Saturday, July 29, 2006
Steelers' Holmes doesn't apologize for multiple arrests
LATROBE, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Santonio Holmes
offered no apologies. No excuses, either.
Holmes, arrested twice since being the first wide receiver
selected during the NFL draft in April, doesn't think the incidents
have affected his status with the Steelers or their fans and
declined Saturday to say he was sorry.
"I haven't gotten any negative feedback from any fan I have
seen around the city since I've been here, which is about a month
and a half," Holmes said after completing the team's annual
camp-opening run test. "So I don't think I have anything to say to
those guys. They know what I can do on the field, what type of
person I am on and off the field."
Holmes faces an Aug. 15 trial in Columbus, Ohio, for domestic
violence, an incident that involves the mother of one of his three
children. He also pleaded innocent to disorderly conduct charges
filed in Miami in May.
Even if Holmes thinks differently, the two arrests troubled the
Steelers, and director of football operations Kevin Colbert said
the team will closely monitor his situation. Holmes faces possible
discipline by the NFL if any more problems occur.
However, the Steelers did not feel it was necessary to include
any extra language in Holmes' $8.11 million, five-year contract
protecting them if he could not play as the result of any off-field
problems. Colbert said the team felt the standard NFL player
contract offers sufficient protection. Holmes' deal guarantees him
"He set himself back with a couple of incidents. ... Now, it's
up to him to take the next step," Colbert said. "We're
comfortable he will take all the necessary corrective steps on and
off the field."
Coach Bill Cowher said he will talk to Holmes about the player's
troubled summer, but first wanted to see what Holmes said during
his news conference Saturday.
Holmes also hasn't endeared himself to at least one Steelers
player, and it's an important one -- Ben Roethlisberger, the man who
will throw Holmes' passes. The quarterback said he tried to call
Holmes several times during the summer, but Holmes never returned
Asked Saturday if the two ever talked, Roethlisberger said,
"Yeah, when he showed up yesterday (Friday) we said `Hi' to each
Holmes didn't seem to think there was a problem with the Super
Bowl-winning quarterback, saying, "I didn't get any calls from
Less than a day since signing his contract, Holmes took part in
the mandatory series of 14 40-yard sprints that each uninjured
Steelers player must complete before the team begins practicing.
Before reporting to camp Friday, Holmes spent the week working out
with Hines Ward, the Steelers' Super Bowl MVP receiver.
"I wouldn't say it was a piece of cake. It was pretty tough,
but I prepared myself well during the time I was in Pittsburgh,
training on my own and then training with Hines," Holmes said.
Nine players skipped the runs because of medical concerns, the
most of any recent Steelers camp. Among those not running were
quarterback Charlie Batch, center Jeff Hartings, running back Duce
Staley, nose tackle Casey Hampton, linebacker Joey Porter, right
tackle Max Starks, defensive end Shaun Nua and tight end Walter
Porter had knee surgery two months ago, and Cowher said he
likely will begin camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Hampton, a Pro Bowl lineman whose listed weight is 325 pounds,
had problems with the run test three years ago. On Saturday, he
took part in several 100-yard runs that weren't part of the
Steelers' prescribed running test and trailed badly in his group.
"Casey tweaked a hamstring last week running for the test,"
Cowher said. "I was surprised. He said he tweaked it, but I didn't
know he could run fast enough to tweak it."