Santonio Holmes will make another return trip to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Holmes, a first-round (No. 25 overall) pick of the Steelers in 2006, spent his first four seasons with the Steelers before being dealt to the Jets in April of 2010.
"It was circled since Day One — September 16th," he said of the Week 2 date in Pittsburgh. "It's just a day that I get to go back and showcase everything to these guys. I enjoyed playing for the Steelers. I had great moments with those guys — even winning my first ever Super Bowl and contributing to being an MVP (XLIII). But now it's time to do it for the team in green and white."
This weekend marks the third time Holmes will enter Heinz Field a visitor. He caught six balls for 40 yards in the Jets' first ever win in Pittsburgh — a 22-17 decision on Dec. 19, 2010. And five weeks later, he hauled in a 45-yard scoring reception in the second half of a bitter AFC Championship loss to the Steelers.
"Every moment that we left out there on the football field in the AFC Championship Game — I still think about it to this day," he told me during an interview that will air on Thursday's installment of "Jets Talk Live". "And I know the first time I walk into that stadium, playing for a team other than the Pittsburgh Steelers, I took a victory. And every time I walked into that stadium from here on out, I would like to have a victory leaving out of there. I think this is a great group of guys who wants to do the same thing. No matter where they came from — we just have to beat the next team that's in front of us."
The Jets put up a fireworks display against the Bills in Week 1, totaling 48 points as Holmes contributed with four receptions for 68 yards. A much-maligned WR corps thoroughly dominated an overmatched Bills secondary as both Stephen Hill (5-89-2TD) and Jeremy Kerley (1 TD reception and 1 PR TD) established team records at MetLife Stadium.
"We went out and displayed who we really are," Tone said. "I think a lot of critics were wondering when the New York Jets were going to show up. The preseason didn't really show as much as it did (Sunday). I think the guys really went out and played their tails off. It's the start of something special and we really believe in what we have going on and we're going to stick with it."
On Sunday, Holmes told NFL Network that the Jets had put the league on notice. I asked him what message they had delivered to the NFL.
"I think the message we sent to those guys is, 'Don't sleep on the New York Jets.' "
Jets Talk LIVEYou will hear plenty more from Tone if you tune it to "Jets Talk LIVE" Thursday at 3:00 PM. Also Bart Scott is scheduled to appear live in studio and you'll hear from more players throughout an action packed program.
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We will return with another "EA Q&A" on Thursday and I'm collecting your Jets, Steelers matchup columns and predictions for "Fan Friday". I will select one entry to publish folks, so let's get them in.