Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes is on the upswing, while Denarius Moore fights for consistency and a roster spot


Filed for print with additional information and expanded notes . . .

One moment Andre Holmes was breaking into the clear Monday and hauling in a perfectly-thrown post pattern from Matt Schaub for a touchdown against rookie cornerback Keith McGill.

The next, Denarius Moore attempted bring down a Schaub sideline throw with a prodigious leap, only to have the ball break free when he hit the ground.

Almost, a great play, but not quite.

You could make a case that those plays properly summed up the trajectories of the standing of both men with the Raiders. The initial depth chart agreed, listing Holmes as a first-team receiver and Moore as third team behind veteran James Jones.

On the other side, Rod Streater appears entrenched as the starter, with Greg Little running with the second team.

Greg Jenkins was a practice squad promotion a year ago who scored a touchdown on Thanksgiving against Dallas on special teams. Seth Roberts, an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama, has caught everything thrown his way. Brice Butler was a draft pick who stuck last season.

It’s a crowded position group.

Besides, Raiders coach Dennis Allen warned not to make too much out of the first depth chart.

“Everything that we’ve done so far has been in pencil,’’ Allen said. “That will be determined as we continue through these preseason games. I just wanted to give you guys something to write about. ‘’

Allen did say the depth chart was an accurate barometer on where the players currently stand. With 130 receptions for 2,054 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first three seasons, Moore has seldom if ever been listed as the third-team receiver when healthy.

Moore said he learned his lesson last year to quit worrying about the other receivers in his position group and instead worry about himself.

“I was worrying whether I was going to be able to be that go-to guy, or what I was supposed to on this down or that down,’’ Moore said. “If I dropped the last pass, I’d think, `Are they going to come back to me? Do they have faith in me?’ I should have just let it go and go on to the next play.’’

Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson have talked about Moore’s issues with consistency and the struggle to put together a string of good games or good practices.

“He’s been better this camp,’’ Allen said. “I’m excited by Denarius Moore, but I’m also excited by the whole position group.’’

Olson said Moore is doing well and that “he’s got good competition.’’ Asked if the competition is pushing Moore to be better, Olson said, “I would hope so.’’

At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Holmes is four inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Moore. Over the last seven games of the 2013 season, Holmes 25 receptions for 431 yards _ an average of 17.2 yards per catch _ and had a touchdown.

Allen noted the trend toward larger receivers league-wide and said of Holmes, “Sometimes you get these big receivers and they don’t play big. Andre not only has the physical stature but he plays to that stature,’’ I think he’s going to be a real factor for us this year.’’

Holmes’ goal for 2014 is an area which has been an issue when it comes to Moore.

“I just want to continue on an upward slope,’’ Holmes said.

— Maurice Jones-Drew was listed as the first team running back ahead of Darren McFadden, but the two have split first-team reps almost evenly since camp began. If both are healthy, McFadden could transition into a role as a third-down back and receiving threat.

McFadden is also the second team kickoff return specialist behind Taiwan Jones.

The normal attrition of an NFL decision will determine how the carries are distributed, but it’s no secret the coaching staff is delighted at how Jones-Drew is performing.

— The depth chart listed Sio Moore as the starting weak side linebacker over Miles Burris, but Moore missed his second straight practice with a rib injury.

“We’ll see what Sio’s able to do over the next couple of days, but obviously you have to go with the guys that are healthy and out there,’’ Allen said. “Right now it’s Miles Burris.’’

— Cornerback DJ Hayden continues to be a spectator at practice as he recovers from surgery related to a stress fracture. If the recovery is too slow and Hayden doesn’t practice in the preseason, he would be eligible for the regular-season physically unable to perform list put on the injured reserve/designated for return list.

The PUP would mean missing at least six games, IR would mean missing at least eight games.

Allen doesn’t expect it to come to that.

“I expect to see him before preseason but we’ll have to wait and see,” Allen said. “He is getting better. But he’s not ready to be out here playing football yet.”

— Tight end David Ausberry missed practice with a knee injury but it isn’t expected to be a long-term absence. Ausberry is listed as the first team tight end, in part because Mychal Rivera is used in a lot of different ways.

“They really kind of play two different positions, although they both line up as a tight end,” Allen said.

— Schaub talked up the wide receiver group as a whole.

“There’s a lot of guys that many people don’t know about but after coming here and working with them for four or five months, it’s a good group,” Schaub said. “It’s as good as I’ve been around, top to bottom. We’ve got a lot of guys with different skill sets that are competing their tails off.”

— On Military Appreciation Day, the Raiders had approximately 280 to 300 members of the National Guard, the Marines and guests from the Pathway Home in Yountville. The Pathway Homes serves soldiers who were wounded or are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • MuthaFknZeus

    And get destroyed in the SB? No thanks.

  • RaiderCDE

    I sure hope so. 6 new starters on offense and 7 on defense….

  • So annoying!

  • M.Shorter

    First of all, who the F is Dr. Freud? and of course I think the new settings will help. Money won’t matter. Its yet to be seen but I believe in Schaub.

