The Chicago Bears third preseason game is coming up on Friday night against the Seahawks, and the Bears are still unsure if they will play new WR Santonio Holmes after signing him Saturday. Even Coach Marc Trestman is unsure at this point, only two days away.
“I can’t say that right now, ” Trestman said. “I think we’re trying to get him to that place. I think I’ll know a little bit more after practice tomorrow. We’ll see where he’s at. We’ll talk to him and we’ll see if he’s ready to go and get some playing time.”
Holmes already appears to trying his hardest to be ready for Friday night, when he went out an hour after signing his contract with the Bears to practice and learn the offense with QB Jay Cutler. Cutler noticed that Holmes still has the speed to make him a serious deep threat in the league. But, Cutler knows that the Bears cannot just throw him into the Seahawks game not knowing the offense.
“He obviously knows how to play football, ” Cutler said. “He’s been around a long time, been in a few different systems and been successful. It’s just a matter of getting him caught up with our verbiage, how we like to do things, the little tweaks we like, and just kind of get in a rapport with him timing wise. It just takes time. He’s explosive. He’d probably be honest [and tell you] he’s a little bit rusty. He’s been out of football. But getting in and out of cuts, [he] catches the ball well, extremely explosive, fast. He’s exciting. It’s hard coming in where we are offensively and just kind of throwing him into the mix.”
With Marquess Wilson being out, Holmes seems to be the logical replacement for the No. 3 receiver spot to compliment Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but Trestman is not ready to just hand Holmes the job. Trestman is still giving veteran WR Josh Morgan reps with the first team offense. Morgan has five catches for 77 yards after the first two weeks of the preseason.
“He’s had two good weeks of practice, two good games, productive games, ” Trestman said. “He’s made plays out there. I think he deserves a chance to step up now and get the first opportunity to do that. He’s a powerful guy. He’s explosive. He’s got straight-line speed, and he’s got experience. He’s the most experienced, other than Santonio, of any of the receivers that we have.”
Still it appears that the Bears are comfortable with Holmes if Morgan is to falter. The former Super Bowl MVP has impressed offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer in practice since joining the team.
Kromer said Holmes “has been impressive in practice. Especially today, he stood out.”
Time will only tell if Holmes will play Friday night in Seattle, but one thing is for sure, Holmes will make some kind of impact. Mike Greenberg on the Waddle and Silvy show Monday (8/18 podcast around 54 minute mark), went as far as to say that:
“You (Chicago Bears) will end up winning one game because of Santonio Holmes and in that division, that one game could be the difference between making and not making the playoffs.
If Santonio Holmes can win one game for the Bears, than it is worth the veteran minimum that Phil Emery spent on the former Super Bowl MVP and Champion.