It's clear that new OC Tony Sparano is high on WR Santonio Holmes.
“I think that Santonio has special ability,” Sparano said on Thursday. “When you’ve been on the other sideline and in the other (locker) room preparing for players like the Jets have… having to figure out how you’re going to handle Dustin Keller, having to figure out how you’re going to handle Santonio Holmes or the running game…. This guy has really special ability. He can catch it and run with it He makes the hard catches. I’ve seen him make some really acrobatic catches. He works very hard at it. The guy wants the football…. The thing that I’ve noticed about Tone right now in my time being around him is that this guy is a competitive guy. He loves to compete. I like that with skill players. I just love the fact that those guys love to compete.”
Holmes, who had 51 receptions for a career-low 654 yards last season, expressed no regrets for how he handled matters down the stretch when he skipped a meeting organized by Mark Sanchez during the final week and got into multiple shouting matches in the huddle with teammates before getting benched by then-offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Holmes had a very disappointing 2011 due to lack of targets and poor behavior in the locker room. His 100 targets ranked 26th amongst WR1s around the league and he actually trailed Dustin Keller (115) for the most on the team. His Catch % (51.0%) was only better than Greg Little, Brandon Lloyd, Eric Decker and Mike Thomas amongst WR1s, which is surprising given his talent and the somewhat decent QB play of Mark Sanchez (at least when compared to Blaine Gabbert, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy). He posted a Catch % of 54.7% in 2010 in his first season with the Jets and 57.2% in 2009 with the Steelers. He's going in the 8th or 9th round in early fantasy drafts and -- assuming an increase in targets (with Plaxico Burress gone) and a return to his usual Catch % -- looks to be a good value pick at that point in the draft. Of course, his value would take a nosedive if Tim Tebow takes over at QB.