Originally written on Thoughts from the Dark Side  |  Last updated 2/9/12

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 22: Linebacker Keith Burns #51 and Al Wilson #56 of the Denver Broncos stretch during spring minicamp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre in the Dove Valley Business Park of Englewood, Colorado May 22, 2006. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)


The Oakland Raiders have added two more assistants to the 2012 coaching staff, assistant special teams coach Keith Burns and linebackers coach Johnny Holland.


There were rumors last week that Holland had joined the Raiders coaching staff as the new linebackers coach and those rumors turned out to be true. The hire makes considerable sense knowing the history between Holland and head coach Dennis Allen as well as GM Reggie McKenzie.

He played with Allen at Texas A&M, Allen's alma mater. He was then drafted in the second round by the Packers in 1987. Holland played seven seasons for the Packers, posting six straight seasons with at least 100 tackles before retiring in 1994. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2001.

Holland began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach for the Green Bay Packers in 1995—just a year after McKenzie joined the Packers front office. He was promoted to special teams coach (1998), then linebackers coach (1999). While on Mike Holmgren's staff in Green Bay, he helped lead the Packers to back-to-back NFC Championships following the 1996 and 1997 seasons and a World Championship in Super Bowl XXXI.

Johnny Holland, a veteran of seven NFL seasons as a player and 16 seasons as an assistant coach, was most recently the linebackers coach for the Houston Texans for five years (2006-10). Holland coached two AP Defensive Rookies of the Year during his time in Houston, tutoring DeMeco Ryans (2006) and Brian Cushing (2009).

Prior to joining the Texans, Holland spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions as defensive assistant (2003-04) and linebackers coach (2005).

Kieth Burns, a veteran of 28 years in the collegiate coaching ranks, is the former assistant coach/secondary at the University of Mississippi in 2011. Burns has coached on two occasions in Northern California, serving in various roles at Pacific (1985-88) and at San Jose State (2004-09). He has been both an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator at the collegiate level and served as head coach at Tulsa for three seasons from 2000-02.

Burns joined the staff at Ole Miss after directing a heralded Kansas State secondary in 2010. Burns also previously served as defensive coordinator at Arkansas for two seasons (1998-99). During his tenure, Arkansas made consecutive bowl appearances, and following the 1998 campaign, Burns was one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. He was also defensive coordinator at USC for five seasons from 1993-97.

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