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Posted at 09:34 AM ET, 01/02/2012

Santonio Holmes: LaDainian Tomlinson says “you’ve got to lead by example”


Santonio Holmes was benched and alone as the New York Jets’ season ended. (Lynne Sladky / AP)
The New York Jets didn’t just stagger to an 8-8 finish that fell far short of Coach Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl guarantee, they finished with a meltdown in which players were ripping wide receiver Santonio Holmes for quitting.

Some teammates reportedly said that he quit weeks ago and one even called him a cancer, but there was visible proof of the situation late in the Jets’19-17 loss when Holmes was benched in Miami.

One Jets player publicly discussed the behavior of Holmes — the Jets’ captain — in frank terms after the game.

“Let me just say there were some guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone’s demeanor,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said, via nyjets.com. “When you have a group of guys that’s fighting their butts off, and one guy, for whatever reason, their demeanor’s not with them, you’re going to get some guys to say something to him and tell them how they feel. That’s what you got today.”

Specifically, Tomlinson said players were saying “things like ‘Come on, man. Let’s go.’ ... that type of thing.” The result was that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who’s on the hot seat, benched Holmes, a move that Ryan was not aware of. LT said he intended to speak to Holmes about this latest Jets mess.

“My advice to him, I’m going to talk to him. We’re going to keep it between us, the advice I’m going to give him,” Tomlinson said. “I don’t want to put it out in the media, the stuff I will tell Tone. But we will have a conversation.”

Hmmm...maybe LT’d be a better captain. In any event, Holmes is likely to be back if only because he’d be an enormous salary cap hit for the Jets.

“I’ll tell you what, it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. You’re a captain, guys looking at you. You’ve got to lead by example,” Tomlinson said. “You’ve got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that doesn’t happen, you will have guys look at you in the way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader.”

Tomlinson wouldn’t speculate on what set Holmes off, but said he was “not really into the game. Just feeling like it’s over. Feeling sorry for themselves.” And LT brought up an excellent point. No matter how upset players were “we were still in the game. We were still in the game.”

By  |  09:34 AM ET, 01/02/2012

 
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