Former NFL Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes talks playoff chances for former teams

When former nine-year National Football League wide receiver, and Super Bowl XLIII MVP, Santonio Holmes talks about the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, people should listen.
After all, Holmes starred for both teams in deep playoff runs: the Steelers won the Super Bowl after the 2008 season, while the Jets made the AFC Championship Game in his first season playing in the Meadowlands.
Recently, Holmes spoke about the upcoming NFL season, and how he thinks his former teams will do in 2022 with both playing in tough divisions.
What are your hopes and expectations for Pittsburgh this season?

To have a coach be tenured for as long as coach Tomlin is complementary to completing winning seasons. Every game you go in ready to play, and each man that has been drafted or brought to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s their duty to get better, to practice, to perform as professionals. That’s why you’re here, show us what you got. The outcome is the outcome.

How would you rate their chances of making the playoffs?

The professionals that have been there three, five, seven years, those guys come with a different attitude. For the Steelers to make the playoffs this year, that’s the kind of attitude they’re gonna have to come with this season, a winning attitude that exemplifies the performance of their veterans during training camp.

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Do I think they have a chance to making the playoffs? 

Every year they have a chance to make the playoffs. We love beating up on the Baltimore Ravens, we still like smashing around the Cleveland Browns. And at the end of the day, the Cincinnati Bengals are getting better, but we still have to treat them like the Cincinnati Bengals. We have to perform that way.

Who do you think should be the Pittsburgh QB1 and why?

I think Trubisky definitely fits the role of QB1 one right now, and coach Tomlin has made that decision. There are legitimate reasons why, and it’s his job to lose. The next man up, just definitely be ready. Injuries happen, God forbid anything to happen to Trubisky.

He’s wearing a very pretty-looking number, the number 10. I like to see that number 10 do well and throw his hands up for touchdowns and victories, just as much as you saw me throwing my hands up.

Where do you rank the current group of Steelers receivers?

Right now, giving these guys a grade between one and five, you’re gonna put them in the middle, a three. They have the experience from Diontae, they have the size from Claypool, and with Pickens being able to play inside and outside, that gives him a dual threat to stretch the field on both sides.

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I really see these guys having some fun this year, and if we can keep our running back healthy and be able to run the ball as much as we’d like, those passing lanes will open up for our receivers.

What have you made of what you’ve seen from Pickens so far?

He’s becoming a pro. Obviously, his name has been talked about, and for good reason. I’m excited to see what he brings to the table this year.

There’s a lot of weapons on the field, but keeping guys healthy, starting with the O-line up front, being able to protect Trubisky, giving him a chance to read his targets. Each of those guys has to play off each other’s back. Don’t go in with the mindset of being selfish, it’s all about playing together as a group.

What are you hoping to see from the Jets this season?

First and foremost, the New York Jets have to stay healthy. We have to keep our main core guys healthy. Whatever that takes. Whether it’s getting down, whether it’s throwing the ball out of bounds early, whether it’s avoiding the next hit, tackling the right way, keeping your head up, whatever it takes. Playing with professionalism in mind will allow you to have a productive season.

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With the culture, just allowing those guys to go out and have fun. Let them be free, let them put points on the board. Let’s light the city up. Let’s get everybody excited. Let it all just come out at the beginning of the season and keep it rolling, because I love to see some wings fly high in MetLife.

How do you rate their playoff chances this year and in the coming seasons?

Starting off with the division, it’s tough when you’re dealing with Buffalo and New England. Buffalo is up and coming, New England is becoming re-established, and you’ve also got a hard-nosed Miami Dolphins team that can win with the best of them. So, as far as the Jets making it to the playoffs this year, man, very slim chance. But I’m always going to root for the New York Jets, and I hope that they do make it.