Though he tied his career high with eight receiving touchdowns, it's no secret that the end of the 2011 season was one that New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes would rather forget. Holmes had his lowest number of receptions since his rookie season, his lowest receiving yardage output of his career and, and despite having a "C" stitched on his jersey, was benched by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in the regular-season finale.
With a fully guaranteed $7.75 million base salary in 2012, Holmes was unlikely to be let go after the season. By being on the roster a few days after Super Bowl XLVI, Holmes had another $7 million (a portion of his 2013 base salary) fully guaranteed.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Ryan arranged for Holmes and Lal to meet at his house, even though the head coach was not going to be there himself. Holmes and Lal talked, an immediate connection was made, and shortly thereafter, Lal was hired.
"Sanjay was the right guy to bring in at the time," Holmes told Mehta. "When we met at coach Ryan's house, we saw eye-to-eye with everything that we talked about. He's a tough-nosed guy, very mechanical, loves to work on technique and doesn't take any B.S. from the receivers."
That bond between Holmes and Lal sheds more light on an incident during the OTAs where Holmes had a "mini-meltdown," reportedly directed at Lal, for feeling overworked after missing considerable time while participating in a USO tour overseas. The media firestorm that created came as a surprise to Lal, who then praised Holmes' performance during the practices.