Monday, February 02, 2009

The MVP Meets the Press

Santonio Holmes met with the media this morning, here is the transcript of that session as provided by the NFL:

(NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s opening statement): “Before we talk about the spectacular show last night, let me just take a minute to thank all of you, and most importantly, our host: the people of Tampa Bay. It was a spectacular week, obviously capped off by a tremendous game. But we’re thrilled and we’re grateful to everybody here who did such a spectacular job for us in making sure that we all had a good week, and our visitors had a great week. I think (it’s) fair to say that did occur. As far as the game, you all are talking the same way we are: what an incredible performance by both clubs. The Cardinals deserve a tremendous amount of credit for playing all the way and (having) a tremendous season. But it’s the Steelers’ night. It was a performance for the ages. It was something that I think we’ll all remember, a back and forth game with some great team performances and some great individual performances … We’re here to celebrate that. We’re here to talk to the MVP. Santonio Holmes had just an extraordinary night. It was really something to marvel at. We’re thrilled that he’s here, and we’re thrilled that Mike (Tomlin) is here. They represent everything that’s great in the NFL, and we’re proud that they’re here. I’d like to bring up Santonio to get his MVP trophy.”

(Santonio Holmes’ opening statement): “It’s definitely a pleasure to be here. I’d like to thank my teammates, and first of all, thank the Lord upstairs for allowing me to be here and the opportunity he gave me to step out on the field and play to the best of my ability. I’d definitely like to thank the fans for their support (and for) being here, my family, my kids, everybody that’s been there through all the thick and thin, helping (to) provide the way for me, keeping me humble throughout the whole time I’ve been going up and down as far as this season. I’m really excited about getting back to Pittsburgh for this parade so that we can definitely enjoy it all together. So I’m open for any questions.”

(on whether he knows Jaguars RB Fred Taylor): “We’re actually second cousins. So I definitely know a lot about him.”

(on whether he will meet with Taylor in the near future): “I know he’s probably not going to want to bother me now. A lot’s going on. But I’ll definitely hear from him within the next couple days. I’ll definitely get a chance to spend some time with him this offseason. I know he’s very proud of me right now, coming from where we came from, the first guy from my high school, from my college, to win MVP of the Super Bowl. This is truly a blessing.”

(on what he did last night and whether Hines Ward has talked to him about how being the MVP of the Super Bowl changed his life): “Last night, I just spent time with my kids. I didn’t not want to be with the fans at the time, but I think my play on the field and everybody that witnessed me holding up that trophy, that sticky Lombardi, and being able to celebrate with everybody at the time, I’m pretty sure I knew that they appreciated that. But I definitely spent a lot of time with my kids, made sure they were well taken care of. I put on a movie. They were very excited about watching Madagascar 2 last night. We definitely spent a little time together, watched the movie. I really just stayed in and relaxed a lot. As far as talking to Hines about what’s definitely going to change about my life, he just told me, ‘Stay humble.’ Things are going to come for me, (I just need to) be ready to represent my family, this team, and this whole organization, because everybody behind me has my back. (He told me,) don’t lose sight of where I came from and definitely what I’m trying to accomplish for the rest of my life.”

(on what went wrong on the play before his game-winning touchdown): “It definitely can be thought of as redemption. It was a play that I should’ve made. Ben (Roethlisberger) put the ball where only I could catch it. I really took my eyes off of it thinking about keeping my feet down before I got my hands on the ball and just lost sight of the ball. But coming back, and having the faith in me and believing that I could be the one to make that play, he gave me the opportunity in the back of the end zone and I promised myself this time that I wouldn’t lift those feet off the ground.”

(on what he was thinking about the Larry Fitzgerald hype this week): “It was definitely our destiny to win the Super Bowl. I knew that he was a great player. He’s been doing great things thus far in the postseason, but I wasn’t worried about him. We have the number-one defense. We have guys that were definitely going to push forward to stop him from being the big-play guy that he has been all postseason. My thoughts, though, on how the game played out: it played exactly how it was supposed to. Our defense stepped up when they needed to. They gave up some big plays, but at the same time, when they really needed to clamp down on that offense, they did just that. (I) focused on what I know how to do and what my coaches allow me to do. I really wasn’t worried about anybody else. The Cardinals can’t win the Super Bowl for the Steelers. I know what I can do for this team, and the coaches and the players allowed me to just do that.”

(on his fluctuating performance throughout the year and why he was able to then come back from that and be the MVP of the Super Bowl): “Having that faith come from my quarterback and hearing him day in and day out, every Sunday, telling me, ‘Just stick with me no matter what goes on throughout the game, and we’re going to make plays together.’ Just hearing that from a guy that believes in the third-year guy, and allowing me to just go out there and play freely. The coaches, they always have my back 100 percent. Coach T (Tomlin), he’s always been there for me. We always have side conversations on and off the field. He’s just been believing in me in being a playmaker for him. Unfortunately (for the Cardinals), things happened the way we planned it, you know? My off-the-field goals that I set for myself to win the Super Bowl and to be a Pro Bowler didn’t (completely) work out in my favor, but I think that hoisting that sticky Lombardi Trophy works out more in my favor than anything.”

(on his off-the-field incident earlier this season): “The next day, I came in to work after that happened, and I sat down and had a meeting with Coach Tomlin. He told me how he felt, and he told me that he was going to handle the situation accordingly. At first, I didn’t want to hear that from my head coach. I was hoping that he just trusted my word that nothing went wrong, but I see that he put me in a better situation by handling the situation firsthand, getting the distractions away from the team, and away from myself, and allowing me to come back to the team the following week, ready to go. He accepted all of that.”

(on naming his game-winning catch): “I haven’t really thought about it. I’ll leave it up to my family members. They’re definitely going to throw some things out there for me to think about once I get a chance to settle down and talk to the family and spend some time with them. I’ll definitely have a name for that play once it’s all said and done.”

(on if this win was vindication for him and Ben Roethlisberger): “I think those quick passes early in the game kind of got him in the flow of the game and allowed him to relax. He knew he didn’t have any pressure on getting me the ball. We talked all week that if I get (double) teamed in the game early, I know that he’s going to feel comfortable playing the in the Super Bowl and (that) is going to allow him to just go out and play more freely. We all made plays tonight, myself, Hines Ward and Nate Washington, and we definitely can’t forget Heath (Miller). With the ability that Ben has to scramble, get open and escape from guys and throw us the ball, that’s what we do. Having a 6-5, 250-260 pound quarterback, knowing the strength and play-making ability that he has, we always know that there is a play to be made, no matter what.”

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