Santonio Holmes has a new offense to learn, a new image to portray and bunch of new names to memorize.
Such is life for the Super Bowl XLIII MVP who was shipped here for a fifth-round pick in last week's draft. But he's slowly getting used to his new environment, which he admits is a challenge.
"Right now, the biggest adjustment s getting adapted to being in a new area," Holmes said last night at a Jets charity event when I asked him about the stiffest challenges he's facing. "You know, learning a new system is OK. But at the same time, I’m not focused on learning a new system. I’m focused on how well we are going to get along as a team and move forward."
Holmes, a Florida native, is now spending most of his time up here in the New York metropolitan area. He's ineligible to play in the first four games after violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but can participate in OTAs, training camp and preseason games.
But that hasn't tempered the energy among some of the Jets fans he's met in his short time here since getting jettisoned by the Steelers.
"Everybody has been pretty excited, pretty much talking about having the opportunity to see me play in person," Holmes said, "and also the opportunity that they get to have an elite receiver be a part of the Jet nation."
As for his new teammates?
"The fellas are definitely excited to have me around," Holmes said, "knowing what we've been missing is a big play receiver and a guy that’s going to be consistent with the team. We are definitely excited about moving forward."
Perhaps no one is more thrilled than Mark Sanchez.
With Holmes on board, the second-year quarterback now has a ton of weapons at his disposal. The two typically communicate daily, even if it's Holmes sending a simple text message to see how Sanchize is doing.
Sanchez isn't yet completely able to do many football-related activities, but he's managed to take Holmes out for a test drive of sorts a few times.
"We’ve throw a couple of times already and now the most important part is just getting our chemistry down," Sanchez said. "It’s going to take time, it’s going to take effort on both our parts. But he’s so open and ready and apt to learning. So that’s going to be just about getting our timing down and going through these routes, explain to him what I’m looking for.
"And that’s where the real communication starts."
That communication will have a four-week lull while Holmes serves his suspension, though. He won't be able to suit up in the regular season until Week 5, but it'll be a doozy of a game to mark his return.
The Jets will host the Vikings (and likely you know who) on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 11, the only home game during a month-long stretch that commences following the Jets' initial two games of the season against the Ravens and Patriots at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
"I’m definitely going to be excited, just the whole buildup with me having to deal with the four-game suspension," Holmes said. "It’s something I have to deal with. But at the same time, it’s allowing me to grow, understand the system, see the players for how they are, who they are, how they play, and be able to fit right in with these guys."
The sooner the better since the Jets are already the sexy pick -- even by their own peers -- to get to the Super Bowl.
"What are friends saying? Holmes said. "Most guys are just saying that we are loaded, that we have the opportunity to be a good team and make it to the Super Bowl. We just have to put it all together with the chemistry building around the team."