Of the horde of receivers that are trying to break through, Andre Holmes seems to have stood out the most. It was a slow start, fighting the ball a little bit early on, but he's settled in nicely -- and is even leading a lot of the positional reps during individual work. He's consistently worked with the first-team offense, and Sean McDermott made it known that he felt really impressed by Holmes with both his offensive and special teams work. On Tuesday, he was smooth with his hands and made a couple of tough catches during team drills. He's positioning himself to be a contender for a roster spot in 2017.
Most of the blurb sounds like Holmes is penciled in as a starter, but then the writer (Joe Buscaglia) says that Holmes is positioning himself for a roster spot. Holmes is turning 29, and had a mini-breakout in his third season (2014) with 47 catches for 693 yards and four touchdowns, but the Raiders added both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and Holmes only saw 58 targets in his final two seasons in Oakland. Holmes has a career 48.3% catch percentage, so it's important not to get too excited, but if he's playing starter snaps and seeing plenty of red zone targets (he's 6-5), he could work his way into fantasy relevancy.
This is an intriguing signing for a couple of reasons. Holmes had a semi-breakout season in 2014 (his third year) with 47 catches for 693 yards and four touchdowns. Then, both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree joined the team and he even fell behind Seth Roberts on the depth chart. His targets dropped from 99 in '14 to 33 in '15 and then to 25 last year. Still, even with just 58 targets, he caught seven touchdowns in the last two years, so his 6-5 frame is useful around the end zone. The Bills are struggling to put a receiving corps together, so it's feasible that Holmes could ultimately start opposite Sammy Watkins. Warning: his career catch rate (48.3%) is terrible.
Friday, January 6, 2017, 5:00pm
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Friday, October 28, 2016, 6:30pm
Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6:49pm
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 7:04pm
Seth Roberts knows his role and how to thrive in it. He's expected to be the Raiders slot receiver in 2016, a role earned last year and kept with a solid campaign that featured 32 receptions 480 yards, five touchdowns and several clutch catches.
Who could forget the game-winning touchdowns caught against Baltimore and Tennessee? He was a red zone target, clearly trusted by Derek Carr to make big plays even with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the pitch.
Big plays didn’t build chemistry with his quarterback. Consistency was the key there.
“I always go back and study last year’s film, one thing I continued to see over and over again is when he was man-to-man, he won his route,” Carr said. “That is huge. And he’s not just winning, he’s creating separation.”
“We don’t number our receivers but when he comes in, he’s the third guy in,” Carr said. “When you have that and the third corner guarding him or a safety coming down guarding him and have that guy consistently winning, it just opens up so many things. … It just takes pressure off of everybody. His role is huge, then you put a guy like (Andre Holmes), knowing the big play ability he has and you put Seth next to him, now safeties and defensive coaches have to make decisions because Seth continues to win on his routes.”
Friday, September 11, 2015, 6:21pm
Raiders WR Andre Holmes (hand, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 1.
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6:19pm
Raiders WR Andre Holmes (hand) took full practice reps again Thursday.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 7:15pm
Raiders WR Andre Holmes (hand) practiced fully Wednesday.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 2:57pm
Some Raiders notes from beat writer Jerry McDonald:
• Once the preseason begins, it should be one series and out for Derek Carr.
The Raiders simply can’t afford a third quarterback flip-flop in three years, and the only way this happens is if Carr gets hurt. It’s impossible to know how good Carr will be, but he’s light years ahead of Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin, who look to be in a dead-heat to be the backup.
Really interested to see Taiwan Jones in a game situation. Back at running back, he’s had some sensational moments in camp. But beware - speed backs can dominate in non-tackling situations (see Darren McFadden, any year).
• Michael Crabtree has caught everything in sight and seems to have an immediate connection with Carr. Amari Cooper, despite the odd snaps when he looks like a rookie, is even-money to be a legit playmaker in his first season.
After that, it’s a jumble. Rod Streater is out with an illness the club has yet to diagnose. Andre Holmes has had his moments, but so has 6-foot-5 Kris Durham, third-year player Brice Butler and Kenbrell Thompkins. Plus anyone who can excel on special teams.
Many felt it was a good bet Murray would be the lead back and it doesn't seem like Richardson, or anyone else, will pass him. Helu appears like he'll get his normal third-down role like he had with the Redskins. Crabtree has had a good camp to this point and looks like a nice signing. Meanwhile Cooper seems to be up and down.
The Raiders signed veteran Michael Crabtree from San Francisco on April 13 and then used the No. 4 overall pick on Alabama receiver Amari Cooper in the first round of the draft last Thursday night. Cooper and Crabtree are both expected to start.
Crabtree hasn't been himself since his Achilles injury, but there is opportunity in the Raider receiving corps. The problem is that he's not markedly better than Andre Holmes or Rod Streater, so Crabtree could end up anywhere from second to fourth in the pecking order by the time preseason rolls around.
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