Frustrated Santonio Holmes pulls himself early from Jets OTAs

New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes wipes New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes wipes sweat off his head during practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 7, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Santonio Holmes returned from Germany more enlightened, but also more gassed.

After missing four Jets organized team activities due to his recent visit with wounded and sick troops overseas, the wide receiver took it upon himself to limit his practice reps Thursday.

Holmes even threw his helmet in frustration. "I've been gone for a while so I can't be at full tempo like the rest of these guys and where they want us to be at," said Holmes, who told receivers coach Sanjay Lal he was getting too many reps.

The wideout was scheduled to take about 35 reps, but ended up taking 20 to 25.

Thursday was the ninth and final OTA session before next week's three-day minicamp, but Holmes said he hasn't progressed as quickly as his teammates due to his time away from football. "Right now, I'm at OTA [No.] 5," said Holmes, who said his main goal is to stay healthy.

But Jets coach Rex Ryan didn't seem bothered or concerned that Holmes asked for plays off. "I thought it was smart," Ryan said. "He knows his body better than anybody."

Holmes needs all the practice time he can get with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. That's why he's looking forward to Sanchez's "Jets West" passing camp in California next month. "Being out there I think is going to give the younger guys a sense of security knowing that we have our veteran, we have our leader here with us who's going to be helping us get on the same page," said Holmes, who did not attend last year because he was an unrestricted free agent. "And I think all of us just doing the same thing, at the same time, is going to be a great chemistry-builder."

Tebow also got an invite.

"He's one of our quarterbacks," said Sanchez, who said it was "ridiculous" to think the backup quarterback wouldn't be included. "All the skill players and quarterbacks are coming."

Tebow reiterated his friendship with Sanchez is "great" on and off the field.

"We both want to get better as football players, as quarterbacks and find a way to help this team win football games," Tebow said.

After a disappointing offensive showing Thursday -- which included two Sanchez interceptions and several dropped passes -- the starting quarterback said the goal is to be on the same page during minicamp.

Notes & quotes: Second-round pick Stephen Hill was an OTA spectator this week after tweaking his hamstring Tuesday. Despite "a lot" of tightness, the WR said he didn't need an MRI and plans to be ready for minicamp . . . The Tebow-led Wildcat package is beginning to take form. The backup QB practiced two direct-snap plays this week, but the team added they were "simple." . . . DE Quinton Coples lined up as a stand-up rusher on the outside in the 46 defense. The first-round pick, who usually has his hand in the dirt, said the coaches gave him the option of standing up on certain plays, depending on what the offense was showing . . . Ryan said the Jets had a 99- percent attendance rate during volunteer workouts -- the highest of his head coaching tenure . . . Former Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Aaron Glenn is back with the team as a scout.

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