FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Santonio Holmes has a bit of advice for Bill Belichick just in case the Patriots' coach is thinking about slapping rookie cornerback Devin McCourty on him for most of Monday night's contest: You better not do it.
Holmes doesn't think any rookie cornerback can cover him. Period.
"Negative," he said yesterday. "That was proven Super Bowl Sunday two years ago, when they had a rookie follow me around the whole game. I wouldn't do it if I was them."
Holmes, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, was referring to Arizona's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a cousin of Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Holmes had nine catches for 131 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds left, so the strategy of lining up a rookie on him didn't exactly work.
"No, no,'' Holmes said with a laugh. "Not at all.''
Holmes isn't overly impressed with the Patriots' youthful secondary. Besides McCourty, the NFL's 31st-ranked defense features a pair of second-year starters in cornerback Kyle Arrington, a Hofstra product, and safety Patrick Chung.
"If I could really speak my mind, I would," Holmes said. "But just off the strength of me being a professional, I don't worry about those guys.
"We have to worry about what we have to do here. I don't care who they line up over there on the other side of the ball. It's our job to get the job done and play well and throw pitch-and-catch, run the ball, block those guys and get out of there with a victory."
Rex: Goofed on Woodhead
Perhaps it's a bit of gamesmanship, but Rex Ryan admitted he made a mistake waiving Danny Woodhead on Sept. 14. The running back/wide receiver was let go to make room for wideout David Clowney, who's since been released and signed with the Panthers.
"Do I regret cutting him?" Ryan said. "Yeah, absolutely right now I do."