The Jets know that their big offseason acquisitions are crucial to their success for the year, and wide receiver Santonio Holmes is one of the biggest.
Holmes, acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh, has been added to bolster the offense, and feels that his adjustment to the team in training camp has gone well so far.
"Camp has definitely been a steppingstone," said Holmes. "I'm learning and building camaraderie with the other players. I think it's only a step to how far I can go and how far I'm willing to carry this team if they allow me to because I'm a new guy."
The fifth-year veteran and Super Bowl XLIII MVP has had little trouble with the physical side of the transition from the Steelers into coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's Green & White system. He only needs to fully internalize the new playcalls and verbiage.
"I think as far as running routes and being in position is all second nature," he said. "But learning the terminology is the hardest part for me."
Holmes arrived at Cortland three days late into camp to be with his son, Santonio III, who has sickle cell anemia and underwent surgery to remove his spleen. He cares about his son very much and contacts him as much as possible, but he is aware that he has to also focus on the task at hand while in camp.
"When he calls and tells me he's down, it gets to me," he said. "But once I come here to work and put my pads on, my attention doesn't come back to him until practice is over. I'm here to work, to focus, and no outside distractions are allowed on the practice field."
Holmes has made the most of building a relationship with his new quarterback. He went out to Southern California to Mark Sanchez's passing camp, known as "Jets West," to bond with him and his fellow receivers a few weeks before he became Sanchez's camp roommate at SUNY Cortland.
"He's fun," said Holmes. "He works so hard that he would go out and throw the ball nine million times if he could. We have to calm him down when he makes mistakes. We know he's not perfect but he works to be and we admire him for that. We'll be there for him no matter what and allow him to grow as a better person and quarterback."
As the Jets prepare for their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, Holmes believes that this offense with all the weapons it has can be the best offensive team in the league come the regular season.
"The sky's the limit," he said. "You hear a lot of guys talk about it, but we truly believe it. I think the more we get opportunities to play, the more we can showcase in practices and games. The coaches are confident, the quarterback believes, and we're on fire."