Valentine Holmes is running out of time to impress.
Valentine Holmes is running out of time to impress.

‘It’s cutthroat’: Holmes refuses to give up on NFL dream

VALENTINE Holmes is refusing to give up on his NFL dream despite again getting little game time in the New York Jets' 28-13 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Holmes was handed a chance at punt and kick returner late in the match at MetLife Stadium on Sunday morning (AEST), but was unable to turn them into the eye-catching plays he needs to make the team's 53-man regular-season roster.

After the Jets declined to give him any opportunities to return punts or kicks in the first two preseason games, the former NRL star received his first chance with a little over four minutes to go against the Saints.

Holmes returned a 55-yard punt for 11 yards, but teammate Deonte Thompson was penalised for holding and Holmes' gain was erased.

The code switcher then had a 21-yard kick-off return but was quickly wrapped up. Holmes appears destined to spend the coming season stashed away on the Jets' practice squad, which allows him to train with the team but not play games.

"It's obviously good to have a fallback kind of plan that I can stick around here for as long as I can," Holmes said in the Jets' locker room.

Valentine Holmes was used as a punt returner for the Jets.
Valentine Holmes was used as a punt returner for the Jets.

"But obviously everyone in this room, their main goal should be to make that 53 because that's what we're all here to do.

"That's my main goal at the moment but if it isn't to be and I'm on the practice squad, then so be it.

"I'll still work hard to try to get up there and show the coaches I can play."

The 2016 NRL premiership winner conceded he didn't know where he stood in the Jets' pecking order, having been given no indication by Jets coach Adam Gase.

"I'm not sure. It depends how it goes, but it's pretty cutthroat at the moment so no one really knows how long you're going to be at a club for," Holmes said.

"So I don't have long-term goals. I don't really believe in them. I can't say what's going to happen in the future."

Valentine Holmes was unable to turn his chances into the eye-catching plays he needs.
Valentine Holmes was unable to turn his chances into the eye-catching plays he needs.

Holmes also admitted to missing rugby league at times - but not enough to abort his NFL plans and hurry back home to Australia.

"I try and watch it when I can and it's obviously at different times of the day so I keep up with some of the Sharks' games where I can and watch a lot of the highlights," he said.

"So I could say I miss it a bit, but I'm still excited and glad I made the decision to come here. It's pretty cool to be able to share a locker with these guys.

"Some of these guys I used to watch a few years back. A lot of the (Cronulla) boys watch it and we all kind of aspire not be like these guys, but they're cool athletes and very talented and to be able to train alongside them and play whenever I can, it's special.

"So I guess that drives me in itself and just being over here on one of the biggest stages."

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News Corp Australia


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