The Flight Boys is just myself, Braylon (Edwards) and Jerricho (Cotchery). We won’t forget the other guy (Brad Smith). We’ll talk about him, (number) 16. But for ourselves, it was just something that we wanted to prove to ourselves that we can be a great group of receivers. We’ve got a guy that’s been around this team for seven years in Jerricho, Braylon, who is a six‑year vet and a Pro Bowler, and myself who is a Super Bowl winner. We have play makers. We wanted to build something among ourselves so that neither one of us felt like we’re being left out. To say that we have Brad, who is our secret service guy, we don’t talk about him very much, because he does his dirty work elsewhere. He knows he’s a part of our group at all times.”

On how tough it is to play against Troy Polamalu..

“With all due respect, I honestly think Troy Polamalu is probably the greatest player I’ve ever played with or ever seen play in person. Everybody has their one person they think is the greatest player. In my eyes, I think he’s the greatest player I’ve ever played with. The things that he did in my four years of being there, prior to me getting there, was just disrupt a team. He’s jumping over the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball. He’s tackling running backs in the backfield. He’s jumping up, intercepting balls one- handed. He’s returning it for touchdowns. He’s done a numerous amount of things. Having him keyed in and keeping the ball away from him, playing sound football and not turning it over and giving him any opportunities to make those type of plays can definitely keep him from disrupting our team.”

On what is different about Rex Ryan…

“He’s a lot of fun. The way he speaks to us is in the mentality of a player. I think every one of the guys in here feels that (way). We respect everything that Coach Ryan talks about and the way that he carries himself. We keep everything that we do here, the way that he talks. You guys see it, you guys hear it. He talks to us the same way. He has fun with us on the football field at all times, but he’s definitely about business. When he can allow us, as a group, to just go out and have fun, we repay him by playing well.”

On winning playoff games on the road…

“Did we turn the ball over versus the Colts? Did we turn the ball over versus the Patriots? That is the key. That is the key to winning any ballgame on the road. Not giving those guys opportunities. Running a four‑minute offense with four minutes on the clock left to end the game and not turn the ball over. Not giving those guys opportunities to have their core guys on the football field that can make plays. If we (keep them) off the field this time around, same result. Same result is a victory.”

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