Part of the Bay Area News Group

Holland ready for new responsibilities

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 2:12 pm in Oakland Raiders.

News and notes from the Raiders’ practice Friday:

– Jonathan Holland last returned kickoffs in the 2008 preseason finale, averaging 35.5 yards on two attempts against the Seattle Seahawks with a long of 43 yards. Before that, he hadn’t returned kickoffs since his freshman year at Louisiana Tech.

“I guess they remembered that, and now they’re giving me the shot to do it all over again,” Holland said.

Holland failed to make the 53-man roster as a wide receiver and was brought back to the practice squad when coach Tom Cable had a surprising suggestion.

“He came to me with the idea of playing defense and he told me it would be the quickest way to get on the roster and contribute to the special teams,” Holland said. “I was like, cool, anything to get back on the team.”

The Raiders had two kickoff returns for touchdowns last season from Justin Miller, who was cut to in favor of undrafted rookie free agent Nick Miller. When Nick Miller came up with a broken bone in his shin, the Raiders turned to Louis Rankin. Rankin had 108 yards on six returns, an 18.0 average which tied him for 50th in the NFL.

Holland excelled on kickoff coverage after being promoted from the practice squad last season on Dec. 4, with a tackle and an assist in a win over Houston and three solo tackles in the season finale against the Buccaneers.

That skill, plus his speed, convinced the Raiders Holland was worth a try in the secondary.

“That first week of meetings I was kind of in there, scratching my head saying, `What’s going on?,’ ” Holland said. “We actually meet at 6:30 every morning, so it got me caught up to what’s going on, got a grasp of it real quick.”

Cable said Holland could play defense in certain packages which would keep him in man-to-man coverage.

“Based on what we do, there really isn’t a lot to it when you’re playing man coverage,” Cable said.

– By now, Erik Pears has grown accustomed to the curse of his height. At 6-foot-8, getting leverage against a squatty interior lineman can be a challenge.

“I’ve been hearing since the first day I started playing football, `You’ve got to get lower,’ ” Pears said.

Pears has never started a game at a guard in the United States, his last game there coming in 2005 in an NFL Europe game in Germany. He said he is growing accustomed to operating in a phone booth.

“It’s just a different animal that you’re facing,” Pears said. “You’ve got the quicker guys (outside). They’re all quick, but the amount of space in between outside there, they’re lining up outside. At guard they’re right on top of you, so it kind of happens a little bit quicker. But when it boils down it’s all football.”

It helps that Pears has a role model already in place. Robert Gallery, the man Pears is replacing, is 6-foot-7 and made a nice adjustment inside.

“As Cooper (Carlisle) said, we went from the tallest guard in the NFL to an even taller guard,” Pears said.

– Free safety Hiram Eugene (leg) has improved, but did not practice and is officially listed as doubtful, with Michael Huff taking over as the every down free safety. WR Chaz Schilens, Gallery and Nick Miller were all declared out.

– Defensive end Richard Seymour did not practice, but was being rested, according to Cable.

“Just resting his legs,” Cable said. “No issue there.”

– Tyvon Branch is so strong on special teams the Raiders have been hesitant to reduce his role in that area even though he plays every down at strong safety.

Punter Shane Lechler said Branch made a solo tackle on one of his punts that was so impressive it may as well have been put on a video loop.

“He made a tackle coming off a double team that was just textbook,” Lechler said. “We watched it about 10 times in film. It was exactly how you’re supposed to do it, but only a few people actually can.”

Cable said only part of what Branch does on special teams can be taught.

“I think you teach the how-to part of it and the responsibility-part of it, but the want-to is the individual.
And that’s something that makes him rare,” Cable said.

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  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Raider E Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Don’t they have like $1.00 nite at the A’s games?
    ==============================================

    If they do, that is $1.00 that I wouldn’t give Wolf/Fisher.

  • Silver-n-Smac

    # Silver-n-Smac Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Mario will have his hands full then.

    But, he usually shines against the big names.

    Do you remember him shying away from a challenge?

