by Eddie Paskal
WR Andre Holmes is ready to get back to work.
After missing the first four games of 2013, Holmes steadily improved throughout the season, accumulating 431 receiving yards in the 10 games he saw action, highlighted by a 136-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
"It felt good to be able to have opportunities to go out and make plays, especially with it being my third year and not really getting any experience," said Holmes. "It felt good to get that type of experience and to be able to do some positive things."
However, Holmes' success as the season progressed didn't come as a surprise to the talented receiver.
"I think it just started with my mindset," he said. "It started in training camp and I just tried to be consistent every day. I tried to open people's eyes and I kept that type of mentality throughout the season, and that's what allowed me to have success later in the season."
The 2014 season will be Holmes' fourth in the NFL, and it will likely be a season of firsts for the Bartlett, Ill. - native. It will be his first season in which he's expected to be a legitimate offensive contributor, and his first season catching passes from newly-acquired QB Matt Schaub.
|WR Andre Holmes during Week 1 of the 2014 OTAs. Photo by Tony Gonzales|
Schaub's resume can't go unstated and Holmes believes the veteran quarterback's experience is something that will pay dividends for a young Raiders offense.
"He's [Schaub] been there before," Holmes said. "He's gone to the playoffs. He's had great seasons and he knows how to spread the ball around. I think he's going to give us a boost with the type of experience he has all around."
That experience is now on display as the Raiders continue their offseason program and take the field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs). Not only do these voluntary workouts provide a chance for the team to formally gather again, but the sessions can also provide valuable practice time that are beneficial down the road.
"I think OTAs are very important for timing," Holmes said. "Timing between the quarterback and receivers, tight ends, running backs, everybody. It gets you prepared with the X's and O's."
The Raiders are hopeful that the work they are putting in at practice and in the meeting room this summer will result in an improved product on the field come fall.
"We're very excited to go out there and put some wins on the board," said Holmes. "I feel like we have the talent, and everyone feels like we have the talent, to be able to do that and make some noise in this league."
The start of the regular season is still a few months away, but optimism is high for what it can bring for Holmes and the Raiders.