Santonio Holmes: 'I can't throw it to myself and catch it'
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Santonio Holmes is only one man.
And there's only so much he can do within a Jets offense that still is finding its way with a rookie quarterback and new offensive coordinator.
During his weekly news conference Thursday, Holmes said he doesn't know why Geno Smith has had such a hard time targeting him this season or why the football rarely seems to come his way.
"I played 49 plays and all I know is I had one catch," said the veteran receiver, whose only contribution in Sunday's 38-13 loss to the Titans was a 25-yard first-quarter reception before he was forced to leave with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter.
"That's the offense's job. I can't throw it to myself and catch it, otherwise I would," Holmes said, echoing similar sentiments from Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks last month.
"But I just have to do my part, which is the position that I'm playing, which is primary 'X' receiver. And a lot of times you get double-covered, you get taken out of plays, the progression and the reads from the quarterback have to go elsewhere."
Holmes, the Jets' top receiver, has only 10 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown in four games. And he likely won't have another ball thrown to him for a while. Coach Rex Ryan strongly hinted Thursday that neither Holmes nor second-year receiver Stephen Hill (concussion) will face Atlanta at the Georgia Dome Monday night.
That means Smith, who had two interceptions and two fumbles against the Titans, will have to keep pace with a high-powered Falcons offense with a makeshift receiving corps.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Smith and Holmes have the second-lowest quarterback-receiver completion percentage in the NFL (10 catches, 23 targets). Falcons receiver Julio Jones has 33 catches in 49 targets for 481 yards.
But although Holmes has praised Smith publicly, the wideout went out of his way Thursday not to support the rookie, who is completing 57.4 percent of his passes.
Asked for an assessment of Smith's decision-making and accuracy against the Titans, Holmes said: "I honestly think my perspective to you guys wouldn't matter, so we'll allow the coaches to take care of those responsibilities and make the corrections and the changes and the things that need to get corrected. My job is to go out and catch footballs and make plays.
"What I say doesn't matter," he added. "It's what we do in the meeting room and on the practice field."
The practice field is one place Holmes hasn't spent much time this week. After rehabbing a Lisfranc injury in the offseason, the 29-year-old now is trying to recover from the hamstring injury, which could sideline him for a few weeks.
Holmes said his hamstring suddenly felt "really tight" on Sunday while he was running downfield, away from the ball.
"So I just decided I couldn't run anymore," he said. "I stopped and walked off the field."
Holmes said he "came back feeling 100 percent and ready to play in the first game" of the season after recovering from his Lisfranc surgery -- a clear departure from his previous comments. He also said he now realizes his rehab from the foot injury affected his overall conditioning and likely contributed to this latest setback.
"My hamstring feels like it hurts," Holmes said, adding that this is the first hamstring injury severe enough "that I've had to miss a ballgame.''
Said Holmes, "I wouldn't be able to describe [the pain] unless you had it. And to describe it would mean details and such that I can't . . . That's about what I can give you right now. It hurts."