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Sunday, January 1, 2012
Update on Santonio Holmes' benching

By James Walker

MIAMI -- One of the hottest topics in the New York Jets' locker room after Sunday’s 19-17 season-ending loss to the Dolphins was the benching of receiver Santonio Holmes.

The Jets' No. 1 receiver was out of the game on a crucial drive in the fourth quarter with the season on the line. According to Holmes, he was taken out of the game by backup receiver Patrick Turner, who eventually scored the final touchdown.

"It was the coach's call and it happened," said Holmes, who was clearly upset.

Holmes said he doesn't know who made the decision to bench him but it came from the sideline -- and that's where the mystery begins. Before the benching Holmes got into a heated altercation in the huddle. He was only targeted one time in a must-win game.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said he didn't bench Holmes. That leaves offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer as the next possibility, although we don't know for sure.

When asked about his confidence level in Schottenheimer, Holmes responded, "Well, let's hope for the best." It was an interesting and somewhat coded response. At the very least, there appears to be a growing unhappiness among some offensive players and Schottenheimer, who enters the offseason on the hot seat.

It was a tough end to a frustrating season for Holmes. He was New York's best playmaker last year and received a big contract extension. But Holmes wasn't given the same opportunities due to poor play calling and inconsistent quarterbacking.

Things finally boiled over for Holmes, who also is a team captain, in the fourth quarter.

"There were some guys who were unhappy with Tone's demeanor," Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said candidly after the game. "It's tough for guys to follow a captain who kind of behaves in that manor."