It surprised exactly no one when it was reported wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a “mini-meltdown,” at a recent Jets practice.
Well, no one except new Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, apparently.
Lal said it was a “complete shock to me that this was being reported,” according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The incident occurred on the final day of Jets OTAs, and which Holmes had missed of of because of a goodwill visit to an Air Force base in Germany.
But Lal said it was simply a player communicating to a coach that his legs weren’t ready to run so many deep routes, and that there wasn’t a problem.
“There’s an open book in our room: If you feel any muscle issue, we’re going to err on the side of caution, especially in June,” Lal said. “There’s no point getting hurt in June. So, a receiver coming to the coach and saying, ‘Hey, my hammy’s tight. Hold me down to short routes. Can you space out my routes more today?’ That’s done every day….
“So I really didn’t understand what the whole story was about. It was no different than two other receivers on that same day saying the same thing to me.”
It’s obviously in Lal’s best interest to advance that story. Holmes has clearly had issues with coaches in the past, and Lal’s new there. He’s trying to cultivate a relationship with his best player, so if spinning it his way only makes sense, even if it doesn’t pass the sniff test.