Ryan, Holmes clear up flight ordeal

Updated: May 2, 2010, 12:05 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan spoke to receiver Santonio Holmes, who was the subject of an incident report filed Thursday night when a flight attendant reported he did not follow her instruction on a plane to Pittsburgh.

Holmes told his coach that it was a misunderstanding.

Holmes told Ryan he was sleeping in the back of the plane as the flight attendant woke him and asked him to turn off his iPod. He told Ryan that he did, but didn't take out his earbuds.

"He was tired so he never took out the ear things," Ryan said. "So he laid back down and the lady came back and asked again and he said, 'I did, I can hear every word you're saying. I have it off.' "

Holmes even took the earbuds out and asked a woman sitting next to him to confirm there was no sound coming out. When the plane landed, Holmes was asked to wait to speak with police officers, who didn't file charges and considered the matter closed.

"When Santonio told me, I totally believe him," Ryan said. "It's one of those things I guess, but I believe Santonio and I look forward to him being a Jet and playing here."

An initial report yesterday said that Holmes was escorted off a plane after being disruptive. That report was inaccurate, according to the incident report released by the Allegheny County Police Department and a follow-up e-mail.

"He was asked to remove his iPod [at one point], in which he complied," the e-mail read. "There's no further information to report."

There was some confusion as to why the department e-mail said he complied, but the initial incident report said Holmes had to be reminded to follow instructions from the flight crew. Holmes' version of events appears to clear up that contradiction.

Holmes, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP, was traded by the Pittsburgh Steelers for a fifth-round pick in part because of his troubles off the field. He is suspended for the first four games of this season after violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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