After shedding pounds, Holland finally practices Print
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Monday, 11 August 2008 14:39
NFL Headline News

 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Montrae Holland was winded, rusty and a step slow - and he couldn't have been happier. He'd much rather be a pulling guard than pushing a sled.
The Denver Broncos' incumbent right guard, who spent the first two weeks of camp pushing sleds on an adjacent field after reporting out of shape and overweight, practiced for the first time Monday after getting down to his playing weight of about 325 pounds.
``I'll tell you what, I'd rather practice any day than push them sleds all day,'' Holland said, looking back out onto the field that became his personal exile island, where he sweated off more than 25 pounds.
Holland worked with the second team offensive line but fully anticipates he'll regain his starting job by the time the season starts.
``Oh yes. Man, I don't care. I'm a starter in my heart and I'm going to do everything I can to get there,'' said Holland, who started all 16 games at right guard a year ago.
``Any time you miss two weeks of camp, you miss development and timing. Right now mine's is a little off. At least now we're practicing, so all I can do is get better.''
Working off that extra weight was actually harder on Holland mentally than physically, he said, because he knew he was falling behind his teammates and letting them down.
``I need to chip off some rust. I felt like today I was not as quick as I want to be because my timing'' and technique were off, Holland said. ``I mean, first day I've got to start somewhere.''
And he's not going to stop watching his weight, either.
``I'm going to lose a little bit more just because I feel like it will help me move quicker and be able to get out in front of these fast halfbacks we've got,'' Holland said with a big grin.
If Holland can make up for the time he missed, he could win his job back at right guard with Chris Kuper moving to right tackle, replacing second-year pro Ryan Harris, who had four penalties against Houston on Saturday night.
Left tackle Ryan Clady, the 12th overall pick in the draft, also had some growing pains.
``They had seven penalties by rookies and that usually goes hand in hand with young players, but I liked their effort, I liked the way they played and they keep on getting better and better,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ``I love the way they pass-protected for the majority of the game and it's very good for your first outing.''
The Broncos lost their top two strongside linebackers in their loss to the Texans, and both are out indefinitely.
Starter Boss Bailey has a high ankle sprain rather than the lower kind that tend to heal faster and the Broncos are hoping he's back in the lineup for the season opener.
``High ankle sprains, you don't know. Sometimes they're worse than a broken ankle. Other times they're back in a couple weeks,'' Shanahan said.
Bailey's backup, Louis Green, said he still has tingling in the fingers on his left hand and weakness in his left shoulder following his nasty collision with teammate D.J. Williams that sent Green to a Houston hospital for an examination by a neurosurgeon.
Green said getting strapped to a backboard was just a precaution: ``I felt like I could get up and walk off the field just fine. But listening to our doctors and trainer, they said it was just best to go to the hospital and get it checked out.''
Green won't play against Dallas on Friday night, when Jamie Winborn will likely get the start. Green is hoping to return by the Broncos' third preseason game, against Green Bay on Aug. 22.
 

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