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TONE: Learning to Walk Again Was Biggest Issue

Posted Jun 12, 2013

Transcript of Santonio Holmes' news conferences after the Wednesday midday minicamp practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

On the classes he took at Ohio State this summer…

Not just in Ohio, at The Ohio State University [laughter]. Classes were fun. It was actually a good thing to get back in school and get my mind off of being injured and being elsewhere. I had a really good time learning and actually just getting a chance to rest the body. It’s almost 20 years of playing football since childhood until this point. It was a good chance to get a time to rest.

On if he will be back on field when training camp begins…

Just take it one day at a time right now. I won’t know until it happens.

On how his recovery is going…

It’s going great, man. Rehab has been awesome. I’ve been working really hard with J-Mel [head athletic trainer John Mellody]. Taking it day by day, spending a lot of time in my hyperbaric chamber at home. So hopefully it definitely pays off when the time comes around for me to get back on the field.

On what he is doing now to rehab and get back on the field…

Pretty much limited to everything right now. Working out and that’s about it.

On if he can jog at all…

Just working out.

On what has been the hardest part of recovering from his injury…

Learning how to walk again. It’s been that hard to just get the feeling of your body to move in any everyday motion that you’ve been accustomed to for so many years. And to have something like this happen, it kind of puts a damper on your whole physical ability to do anything. So just learning how to walk again has been the biggest issue with me.

On if the injury puts in perspective his job as a professional football player…

I definitely learned what we do for a living cannot be compared to anybody else’s job or to anybody just thinking that they can do what we do. Because we put so much emphasis and stress upon our bodies to train throughout the offseason, to come into minicamps and OTAs to prepare, and then we get a six-week break to continue training. Then you go into training camp to continue training and then you’ve got a season for six months to play football and you constantly do that year in and year out. It’s very stressful to have to go through that.

On if he is comparing football players to other athletes or football players to people outside of sports…

Mostly compared to the people outside of sports.

On if it concerns him that there could be long-term effects of his injury…

I’m not necessarily focused on it. Ready for the season to come around and hopeful about the rehab I’ve been going through. I think Dr. [Robert] Anderson did a really good job with the surgery and getting me back on my feet. I’m happy to be walking again right now and that’s all I can look forward to.

On if he has any concerns that he can be the same receiver he used to be…

No.

On if it is frustrating to have to stand on the sidelines and watch practice…

I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating at all. It’s an opportunity for me to teach, to learn a little bit more, to gain a different perspective of the game, to continue building on the résumé that I’ve created for myself and for this team.

On what he thinks about the dropped passes in practice…

It’s been a struggle. It’s been something that we as receivers really rely on is catching the ball. I think that really makes the team move and motivates everybody on team. But when you have those opportunities, you have to take full advantage of them. That goes with the saying of being a professional at your job.

On if it is difficult because he cannot do anything about the dropped balls…

We’re still in the offseason so we're getting accustomed to everybody, going against guys and being physical at this point in time. It’s a learning phase for all the receivers. They have a long ways to go and hopefully we clear everything up come training camp and before the season.

On if he will be rehabbing at the Jets facility during the break after minicamp…

I’ll be here.

On how he decided to take a pay cut…

I was called by my agent. As far as taking a pay cut, that’s what we all do in our profession in order to sustain a long-term career in one place. You have to be willing to sacrifice for the team and for the better, not just for yourself.

On the team drafting Geno Smith and bringing in competition for Mark Sanchez

I think it will be fun for us all that we get an opportunity to see some other guys around here and hopefully it helps build a lot of character on the team.

On Tim Tebow getting another opportunity…

We’re so happy for him, that he got picked up by a new team, but no comments on his success and endeavors.

On his thoughts on the quarterback competition…

Probably leave it up to the coaches. There’s nothing I can do about it, being out right now, to improve on anything. So we’ll leave it up to the coaches.

On if Coach Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense benefits his skillset…

It’s been exciting. I’ve been known as a route runner and that’s something I pride myself on. To get an opportunity to learn from a different coordinator who’s been doing it for 20-plus years, he’s excited about bringing his offense here because he knows he has a bunch of young guys that he can continue to work with. And myself being a veteran, I can also teach the guys the things that he wants to reiterate to us as a team.

On how confident he is that he’ll be healthy Week 1…

No comments.

On how he would like to face Darrelle Revis…

It would be a great matchup. It would be a lot of fun to get out there and go against an old nemesis and a guy who’s coming off of injury himself. I wish him much success this season and hopefully he’s prepared and ready just like I will be.

On if it is strange not to see Revis at practice…

It was a little disheartening, being in Columbus, to hear all the negative talk about having him being traded and things like that. But in this place it’s a business and you move forward with life and everything else.

On if he watched games on TV last year…

I was pretty much watching every game that came on.

On the experience of watching on TV…

It’s different to see it from a fan’s perspective after doing it for so many years. You get to see some things that the fans comment so much on and understand that from my perspective it doesn’t go the way that the fans would like it to go. But it’s a sport that we all play and it’s physical and it’s very hard to get out and do what we do at such a high level.

On if Sanchez has to win fans back…

I don’t think he needs to win any fans back. He’s going to be our guy. Coaches brought him back and they kept him on this team for a reason. He’s a great leader. He’s a guy that has much potential and he’s excited about this season upcoming and so am I.

On if this team still believes in Sanchez…

I think everybody believes in him. He wouldn’t be here if anybody didn’t believe in him. He’s still wearing the same 6 jersey that he’s worn since the day he got drafted here and I think the organization and even the team loves him and we’re going to continue supporting him.

On if he believes Sanchez will be the starting quarterback…

For the most part. My comments that were made earlier about it, I think it still will be the same. But we’ll leave it up to the coaches, how they judge these guys throughout this time in minicamp.

On how he has assessed Stephen Hill

Stephen, Stephen, Stephen [joking]. Coming from Georgia Tech, it was very difficult for him as a player to learn how to run routes, to be a 6’3”, 6’4” receiver that was playing on an option team is what I’m trying to say, to being a complete wide receiver. It takes a lot of progress. And those things in the classroom are coming along and all we can do is continue talking to each other and building him up and continue to build him as if he’s the next Megatron [Calvin Johnson]. He saw this guy play and he saw the progress that he’d made throughout his career and that was one of the things that I spent time talking to him about yesterday is how can we build Stephen Hill into being that complete guy and it comes with a lot of learning and a lot of sacrifice.

On if his relationship with Sanchez has changed…

If it did I wouldn’t have been here and I signed back because of him, so nothing’s changed.

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