Holmes shows lack of contrition

LATROBE – Santonio Holmes caught most everything at Ohio State, but he dropped the ball Saturday, his first full day with his new team. In an opportunity to throw himself on the mercy of the court of public opinion, Holmes did the opposite ...

Defensive and almost bewildered at times, Santonio Holmes was asked if he has anything to prove to the fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I don't feel I have anything to prove to anybody," he said. "I just have to go out and show to the organization that I want to play football and that's what I'm here for."

Holmes of course was arrested twice since the Steelers drafted him in the first round last April. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and domestic violence, but he doesn't feel he owes the fans an explanation.

"I haven't gotten any negative feedback from any fan I have seen around the city since I've been here, which is about a month and a half," he said. "So I don't think I have anything to say to those guys. They know what I can do on the field, what type of person I am on and off the field. When I was a redshirt freshman at Ohio State, I would ask coach [Jim] Tressel if I could go and visit the kids at Children's Hospital. Only the veterans were able to go visit, but I was always one of the guys who'd ask if I could go and visit."

Holmes signed a five-year contract Friday that included a $4.52 million signing bonus. He ran with receivers and cornerbacks in the run test, which he completed without difficulty.

"I wouldn't say it was a piece of cake," Holmes said. "It was pretty tough, but I've prepared myself well during the time I was in Pittsburgh, training on my own and then training with Hines for the last week and a half."

Hines Ward worked with Holmes this past week in Pittsburgh. He called the rookie "a good kid" who will help the Steelers immensely. Holmes, in turn, has great respect for Ward.

"He's a great receiver," Holmes said. "There's nothing more I can say about him or his performance, because everything he has done has been left on the field. All the things he has done for me, showing me the way and telling me to put everything behind me and look forward to having a great season and a great career here in Pittsburgh. He told me the day I was drafted that if I ever needed anything to just pick up the phone and call and he'd be right there for me. He has been very helpful to me."

As for Ben Roethlisberger, who complained recently that Holmes did not return his phone calls, Holmes said: "I didn't get any calls from him."

Holmes said he doesn't have any individual goals for the season "because that would set myself aside from this team. My goal is to go and help this team win as many games as possible."

At least Holmes got one answer right.

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