CORTLAND, N.Y. -- No longer does Santonio Holmes have to worry about demanding the ball more. Nor does he run the risk of being "the scapegoat" for the Jets' problems.
During a 12½-minute ESPN radio interview, he expressed excitement about the season and teaming with Mark Sanchez. But he also voiced frustration about how he was used in the finale at Miami last season and the approach of former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
"It was the end," Holmes said of a loss in which he argued with tackle Wayne Hunter and was benched in the fourth quarter.
"It was playoffs on the line and your best receiver doesn't get but two passes thrown his way in 60 minutes. That's just hard to understand and to cope with . . . And nobody has the answers for it, but the scapegoat. The scapegoat is the answer. And that's what happened."
Holmes did, however, accept some responsibility for the locker room's turmoil, saying on air that he should have not have aired grievances with players to the media. He took responsibility for "not saying the things that were asked of me to say and just learning how to hold my tongue and to be more critical of myself instead of others.''
Coordinator Tony Sparano has alleviated Holmes' concerns about getting the ball more, saying that "no matter what, he's going to make sure we're all taken care of. And I think bringing in that attitude this season is probably something that we were missing back then," Holmes said.
Holmes also took a shot at Schottenheimer, calling Sparano "more of a coach. He knows how to coach the team as opposed to being an offensive coordinator. And I think [that] . . . is what we needed and what we didn't have last year."