"I was a little upbeat this morning," he said. "I was up early, walking the dog, got myself situated, driving to practice ready to go. I sat in meetings at attention. Everything was a little bit different."
Holmes, acquired from Pittsburgh in April, is expected to start Monday night against Minnesota after sitting out four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
"I'm ready to get the season started for myself," he said.
However, he certainly wasn't very introspective. When asked if the experience of being suspended had changed him, he replied, "To look in your eyes and be honest with you, not 1 percent. I've been the same person since I stepped foot in the NFL. I'll continue being the same person until I leave. I didn't have anything to think about. Everything was already done in the process. It's time to play football now."
Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, was arrested in 2008 for possession of marijuana and involved in a domestic violence incident in 2006.
"I'm a football player," Holmes said. "What happens off the field happens off the field. It doesn't affect anything I do or what I'm capable of doing."
"I think he's going to be a huge thing for us," coach Rex Ryan said. "He looks like he hasn't missed a beat. He looked good."
When Pace was asked if he might be in for only a limited number of snaps in that game, he responded, "I'm full go, no turning back now."
However, he admitted that sitting out Sunday's win over Buffalo turned out to be a good idea.
"I think the extra time and not playing Sunday helped me out," he said. "We don't play until Monday, (so) every day I get more treatment. God willing Monday, it's back to normal."
Pace added, "I really could have played (against Buffalo). I just decided I thought it would be best to give it one more week to heal up. ... I just felt like I wasn't ready to play in the game all around."
But now? "I'm good. I really am."
Coach Rex Ryan said he is "confident" that Pace will be able to play Monday.
The Patriots will have to face Moss when Minnesota visits New England on Oct. 31.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 — Receptions Santonio Holmes had in Pittsburgh's opening-day victory over Tennessee last season. Monday will be opening night for Holmes, who missed the first four games because of an NFL-imposed suspension. However, he totaled five opening-day catches in his first three seasons in the league.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel honored to share the field with him, but I'm not playing against Brett (Favre)." — QB Mark Sanchez.