Oakland’s tight end rotation, to most observers, seems to be relatively set in place for the upcoming season, however, a second-year player in Gabe Holmes seems to be shaking up the equation early in camp.
Clive Walford is undeniably pacing himself to run with the ones come the season opener, and Lee Smith unapologetically carries that nostalgic Raiders brashness that coaches and fans alike find endearing. While simultaneously, offeseason whispers and rumors dubbed Mychal Rivera an attractive trade piece for McKenzie and co. That leaves Gabe Holmes as an enticing third string option, should Rivera become a roster casualty, an actual pawn on the trade block or just simply ends up ceding on-field work to the younger player.
The second-year tight end has been leaving his impression on the coaching staff dating back to last season, laying foundational work for what could become meaningful minutes as a pass-catching tight end. Holmes has a few inches on Rivera, the speed to match him and the preseason hype to legitimately make his case as a versatile weapon for Bill Musgrave. As is the case with Richard, Holmes may not get much work with the first string unit in the preseason, but if he performs at the level the coaching staff feels he has the potential to, those first team reps may begin to outline Holmes’ role on this team.
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