    He wiped out Mario Williams both times he’s faced him.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Elvis Dumervil’s emergence: Matched up against Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas last week, Dumervil was outstanding, finishing with four sacks. He has been the Broncos’ best pass rusher since he joined the team in 2006 and will look to build on his success from Week 2 this Sunday against Russell and the Raiders.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    If Dumervil got four sacks on Joe Thomas, I would say we have a problem. Of course, most of those sacks were probably Brady Crapp holding the rock too long. Sending a TE or FB in motion to his side to wham him at the snap might slow him down some.

  • Plunketthead

    Its friday afternoon. Where is everybody?
    MR— You are a changed man. Did you get laid again?
    Brien——Did you get a job?
    Norco—- The weeks up. Time to show your love for JR

  • 4evaRaider

    all in all tho…I never seen a team with such tall Line Men

  • Plunketthead

    I remember when we drafted Tyvon and many were BOOOOOOing and typing AL SUCKS!!!

  • Kirk

    Bush should be the starting running backs. Schilens when he gets healthy and Murphy should be the starting wides. Gradkowski should start at quarterback.

  • HayesDaze37

    TV Blackout? The NFL doesn’t “force” anyone to buy a ticket. Just like nobody is “entitled” to watch an NFL game on Sunday. There MUST be a cut-off time for ticket sales vs blackout…otherwise, the games would have 30,000 people at them every week (not just in Oakland, either).

    If anything…they should change the rule from 72-hours to 48-hours before…giving all teams a little extra time (esp. in this economy).

    Sad truth is…even when the Raiders are doing as well as any other team (yeah, rare lately…until this season)…the Coliseum’s a hard place to fill up.

    As our great Raiders “fan” friend KK just illustrated… he’d rather take the free TV version of “his” team, while slamming everything Al Davis does…and only goes to the game right down the street from him when he’s “forced” to.

    All those City/area improvements that could be funded by Raiders-related business success in Oakland? Cleaning up/developing the area around the stadium? All that takes money…and that money needs to come into the ticket counter at game time, or there ARE NO FUNDS.

    So, instead of hammering Al for failing to support the City…KK should be looking in the mirror and asking himself why he, himself, doesn’t support his hometown more by buying tix regularly…

    …instead of expecting all of us other ticket buyers to fund his rather unhealthy Raiders relationship.

    Now, he’ll take his $30 ticket and complain when they won’t let him into the private suites. Must be those Al Davis-loving, Alameda-hating racists at work again!

  • raidertay

    Ftorr Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
    Does anyone know of a place local where one can watch the blacked out game? or how far does one have to travel?

    ============================

    Ive been told that the Golden Bear, a bar in Oakland by the Lake shows blacked out Raider games, but I havent tested the theory out yet.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    The Games were always sold out before Davis took them To L.A.

    But maybe Dublin can build them a “decent” place to play.

  • Richochet

    Silver-n-Smac Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 1:59 pm
    Richonuts:

    You really ARE the least intelligent piece of doo doo in here.

    You generally have nothing to say, despite how smart you try and act. Your act is so shallow.

    Give it up dude.

    The diatribe you posted the other day about the Frank Gore having more yards than all the Raider runners combined???

    That was a perfect example of your ineptitude.
    ===================
    Actually, that was a perfect example of YOUR RUNNING BACKS INEPTITUDE.
    I stated a simple fact.
    Gore>McFumbleBush.

    All you did was get confused on the point.

    Oh..wait..it’s Slither N Sucks..now the confusion makes sense.

  • HayesDaze37

    Well, if they were doing it…the Golden Bear won’t be showing blacked-out NFL games any longer, now that their secret’s out. Super-big fines, and the NFL don’t mess around with it.

  • Richochet

    Plunketthead Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:28 pm
    Its friday afternoon. Where is everybody?
    MR— You are a changed man. Did you get laid again?
    Brien——Did you get a job?
    Norco—- The weeks up. Time to show your love for JR
    ———–
    By his own admission MR is one of those waffling bandwagon, always on the fence, fake fans. Raiders signed Russell 2 1/2 years ago..he just NOW had his Mom buy him a jersey, because of one win. He’s doing his homework right now.
    Brien? He’s a burner. He can’t remember where he was one hour ago, much less this morning.
    Norco? Chasing parked cars.
    Good thing he’s plump..the parked cars, so far, are eluding him.