  • Raideraholic

    I’m sorry. That is incorrect. The 2014 Raiders go as Schaub goes. I will stand firmly behind that statement.

  • Do you think a shorter WR is a better fit for the slot position?

  • So annoying!

  • So annoying

  • MuthaFknZeus

    He finds soft spots in coverage and knows how to get open. I think Rivera is gonna be a gem for us.

  • M.Shorter

    Agreed not one playmaker. Aus injury might hurt us.

  • MuthaFknZeus

    Man I was so high on Murray, I still am honestly. He runs upright though, reminds me of watching DMC in Arkansas, but with a Michael Bush body. Hopefully he shines.

  • Hotep Down

    we gotta block too need a big TE unless they use their guard

  • the super genius dr robert

    It requires ” operating in a phone e booth” so usually lateral quicks are most important.

    So yes.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Think of it in super hero terms. A “secret” identity.

  • I prefer the big slot guys, like Colston, the TE in the slot, Jurevicious, McCaffery.

  • M.Shorter

    Big TE would help since we’re a run first team but I dont even know if Kasa can do that.

  • RaiderCDE

    a typical knee ‘cleanup’ procedure is 4-6 weeks recovery time and that’s assuming everything goes as planned – at best Ausberry could be back for week 1 but also could easily miss the first 2-3 games and maybe not come back till after the bye.

    assuming he’s on the roster by then.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Now ur talking about guys using their bodies to create space like a power forward boxing out. That works too. But its usually deep strike stuff although seam routes work. Reggie likes big targets so Moore may be out.

  • the super genius dr robert

    NOT deep strike stuff

  • RaiderCDE

    It def hurts us – schaub’s game is very reliant on the TE and so is an effective running game .. Rivera cant block for sht at least he couldnt last year..

  • Raideraholic

    Wow a Joe Jurevicious reference! that’s a name I didn’t think I would hear again.

  • the super genius dr robert

    There really is no reason to think he’s any good. Mediocre college production. Nothing in three NFL years.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    ‘Sup fellas.

    Vegas. That will all happen. Utilizing Rivera, Reece, Streater and co down the field and in the intermediate game.

    Except it will most often come off of play-action with MJD and DMac. Which Schaub is actually adept at.

    I know you think running the ball is sooo antiquated and 1980’ish and contrary to todays passing rules.

    But this team built a Big, formidable line by bringing in Penn, Howard and Gabe Jackson to run the ball. Impose their will.

    There will be opportunities to take shots down the field, and chuck the rock all over the place.

    But, first things first…

  • r8ter4evr

    Rivera will get the reps
    Great hands, needs to stand firm in the trenches

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Just don’t use the partial IR on Ausberry.

  • RaiderCDE

    and don’t get hurt..

  • M.Shorter

    Good point. You think Reggie will for sure sign a vet TE?

  • the super genius dr robert

    Yeah. He’s good. Like him much better.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    Good riddance

  • RaiderCDE

    Regular season PUP? If so, he has to miss first 6 games.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Blog herpes. He will be back.

  • r8ter4evr

    New post

  • Raideraholic

    I’m going to the Pats game week 3. Apparently that is the Pats home opener. Just what I need a rabid crowd starved of football for a year in my face, New England fans are already so obnoxious.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    Why do you say that? What makes him play small for his size. It’s a very limited sample size to go by. Doesn’t have a whole lot of snaps.

    The one play I remember him most for was I believe in pre-season where he caught a pass just inside the ten and powered thru about three tacklers for a TD.

    Dude was a D-lineman in college. Very raw..but intriguing prospect, IMO.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    You ain’t a lion.

  • r8ter4evr

    You can’t accept that MJD
    Will SUPRISE you KID

  • Blackholepriest

    Some of us know we’re right and just want the inevitable to get over with. If you guys can’t see Schaub ain’t taking us anywhere then it’s YOUR FAULT!

    This team needs their own home grown talent at QB. Carr has great ability and sitting him behind Schaub gets us nothing.

    Where Schaub can be a great asset is helping groom Carr. He can be invaluable tutoring that kid. But every snap you give Schaub takes that much away from Carr. He was raised to be a QB started four years. He just needs reps. Wasting them on Schaub is stupid……..period

  • Blackholepriest

    It’s about these young players getting up to speed. DA screwed himself losing all those games. Reggie didn’t do himself any favors gutting the team. Now they’re both under pressure to win. They did it to themselves. A different approach would’ve netted more wins and less pressure…….but noooo, let’s gut the team and start over!

    The team needed retooling and the cap cleaned up. They could’ve won 8 games year one and maybe better year two. At this point they could’ve been one of the better teams in the division.

    Ignorant sheep can’t see past their nose, makes every excuse. Well time for excuses is up! They gotta win in a tough division with average team. Do t say I didn’t tell ya’ because I did……..period

  • MuthaFknZeus

    Yes, yes I do. Welker, amandola, cobb. Those are my kind of slot recievers.