Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 25, 2009
Holland promoted from practice squad, Friday notes

Jonathan Holland, who was converted from wide receiver to defensive back after the first game of the regular season, was promoted from the practice squad and will return kickoffs Sunday against Denver.

"I've been doing kick returns for a long time - high school, all through college so I'm very familiar with it," said Holland, a seventh-round draft choice out of Louisiana Tech in 2007.

His only NFL experience returning kickoffs, though, came last season at Seattle in the exhibition finale. Holland returned two kicks for 71 yards, with a long return of 43 yards.

"I'm familiar with it," he said.

What Holland is not all that familiar with, however, are the nuances of playing cornerback, which he'd have to do in a pinch against the Broncos. He last played defense as a freshman at La. Tech. But with safety Hiram Eugene listed as DOUBTFUL with a lower leg strain, the Raiders needed another DB, even one as green as Holland.

"I feel really good about it," Holland said. "I have a great tutor in Nnamdi Asomugha, Michael Huff, those guys take their job very seriously and I sit back and watch what they do, listen to the coaches make the defensive calls and I've just got to be there to make the plays."

Said coach Tom Cable: "He's ready because he would line up at corner and play that. Based on what we do, there's not a lot to it really when you're playing man coverage."

Cable did not announce a corresponding roster move but running back Louis Rankin, who has returned six kickoffs for 108 yards with a long of 23 yards, would be a logical choice to be sent down to the practice squad.

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Johnnie Lee Higgins (sprained right shoulder) is listed as PROBABLE and the Raiders expect him to return punts. Those listed as OUT were left guard Robert Gallery and receivers Chaz Schilens and Nick Miller.

Defensive end Richard Seymour did not practice Friday but, as Cable said, he was "just resting his legs. No issue there."

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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