Brian Schottenheimer Benched Santonio Holmes, Not Rex Ryan
The New York Jets would have needed a lot of help to clinch a wild card spot on Sunday, so they decided not to complicate things. By losing to the Dolphins, the Jets closed out a disappointing season and failed to reach the postseason for the first time in three years. The biggest story of the day was the benching of Santonio Holmes. After the game, an unnamed teammate said Holmes “quit” on the Jets. According to the NY Daily News, it was the decision of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to bench him — not Rex Ryan.
According to several players, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who may have coached his final game with the Jets, decided to take Holmes out during the Jets’ final drive of the game. Holmes, who didn’t have a catch, had a heated discussion with teammates earlier in the second half, two players told the Daily News. They also felt that Holmes “quit” on the team based on his body language. When Holmes’ replacement, Patrick Turner, scored a 10-yard touchdown with 1:24 to go, Holmes sat alone on the bench, motionless.
“I looked out there and was wondering why he wasn’t out there,” Ryan said of Holmes. “I did not bench Santonio.”
Holmes and Schottenheimer did not speak to each other after the game. When asked if he thought Schottenheimer should return as the Jets’ offensive coordinator next season, Holmes simply said, “Right now, let’s hope for the best.”
Holmes signed a $45 million contract with New York during the offseason, so trading him probably isn’t an option at this point. An argument could be made that Ryan’s comments — or lack thereof — reflect the difficulty of that situation. Rex made it clear that he was confused by the decision to pull Santonio from the game, which wasn’t exactly a way of offering support for Schottenheimer. While disciplinary problems are certainly nothing new for Holmes, it is more likely that he will return to the Jets next season and Schottenheimer will not.