Santonio Holmes practiced for the first time with the Chicago Bears on Monday and met with reporters after practice.
While speaking with reporters, Holmes expressed excitement over his role with the Bears.
“I’m excited,” Holmes said. “I’m really going to embrace this opportunity and take advantage of it. This is what new guys get treated to. They get treated to an opportunity to learn the reps and know the plays that you’ll probably be sent in to run. I’m taking full advantage of it. My impression of the offense is it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting this year. I look forward to what we have.” -Santonio Holmes, ESPN Chicago
In Chicago, fans tend to get excited when the Bears sign a player that they have heard of. The reason Bears’ fans have heard of Holmes is because of his performance in the 2009 Super Bowl that earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. If Holmes was still the same player that he was in 2009, the Bears would not have been able to sign him this past weekend because he would have been signed shortly after the off-season began.
In addition, Holmes is coming off two significant injuries that the veteran has suffered in the past two years. Holmes suffered a hamstring injury last season that forced him to miss five games, and suffered a lisfranc injury in 2012 that forced him to miss most of the season.
But, unlike the Jets, the Bears simply need Holmes to thrive as a slot receiver.
In order for Holmes to succeed, the wide receiver needs to be familiar with quarterback Jay Cutler.
“It’s gonna be big,” Holmes said. “He knows who I am, and I know who he is. I know what he has to offer, and I have to prove to him what I have to offer to the team, which is showing up, being on time, being accountable, catching every pass from him and showing him how hard I want to work in this offense. I’m excited to be here with him. He’s taken me under his wing, talked to me and kept me close.” -Holmes, ESPN Chicago
Cutler is confident entering the 2014 season. Cutler is entering his second season under Marc Trestman and the early returns in the Bears’ first two Pre-Season game have been impressive. Cutler, when it comes to the Bears’ offensive scheme, is a perfectionist. Therefore, Holmes better get acclimated to the Bears offense and do so quickly.
Holmes needs to impress over the course of the next two weeks in order to secure a spot on the Bears’ 53-man roster.
If Holmes does make the roster, Trestman is not concerned with the veteran’s reputation as a locker room cancer.
“What’s in the past is in the past,” Trestman said. “I’m excited about it. I’ve watched him work the last couple of days. He’s been out running and catching the ball a little bit with Jay and the guys. It’s good to see him out here. We’ll see how it goes. This will be a one-day-at-a-time [situation]. We’ll just ease him on in and see where this thing goes on a day-to-day basis.”-Marc Trestman, ESPN Chicago
Holmes, while with the New York Jets, had a strained relationship with then starting quarterback Mark Sanchez as well as the Jets’ front office.
The Bears have a strong locker room and that is the reason why the team is confident that Holmes’ past is indeed in the past.