  • raidertay

    What a stupid rule. I understand that the NFL wants to fill up the stadiums, but their rent is paid by those billion dollar TV contracts.

    I’ll be there but I still like to come home and rewatch the game on DVR. There is so much more you see the 2nd time watching.

  • Raider E

    Richochet in the house!!!! Whats happening Babydoll?

  • 4evaRaider

    WTF is a buner??? some sort of arsonist or something???

  • Richochet

    KoolKell Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:40 pm
    The Games were always sold out before Davis took them To L.A.

    But maybe Dublin can build them a “decent” place to play.
    ===============
    Dublin? lol…no chance.
    Dublin was mentioned a long time ago, when Al was dangling moving again, (as he did EVERY year right about season ticket sale push) Dublin rolled their eyes, and said “In your dreams..no WAY IN HELL”

  • Raider E

    I thought your mom bought MR the jersey Peaches. Well traded her food stamps $.50 on the dollar for it. Slighty used and a replica I believe. Oh well, Ho’s gotta eat too!!!

  • Richochet

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:52 pm
    WTF is a buner??? some sort of arsonist or something???

    ========
    Buner? lol…uh…nit? that’s burner.
    And if you need me to tell you ..THANKS FOR PROVING MY POINT about you and Raiderpuppy being Geeks of the Week. Now, go swoon over the idea of floating on a boat..in that direction..turn around..come back…over and over and over.

    4eva: “OH GOODY..I’M SAILING..LOOK MA, THE BOAT IS MOVING. YIPPEE!!

  • HayesDaze37

    Quickest way to get more sell-outs? Simple.

    Win more games. The Raiders must WIN MORE GAMES!

    And they will.

    It most certainly is a great day to be a Raiders fan. A great season to be a Raiders fan!

  • Nnamdi21

    Good job Branch!

    C’mon Raiders WIN!!!!

  • raidertay

    Whose idea was it to get rid of Justin MIller anyway?

    ======================

    JM has a really bad turf toe and will probably be hobbled most of the year. How long is NMIller out??

  • Raider E

    A burner is someone who smokes that dank 4eva :)

  • Richochet

    Raider E Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:48 pm
    Richochet in the house!!!! Whats happening Babydoll?
    ===============
    What’s up, Splatterass?
    So…details..how did your liposuction operation go?

    I hear a glob the size of a jelly donut clogged the tube?
    HEY..make sure they suck out each side evenly..we don’t want you teetering as you walk.

  • 90210

    I don’t see a W unless jafatso gets his fat head out of his big fat rear end!

  • 4evaRaider

    Oh my gawd…you are a woman

  • Raider Headbutt

    Ok answer this….

    You have $100 to your name and have a family to feed for the next week. How much of that money would you actually bet on the raiders this weekend to win the game? None of this family comes first stuff cuz we all know thats BS anyway lol jks.

  • Richochet

    Raider E Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:57 pm
    A burner is someone who smokes that dank 4eva
    ===============
    lol…Uh DoubleE??

    Let me state the inevitable..

    4eva: Dank..you mean dark? HUH??

  • raideredoutL.A.

    big game, pumped already. 1 thing i don’t miss from the raiders being here is the blackouts, sorry to hear that.

  • 4evaRaider

    100.00 baby

  • 4evaRaider

    I know what it is E I just cant believe we are called burners lol

    Now if she would have said STONER well thats the correct verbiage.And she says geek of da week and swoon and yipee and next she’ll be saying gee-willikers

    It’s S-T-O-N-E-R do you understand young lady???the word is STONER

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    If they release Rankin to make room for Holland, he’ll never clear waivers and he’ll probably end up in San Diego.

    Whose idea was it to get rid of Justin MIller anyway?

  • Raider E

    Everyone wanne know why Richochet crossed the road?

    Cuz his dic was stuck in the chicken :)

  • Nnamdi21

    ENGLANDRAIDER Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    If they release Rankin to make room for Holland, he’ll never clear waivers and he’ll probably end up in San Diego.

    Whose idea was it to get rid of Justin MIller anyway?

    =====================================

    He’s injured with turf toe and N. Miller was waaaay more valuable looking at WR than JU. Miller looked at DB.

