Holmes and fellow rookie Thornton should get a chance to get a lot of work in Thursday night in Cincinnati. The former Illinois offensive lineman played right offensive guard in the Cleveland game in his first extensive work of the pre-season. He was also recovering from a high ankle sprain.
“He played well. I think the first snap he got in, we pulled him [to run block]. If you go back and watch the tape, it’s pretty impressive what he did on his very first snap out there,” Pagano said.
“Again, he played consistent football throughout. He was good in the run game. Got tied up on one pull, ended up on the ground, but other than that, run and pass he did a nice job.”
Pagano and his coaching staff were scheduled to meet Monday afternoon and decide who will and who won’t play against the Bengals.
Jobs will be on the line Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium. NFL teams must trim their rosters to the regular-season maximum of 53 by 6 p.m. Saturday.
“When you look at our roster, we created so much competition and we’re deeper across the board at all positions, so we’re going to have to let some really good football players go. And they’ll end up on other teams like everybody else’s guys, but it’s going to be tough,” Pagano said.
“We all work together [to make the final roster decisions]. It’s a process. We communicate back and forth [with general manager Ryan Grigson and his staff]. That’s one of the great things about our setup here. The way things go is we’ve got great communication top to bottom. It’s a collaborative effort, if you will.”