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Holland ready for new responsibilities

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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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Plunketthead

    Rico #64 & #70 are actually pretty good.
    You are much funnier when you are not bashing the Raiders.

  • Richochet

    HayesDaze37 Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    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.
    ========
    Fool..”engage you in debate”?? Are you serious?
    You’re defenseless. When have you NOT been defenseless?
    I expect more in a rebuttal from the board clowns and tools before I expect your sorryass to muster a cohesive thought.
    no, little whiner..I dictate..you listen. I correct, you humbly shut the hell up, and wisely bow out.

    You know, I know..hell everyone knows your best defense is no defense..just jump in the fetal position, and shut the hell up.

    Don’t make me tell you again.

    BTW..salt in the wound for ya..YOUR ANALOGY WAS CRAP..point was WINNING ISN’T GOING TO DO IT.

    Here’s something else you fake fans likely don’t know, including you, that in ’02? During the playoff run? Where JT the Brick was BEGGING FANS TO SHOW UP AND SUPPORT THE TEAM? Week 15 or so was BLACKED OUT..in a game that helped decide home field advantage..so SAVE YOUR IDIOT REPLYS..fool..because even when the Raiders WENT TO THE SUPER BOWL, GAMES WERE STILL BLACKED OUT.

    Now..back in your hole..shut the hell up..and pretend you COULD say something..if you ever found your balls.
    We both know neither will ever..happen..period.

  • 4evaRaider

    RaiderTay…exactly

    a throw-away…saturday night special…a burner

    Why does that young lady call Brien such a thing???

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Need another stoner. Here i is. Oh and a burner is a prepaid cell phone. At least it is where im from. Sup nation

  • Richochet

    Raider E Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:06 pm
    So Richochet, all joking around aside , you are a Raider fan, right?
    ———–
    All seriousness aside, I love the Raiders.
    What’s not to love?

  • HayesDaze37

    A burner is a fast WR.

    We’ve got a couple burners on this improving team.

  • 4evaRaider

    Sup 408…

    Some young lady doesnt even know what the words fallin out of her mouth mean

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Noshawns junk fell of so the donkeys will be giving lafat some carries on sunday

  • 4evaRaider

    HELL YEAH WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 4evaRaider

    LMAO oh King of FF

  • 4evaRaider

    =)!!!

  • Raider Headbutt

    A burner is that thing on the stove isn’t it?

  • Richochet

    Plunketthead Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    Rico #64 & #70 are actually pretty good.
    You are much funnier when you are not bashing the Raiders.
    ==============
    Actually, lol, I’m just as funny when I’m bashing the Raiders.

    it’s just Raider fans are slow..and it takes them a while to get it ;)

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    4eva why do you even feed that damn troll? Ill take happy troll over all the trolls on this blog. Oh nice w in ff last week

  • Raider Headbutt

    Ok so scores for the game sunday?
    Richochet I beleive you said 24-10 Denver yesterday? I know you picked Denver could be wrong about score. Any1 elsE?

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Thing on the stove. Lol

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Oh. Well thats coo. But if you dont feed the trolls they die.

  • Richochet

    Raider Headbutt Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:29 pm
    A burner is that thing on the stove isn’t it?
    =============
    Could be.
    Could also be what Oakgleen uses to copy all of his..uh…home movies of him and his chihuahua onto a disc..
    which is not to be confused with the “burner” which was 408′s last date..where he took her to Fisherman’s Wharf, and, without entering a single fish market, went home with the “craps”.

    All kinds of labels for burners..which can be confused with the 1970′s “stoners”, which should not be confused with the munchies..

    Pop quiz..what is the most frequently asked question of the topic de jour “burners’??

    “hey dude..what were we talking about, man…I forgot”

  • 4evaRaider

    408 me too.But Dogg aint here now and she was talking about him

  • HayesDaze37

    And if that particular troll was half as prepared for debate as he claims…he wouldn’t make up facts, or claim other people say things they didn’t…and…

    …he’d be smart enough to look a few posts earlier and see the point about sell-outs, and the Raiders problems with them, WIN OR LOSE, was already made.

    By ME.

    But, like all trolls…ignoring fact is not only habit, it’s a lifestyle.

    Again…no debate from the troll…just incendiary comments designed to annoy…in a weak attempt to engage ANYBODY for an excuse for a relationship. Screaming for attention, good or bad…what a way to go through life.

  • Mistabrown

    Actually the rule works as they want it to. Those people that buy tickets on saturday instead of thursday is the reason for the black out. If there was no black out rule they wouldn’t be buying up those last minute seats.

    Silver-n-Smac Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Black out rule is so stupid man.

    I’m a season ticket holder and so many times, by game time, the game has sold out and the fans at home get screwed and not get to see their team on TV.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Oh. Well thats coo. But if you dont feed the trolls they die. My bad on the ff thing. 23-17 raiders

  • dave r

    RAIDERS WILL WIN THIS WEEK SCORE 24-10 AND I ALSO CANT WAIT TO SEE HUFF MITCHELL AND BRANCH TOGETHER IM A UCONN SEASON TICKET HOLDER AND IVE BEEN WATCHING BRANCH SINCE HIS FREASHMAN YEAR AND HES STILL GETTING BETTER

  • 4evaRaider

    I lost by 1 point b/c of Ronnie Brown and the fins

  • 4evaRaider

    lmao Headbutt

  • raideredoutL.A.

