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BlitzburghRockCity
08-01-2008, 06:01 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08214/901123-66.stm


Santonio Holmes seems to be growing faster than his yards per catch, which led the NFL last season. He talked about how he and his teammates cannot be selfish, about how his goals do not matter as much as those of his team. He acknowledged the many talents on offense but said it won't matter if players don't buckle down and produce.

In short, he sounded like a leader of the wideouts.

"It's hard for him to really become the leader," Hines Ward said. "I'm still here."

As Ward enters his 11th season, there is little reason to believe he no longer will serve as the standard-bearer for Steelers wide receivers, as he has done this entire century. Yet there is room for a second in command, and the rising Holmes wants to stake his claim in his third NFL season.

"It's going to be exciting this year,'' Holmes declared. "I'm looking for a lot of big things from myself. I'm expecting a lot out of our team this year ... I'm expecting to be more involved in the offense this year."

The next question for Holmes came with a lit fuse: Are you going to be Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 option in 2008? As an aside, Holmes led the Steelers with 942 yards receiving and nine touchdowns last season, and his 18.1 yards per catch topped the NFL. His 52 receptions were second to Ward's 71 as Ward led the team in catches for the ninth consecutive season.

"I'm looking forward to it, but Hines is still our go-to guy," Holmes answered. "We need those first downs, we need those small catches across the middle, we need a big-game play from Hines. He's still going to be there for us.

"I'm used more so as a deep threat, everyone would say. But, at the same time, I think my opportunity will come to become the leader of the team."

There does not have to be an either or with Holmes and Ward. In the ego-driven world of NFL wide receivers, everyone wants to know who the "go-to-guy" is, who's the "man." It's not really like that with the Steelers, although a big ego at anytime could jump in and try to make it so, Holmes is not taking the Chad Johnson-Terrell Owens-Randy Moss approach, and, with the kind of second season he had, he could start doing it if he wanted.

Holmes sounds interested in being the man, while acknowledging that Ward still holds that title. Had Plaxico Burress stuck around, the dynamic might have been different because Burress was more a contemporary of Ward's and ego might have gotten the better of their relationship.

But Burress left, and Ward became the mentor for all other Steelers wide receivers, including Holmes. And Ward believes Holmes is a worthy successor in the wideout leadership position.

"He's a great wideout," Ward said to open the topic. "One thing I like, he's a great student of the game. He's always asking. When I tell him something, its not, 'Oh, I know!' He says, 'I see what you're talking about.'

"He definitely has leadership skills. You don't have to be a vocal guy, just lead by example because there's always somebody watching you."

Santonio is slowly but surely working his way into the star role on this offense that we all hoped he would be. Right now this team still rolls as Hines Ward does as far as WR's go but as time goes on and especially this year Holmes is becoming the go to big play guy. As Hines' career starts to wind down in the coming season Holmes will just keep getting better and having a guy like Sweed waiting in the wings just really makes me excited for the future of our wide receivers.

BlitzburghNation
08-01-2008, 06:45 AM
Sirius'Moving the chains were at STEELERS training camp yesterday and I really loved what i was hearing from Mr. Holmes ~~~~:popcorn:

He said he's learned alot from hines and he said he's really learned how to practice better,,,,,,,, Tim Ryan & Pat Kirwin said that holmes should have a monster year !

SteelCityPride08
08-01-2008, 07:20 AM
holmes is a beast

JensK
08-01-2008, 07:27 AM
I hate how hines is always like: Well, he may be good, but im better and im the star here kthx! :P

holmes will be bens number 1. target this year, mark it down! :P

Iron City South
08-01-2008, 08:36 AM
Holmes may evenually be a beast, but let's not try to pass him off as Steve Smith just yet. Holmes is still benefiting from the halo effect that Steeler fans crown all their high draft picks with based on expectation alone. Yes, Holmes has had a few good games since earning his starting job role, but he's also vanished in many games too. The guy has some work to do.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-01-2008, 09:00 AM
Last year when Hines was out Holmes got most of the double teams so yes he is still learning..he's just now starting to hit the time when WR's hit their stride and really become the big threats you hope they will be.

I really like this humble attitude he has and his willingness to be taught and not act like he knows it all just because he was a 1st round pick.


"I'm looking forward to it, but Hines is still our go-to guy," Holmes answered. "We need those first downs, we need those small catches across the middle, we need a big-game play from Hines. He's still going to be there for us.

PsychoWard
08-01-2008, 09:18 AM
Holmes is a beast! I love the threat he brings to the team!! I think he is going to have a huge year this year!!!

abejota88
08-01-2008, 01:43 PM
I guess most DC will be wondering who they will have to focus on... do you double team Hines as always and leave Santonio alone? ... do you double team Santonio and leave Hines... if we can get a decent work from the O-Line... this Offense is starting to look like one of the best in the NFL.

I like what i see in Santonio, and he seems to learn everyday from Ward... i just hope he doesn`t leave the team like most of the good WRs we had this last years.

LatrobePA
08-01-2008, 02:32 PM
Holmes may evenually be a beast, but let's not try to pass him off as Steve Smith just yet. Holmes is still benefiting from the halo effect that Steeler fans crown all their high draft picks with based on expectation alone. Yes, Holmes has had a few good games since earning his starting job role, but he's also vanished in many games too. The guy has some work to do.

Steve Smith sucks! Holmes was better than him at OSU still in school.

I bet Holmes won't beat on and hurt his own player...

SteelCityKid5
08-02-2008, 04:35 PM
I think Holmes still has alot to learn. He's still a good player. I think once hines leaves in a couple of years you will start to see Holmes progress. I think its great that he can learn from an All-Pro wide out like Hines.