Lightning-rod wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who spent last week with New York Jets teammates Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow at Sanchez's "Jets West" passing camp in California, said Monday night he doesn't think a two-quarterback system can succeed in the NFL.
But he believes the Sanchez-Tebow dynamic can work because it will be scripted, with Tebow operating from a specific set of plays -- or so the Jets claim. Without that, Holmes suggested, it could pose a problem for Sanchez.
"You have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of a game and it starts from the preparation in practice," Holmes said in an interview on the NFL Network. "(It's) knowing the first couple of plays that he's going to take these reps, it's getting the feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you, it's making the mistakes early in the game to finishing the games at the end.
"You don't just change a guy out just because he has a few mistakes early into a game. Coming into this season, we have a lot to expect from Sanchez."
The Jets plan to use both quarterbacks, but they've been emphatic about Tebow's role, insisting he's not competing with Sanchez and that he'll be deployed each game to run Wildcat-style plays.
"Tebow is going to have plays where he comes in and plays," Holmes said. "Whether he plays at quarterback, Sanchez is on the field or off the field, those are the plays that coach has designed for Tebow to be ran that week. I'm pretty sure he's going to get them done and he's going to do his job just as well as any other quarterback would when they get an opportunity to get on the field."
The great experiment begins July 26, when the Jets report to training camp in Cortland, N.Y.
Holmes, who clashed with Sanchez at the end of last season, spent last week in his teammate's hometown, Mission Viejo, Calif., to participate in the quarterback's annual passing camp. About a dozen players showed up. There was a heavy security presence to prevent fans and media from watching the practice sessions.
Holmes, who missed last month's minicamp because of a pulled hamstring, said Tebow "looked pretty good. He was on target."
Holmes gushed about Sanchez.
"Sanchez has done everything that he can do to keep his starting spot, and I'm thinking he's going to be our guy this season," the Jets' top receiver said. "I'm not saying that with any bit of less confidence than the way I feel about him coming into this season. He's going to be our guy that we depended on for the past couple of years and he's going to get the job done this year."
Holmes also responded to comments made recently by former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, who said in an NFL Network interview that he suspects Holmes might complain again if he doesn't get the ball in what figures to be a run-heavy offense.
"I didn't say anything about last season until Week 17," said Holmes, overlooking critical comments he made around midseason. "It hurt to play seven games and only have 20 catches. But you do live and you learn.
"LT, I wouldn't say he's wrong, but I don't think it would be right if I had anything to say come Week 7 and I only have 20 catches again. Just play it out the way it played out last year."