Santonio Holmes does not have a lot of time to make a decisive impression on his new team. But the Bears are not going to put their offense at risk against the Seattle Seahawks on Friday just to find out what the former Super Bowl MVP has to offer in the quest for a No. 3 wideout.
But CenturyLink Field is a notoriously loud venue, the Seahawks bring a defense that won a Super Bowl, and the chances for foul-ups are there even with players who have been with the Bears all offseason, let alone ones who just signed in the past several days.
As a result, Holmes is far from a lock to get on the field in Seattle unless a final practice Wednesday provides necessary indications that he is ready.
“I just want him to feel comfortable, to be able to go in there and perform and not put our team in position where his mistakes would create mistakes around him,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We don’t want that to happen. We want to give him the best chance to succeed on an individual basis as well.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler has invested added time in Holmes’ orientation process but “he’d probably be honest [and say] he’s a little bit rusty,” Cutler said. “He’s been out of football. But getting in and out of cuts, catches the ball well, extremely explosive, fast. He’s exciting. We just got to get him caught up with everything right now. It’s hard coming I n where we are offensively and just kind of throwing him into the mix.”
Specifically, and realistically, that “mix” is with Cutler primarily. Receivers who don’t fit with Cutler won’t fit with this offense.
“It’s going to be big,” said Holmes, who entered the NFL in the first round of the 2006 draft at No. 25, after Cutler had gone No. 11 to Denver. “He knows who I am and I know who he is. I know what he has to offer and I have to prove to him what I have to offer to the team, which is showing up, being on time, being accountable, catching every pass from him and showing him how hard I want to work on offense.”