New York Jets captain and wide receiver Santonio Holmes apologized to Rex Ryan for getting a penalty for a touchdown celebration with his team getting crushed by the Eagles, and the coach stood by his player on Monday.
"I'll say this about Santonio and every other player on this team, they got my 100 percent support and we're in this thing together," Ryan said. "Are we perfect? No, none of us are perfect. Obviously you wish that thing never happened, I don't think it'll happen again. But again, I've got his back, he's got mine and this whole team is that way."
It was a poor performance all around for Holmes, who signed a five-year, $50 million contract after the lockout with the Jets. Ryan then made the wide receiver, who came to the Jets needing to serve a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, a captain.
After signing his contract, Holmes tweeted a picture of himself drinking a $200 bottle of champagne.
In the Jets' 45-19 loss to the Eagles, Holmes had a fumble and a drop -- both for turnovers -- in the first quarter. Both turnovers led to Philadelphia touchdowns, leaving the Jets in a 14-0 hole with 2:05 remaining in the first quarter.
Then, after catching a gorgeous 25-yard dart from Sanchez in the end zone, Holmes launched into the fly boy celebration, only to start flapping his wings to mock the Eagles. When he put his foot on the ball -- using the ball as a prop is a no-no -- he got called for taunting and cost his team 15 yards it could ill-afford on the ensuing kickoff.
"Just being a vet, you can't do silly things like that," Holmes said Sunday. "(It) cost our team 15 yards on special teams, giving those guys field position the way that they've been playing. I just can't do that."
Holmes, though, wore a customized Superman T-shirt to the podium at his press conference.
On ESPN 1050's Michael Kay Show, Ryan said that Holmes wasn't aware that using the ball as a prop was an automatic penalty. In his post game press conference, Holmes indicated that he was aware of the rule when asked directly. Ryan agreed that it seemed like Holmes had thought out the celebration ahead of time.
Ryan continued to back Holmes, saying that his wide receiver was trying to show the Eagles that the Jets had plenty of fight left in them. Earlier on the show, cornerback Antonio Cromartie defended Holmes as well, saying he was a good team captain and helped mentor younger players.
"I dealt with it the way I thought was appropriate," Ryan told Kay.
The wide receiver has called out the offensive line, quarterback Mark Sanchez and his own performances at various times this season. It chafed other players in the locker room, such as right guard Brandon Moore. Moore went so far as to publicly call out Holmes, and Ryan forged a truce by making them both captains for the Dolphins game on Oct. 17. A picture of them after the coin toss hangs in the Jets locker room.
Holmes was defensive after the loss to the Eagles.
"We've just got to come out and fight for each other," Ryan said. "We know it was a mistake and we learn from it."
Jane McManus covers the Jets and Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.