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Holmes' height helps in preparation

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the Patriots announced the signing of wide receiver Andre Holmes to their practice squad on Tuesday, his size immediately jumped off the roster page, as at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, he stands out among a Patriots receiving corps mostly made up of smaller targets.

It's possible that part of the Patriots' interest in Holmes was rooted in a desire to find a receiver who could simulate Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) during practice this week.

Tuesday was Holmes' first practice with the Patriots, and as it turns out, he was used at times to line up as Johnson on the scout team.

"I was used as him [on] a few reps," Holmes said. "[Tuesday] was kind of just a feel-out type of day. I'll be looking to play him a little bit."

The Patriots added wide receiver Britt Davis to their practice squad before their matchup with the Denver Broncos last postseason, and he was tabbed to simulate Demaryius Thomas in practice (link here).

Holmes, originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings in 2011, highlighted competing for the football in contested situations as a strength of his game.

"I think I'm pretty good at competing for the ball, especially high-pointing it, and making contested catches," he said. "I think those are my strengths."