NEW YORK -- The blistering heat reminded him of his childhood in Belle Glade, Fla., but this was Roosevelt Island, tucked between Manhattan and Queens, with the East Side skyline as a backdrop.
Santonio Holmes showed up Saturday for a charity flag-football event, sponsored by UStadium and his Third-and-Long Foundation, among others. The Jets wide receiver, in a good mood, talked extensively about his surgically repaired foot.
Holmes declined to give a target date for his return, but is cautiously optimistic he'll be ready to go for Week 1 against the Buccaneers. He wouldn't say when he expects to be cleared for practice, but he's expected to begin training camp next week on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
He also talked about the quarterback competition, but not much. Holmes has been publicly supportive of Mark Sanchez, saying on more than one occasion that he expects Sanchez to beat out rookie Geno Smith. Asked if he'd be surprised if Smith wins the competition, Holmes said, "If Rex (Ryan) loves him, we have to love him."
Holmes said he hasn't talked to Sanchez about the competition.
"Why would I do that?" he asked.
Holmes, coming off a severe Lisfranc injury, could miss significant time in training camp. That could hurt his ability to develop chemistry with Smith. Holmes downplayed that angle, saying he got to know him a little when Smith was in high school in South Florida.
"I've known Geno since he was in high school," Holmes said. "I met his father and spent some time with him. I caught a few passes from him amd, you know, just kicked the breeze with him a little bit. I definitely know him personally. I'm excited he's on our team. I think everyone else is as well."
It's a long way from Miramar High to the NFL.