  • Richochet

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:58 pm
    Oh my gawd…you are a woman
    ===============
    Just because E had lipo, doesn’t mean he’s a woman.
    Just a really chunky dude…

    Lighten up francis..

    And yes, still LMFAO at you and the “duh…wat’s a burner”?
    Classic Geek.

  • raidertay

    I thought a burner was an illegally purchased hand gun…lol

  • Richochet

    Raider E Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:03 pm
    Everyone wanne know why Richochet crossed the road?

    Cuz his dic was stuck in the chicken
    ==================
    Don’t be saying that crap..you’ll get banned.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    JERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FIX THIS EFFING BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Raider E

    So Richochet, all joking around aside , you are a Raider fan, right?

  • Raider E

    An illegally purchased gun is a throw away, Tay.

  • 4evaRaider

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    I know what it is E I just cant believe we are called burners lol

    Now if she would have said STONER well thats the correct verbiage.And she says geek of da week and swoon and yipee and next she’ll be saying gee-willikers

    It’s S-T-O-N-E-R do you understand young lady???the word is STONER

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    I really like that Cable quote about Fargas- “he runs so violently”!!!

    Yes he does!

    Our three-headed monster is back.
    Start Bush, alternate with Cable and run McFadden outside.

  • Richochet

    HayesDaze37 Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 3:55 pm
    Quickest way to get more sell-outs? Simple.

    Win more games. The Raiders must WIN MORE GAMES!

    And they will.

    It most certainly is a great day to be a Raiders fan. A great season to be a Raiders fan!
    ———————
    So THAT’S it?
    Win and you sell out.
    Lose and you don’t?

    Um…I have a question.
    Since 1981 the Niners have sold out each and every game, every year. With playoff games that’s almost 300 GAMES IN A ROW they have sold out.
    Yet they haven’t been to the SB in over a decade..

    So, what can you deduce from this?
    Niner fans are much more loyal and diehard than Raider fans…..

    And your theory has holes in it.

  • Raider E

    I will take your no response as an affirmative, Richochet. Its an industry standard lol:) Deep down you wave your pom poms for the silver and black.

  • 4evaRaider

    there aint nothing but football fans and queers in Frisco.And you do seem 2 know a lot about THAT side of da bay dont ya

  • Richochet

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:09 pm
    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    I know what it is E I just cant believe we are called burners lol

    Now if she would have said STONER well thats the correct verbiage.And she says geek of da week and swoon and yipee and next she’ll be saying gee-willikers

    It’s S-T-O-N-E-R do you understand young lady???the word is STONER

    ================
    STONER?? LMAO..how old are you? YOU HAVE TO BE AT LEAST 40..no one calls them stoners anymore…geez..flash back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    Let me guess?
    “WE SMOKE DOPE”, right?

    Yep..lol..you’re over 40.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    everybody is jocking the bronco d that statiscally looks good. 13 pts. allowed in 2 gms, they held cin. to 7 when cin. lit up GB. i watched most of that cin, den. game and observed a very sloppy, un-rythymed o by cin. with at least 3-5 drops for big gains. hearing about den. vs. cle., it was a close game all the way to the 4th then a couple turnovers made it laughable. cle. has been as bad as there is right now. dummervile is small but very quick around the edge, so lets run right at him. i say run right at them from the start, set the tone and lay some hats on ‘em. thats what we didn’t do in kc and it cost us. run counters and screens to keep ‘em unbalanced. imo

  • Richochet

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    there aint nothing but football fans and queers in Frisco.And you do seem 2 know a lot about THAT side of da bay dont ya
    ============
    lmao…look at 4eva getting frisky..trying to lay down some smack.

    BTW..that was sorryass weak, with all due respect.
    Points for trying..kick in the ass for the result.

    Work on it.

  • HayesDaze37

    Troll — Don’t even try to engage me in debate.

    You have nothing else for me but, “Win and you sell-out. Lose and you don’t?”

    Ummm, no Troll — I didn’t say that at all. I said the Raiders need to win more games. That would be the quickest way to sell-out more games.

    All you want is to scrape, Troll — Not a real debate about anything worth much time. Enjoy your misery with your other troll buddies, and the other troll personalities you use. But arguing just to argue is an art form you and yours deserve just for yourselves…rolling in your own misery.

    No thanks.