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LaDainian Tomlinson: Santonio Holmes could still be issue

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was all smiles

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was all smiles following practice at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (June 13, 2012) Credit: Joe Epstein

Santonio Holmes is already creating anxiety around the Jets. And he hasn't even said or done anything yet.

No, this time ex-Jet LaDainian Tomlinson is responsible. During an appearance on NFL Network's The Rich Eisen Podcast, Tomlinson cautioned the Jets that Holmes may not be pleased if he doesn't believe he's targeted often enough.

“If (by)Week 6, if they haven't thrown the ball more than 15 times a game, and Santonio is not getting his catches, you may hear some thing (with) him speaking out,” Tomlinson said. “I hope Santonio learned from what happened last year. You have to learn from your previous mistakes.”

Tomlinson is referring to Holmes' well-documented benching during the final game of the 2011 season, when the standout wideout got into an argument with teammates while in a huddle. Holmes had a career-low 654 yards last season, and his 51 receptions were the second fewest of his six year career. He did tie a career-high with eight receiving touchdowns.

But regardless of who starts at quarterback, Holmes should get his share of catches. Mark Sanchez attempted 33.9 passes per game last season in 16 games (all starts), while import Tim Tebow attempted 19.35 passes per game in 14 games (11 starts). So Tomlinson's “15 times a game” figure might not be quite accurate.

Tomlinson's comments appeared to be a warning for a ground and pound quarterback like Tebow. But the Tebow-Holmes minefield may never become an issue at all, as Tomlinson expects Sanchez to continue holding the starting quarterback reins.

“Mark's our quarterback,” Tomlinson said. “Tebow will be our Wildcat quarterback whenever we want to ground and pound. Santonio may be able to accept that a little bit more than playing musical chairs.”

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