    24-13 the raydahs!

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    See this is me not feeding the troll. anyway stokley is hurt too.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Beer run.. Bbl dont feed the troll

  • HayesDaze37

    Fun predictions for Sunday…and, yes it COULD happen:

    Raiders 27 – 17 Broncos

    D/ST scores their first TD of the season!

    Def. holds their RB’s to less than 130 yards.

    Jon Holland averages 22 yards per return.

    JaMarcus completes 55% of his passes, for 210+ yards.

    RB’s gain 180+ yards on the ground.

    Heyward-Bey lights-up the Coliseum.

  • Richochet

    HayesDaze37 Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:38 pm
    And if that particular troll was half as prepared for debate as he claims…he wouldn’t make up facts, or claim other people say things they didn’t…and…

    …he’d be smart enough to look a few posts earlier and see the point about sell-outs, and the Raiders problems with them, WIN OR LOSE, was already made.

    By ME.

    But, like all trolls…ignoring fact is not only habit, it’s a lifestyle.

    Again…no debate from the troll…just incendiary comments designed to annoy…in a weak attempt to engage ANYBODY for an excuse for a relationship. Screaming for attention, good or bad…what a way to go through life.
    =============
    Ahhh..the hypocrite “fetal” poster.

    He claims “dis-interest”..the “can’t be bothered”..while he proves he’s definitely bothered..BUT..is doing the SAFE MODE OF POSTING..talking to OTHERS. lol

    In other words, your a wimp.
    Worm comes to mind..fool..

    now..HYPOCRITE..you’re full of crap. See, IF I DIDN’T HAVE MY FACTS STRAIGHT YOU WOULD HAVE GLADLY PUT ME IN MY PLACE..the fact you stated I was wrong, WHILE NOT POINTING IT OUT, OR GROWING A PAIR OF BALLS makes you exactly what I stated..weak.

    Now..for YOU? I’m goint to glance up at your post..and for fun? I’ll torch that too…ok, pumpkin?

    Why do I know you’re going to not only regret you brought it up, but that you’ll very likely WISELY tuck tail, and hide.

    Why does everyone know that?

  • Raider Headbutt

    Reading up on the upcoming games after this week and people are already writing off oakland against Houston. Saying Houston should be able to build some momentum by playing Jacksonville and Raiders on home field next 2 weeks. Hopefully we come out this sunday and change a couple minds

  • 4evaRaider

    that whole donkey team is gonna be beat-up,just like doltz,squaws

  • 4evaRaider

    they stacked 9 in a box and Jmac had his worst day in his whole life…pop warner school,collage pro

  • Richochet

    408RAIDER Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:51 pm
    See this is me not feeding the troll. anyway stokley is hurt too.
    —————-
    LMAO..even when you try, you can’t stop talking about me.

    Oh..replying? That’s another story, isn’t it?
    Now, now, don’t go get all butthurt.
    It’s no shame being schooled. What’s nice is you recognize that it best you shut up.
    I can appreciate that.

  • 4evaRaider

    4evaRaider Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:56 pm
    they stacked 9 in a box and Jmac had his worst day in his whole life…pop warner school,collage pro

  • raideredoutL.A.

    before u know it, its 1:15pm. sunday. i’m out.

  • Raider Headbutt

    I still havn’t seen the game from last week, the running game didnt really click was this because of the line for the most part or what?

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    Hopefully Holland will only have to field ONE kick off.

    The one the Donkeys kick after the coin toss..(;

    Raiders 20, Donkeys 00.

  • 4evaRaider

    they prolly try

    Jmac will be better this week b/c he cant get no worse and it’s just time

  • 4evaRaider

    have a good evening NATION!!!

  • http://i41.tinypic.com/eb53t3.jpg Lynn from Snot

    we wear black this weekend right?

  • HayesDaze37

    Later fans! Keep up the good fight — or not — the trolls ain’t worth it…

    …because trolls DON’T CARE IF THEY ARE RIGHT OR WRONG, AS LONG AS THEY KEEP YOU ENGAGED.

    Raider on…real fans!

  • Raider Headbutt

    Ic, so clearly based on that Denver is going to do the same thing. With the same receiving core in the game this week, the game really is in the hands of JR. Regardless if other people are going to say it was everyone on offense. If the throws are not good we will not win.

  • Raider E

    they should wear the white and let Denver wear that dark blue in the sun and heat.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Lmao. Wheres happy troll.

  • Nnamdi21

    Special teams haven’t been.

    We miss the wedge and the Schneid…

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    408….

    Bloodymary’s 9:30ish Sunday??

  • Raider Headbutt

    Il be honest with whoever is still here. I have a bad feeling about this game….

  • Nnamdi21

    Ricochet:

    Yuck.

    What an angry bitter little what ever you are.

    Its really disgusting how you relish being a di=ck.

    Fug it. I’m sick of ugly people like you. Call out. Check yourself. You and those who have to be around you don’t HAVE to be unhappy. Its a choice.

    Don’t bother replying. I’M choosing to ignore your bull ****.

  • Nnamdi21

    909RaiderLifer Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 5:17 pm
    408….

    Bloodymary’s 9:30ish Sunday??

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

    Now you’re talkin’. Clam digger though…