Re: Ryan on Holmes Benching
posted at 1/1/2012 10:37 PM EST
New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes "quit" on the team during the final two minutes of a season-ending loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
AP Photo/Lynne SladkySantonio Holmes was not on the field for the closing minutes of the Jets' season-ending loss, and a team source said the captain "quit" on his team.
"There were guys in the huddle not happy with Santonio's demeanor throughout the game and in the two-minute drill," said Jets running backLaDainian Tomlinson. "And they said something to him about it."
The Jets captain was yanked as his team tried to rally in the fourth quarter Sunday and avoid elimination from the playoff race. To compound the soap opera, coach Rex Ryan said he thought Holmes took himself out.
The Jets lost 19-17 to the Miami Dolphins. Following the spat with teammates, Holmes was replaced byPatrick Turner.
"It was a coach's call," Holmes said. "Patrick came in and tapped me on the shoulder and told me to come out."
The decision may have come from an assistant coach aware that Holmes had argued with teammates. Turner said he was sent in by wide receivers coach Henry Ellard.
"I looked out there and I was wondering why he wasn't out there myself," Ryan said. "No, I didn't bench Santonio. ... Somebody told me he was on the bench."
Ryan said he didn't want to comment further until he knows the particulars.
The team source told Schefter that Jets offensive tackle Wayne Hunter got into a shouting match with Holmes after the wide receiver said something the players resented in the huddle.
"It was definitely boiling" in the huddle, Tomlinson said. "Guys had had enough of it at that point."
According to Tomlinson, players said to Holmes, "C'mon, we still have a chance."
"It's tough for guys to follow a captain who behaves in that manner," Tomlinson said. "When you are a captain, guys are looking for you to lead by example, and you have to play your tail off to the last play."
Said Holmes of the commotion in the huddle: "I can't explain what that was about. Emotions were running high on the field between two guys on the same team."
Tomlinson criticized Holmes for his "demeanor, body language -- not really into the game, feeling like it's over, feeling sorry for himself. We were still in the game."
Holmes has developed a reputation in the locker room for not working hard during the week, the team source told Schefter.
Holmes, who was held without a catch for the first time in his 88-game career and was only targeted once, was asked if he thought he deserved to be removed from the game.
"I don't think I did. If it was my lack of jogging back to the huddle ... there were penalties and referees taking their time, so I shouldn't have to rush myself," he said.
But Turner said that "may have had something to do with the way he handled it."