The Chicago Bears thought they had a great candidate to be their third wide receiver in Marquess Wilson. Then he broke his collarbone, and a search for his replacement was on. Several players have been used, but no one really caught the coaches’ attention. Then they added to the competition by signing Santonio Holmes.
As soon as Holmes signed with the Bears, he was out on the practice field working with Jay Cutler.
Speaking to reporters, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer talked about Holmes. “You know, Santonio was here, probably had signed his contract and 60 minutes later he was on the field with Jay, and throwing routes,” he said.
For his part, Cutler likes having Holmes.
“He’s done a great job of picking up the offense. We’ve just got to get him caught up with everything right now.” -Jay Cutler
“It looks good,” Cutler said. He’s done a great job of picking up the offense. [Receivers coach] Mike Groh has done a good job working with him and trying to bring him up to speed.
“But getting in and out of cuts, catches the ball well, extremely explosive, fast. He’s exciting. We’ve just got to get him caught up with everything right now. It’s hard coming in where we are offensively and just kind of throwing him into the mix.”
Holmes had one catch for seven yards in last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. He did play in 17 snaps of the Bears’ offense.
Expect Holmes to get more passes thrown his way this week against the Cleveland Browns. He should be a little more acclimated with the offense, and it will be the last time he will be able to impress the coaches enough to stay on the team.
Holmes will be battling Josh Morgan, who has been the leader to replace Wilson.
There is also a chance he could get a look as a returner. Coach Marc Trestman hinted to reporters that it may be a possibility.
Holmes played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was Super Bowl MVP in 2009. He also played with the New York Jets, where he had tumultuous relationships with his teammates. He also had a serious foot injury that ultimately cost him his job(combined with the negatives of course).
The problems he had with former teammates should not repeat in Chicago. Holmes knows this is probably his last chance to stay in the NFL, so he will be on his best behavior. Also, with a leader like Brandon Marshall, he could have the cache to keep Holmes in check.
If Holmes is over his foot, and with strong leaders like Marshall and Cutler, this signing could be one of the top plays of the season.