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Outspoken Holmes believes Jets need to open up passing game

Santonio Holmes will not be muzzled.

The Jets wide receiver was criticized two weeks ago for his negative comments about the Jets' offensive line and quarterback Mark Sanchez after an ugly loss to the Ravens. On Friday, Holmes was holding the conch again, despite his best efforts to censor himself.

"I may be criticized again for saying it, but I think it starts up front, and the big guys know it," Holmes said Friday, according to The Star-Ledger. "If they give Mark enough time to sit in the pocket and complete passes, I think everything changes. The routes that are being ran are short routes, 'Hey, let's get the ball out of Mark's hands quick, let's move the ball down the field, let's go from there.'

"But if you can't protect the quarterback for four or five seconds, then there's no point of dropping back 7 yards to throw a football when we don't have enough time. So we pretty much have to roll with the way our offense is right now."

The line will get a lift from All-Pro center Nick Mangold, who returned to practice on Friday, a sign he'll make his second straight start since returning from a high ankle sprain.

Holmes believes the Jets would benefit from a more vertical attack, and said there's been "a lot of talking in our meeting room" about how the offense could improve with more attempts to stretch the field. He said playing the Dolphins and their 31st-ranked pass defense won't necessarily be an elixir for the Jets' woes. After all, the Jets got beat by the Patriots and their league-worst D in Week 5.

"Obviously, it doesn't make a difference on our team," Holmes said. "New England was ranked what in pass defense? And what did we do against those guys?"

Ladies and gentleman, a captain of your New York Jets!

For all the latest injury news from around the league, go to NFL.com's injury page.

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