DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
July 31, 2004, 5:52 p.m. (PDT)
-- Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells addressed the media for a good 30 minutes following the opening practice of training camp here Saturday morning. Here are a few of his responses to questions posed by the media.
What is your take on the first practice?
Typical first day of practice, little uncertainty here and there.
Did everyone pass the conditioning drills?
No, everyone did not (pass). We have a few that need to work on their conditioning. We have a high percentage that are in shape, a lot of guys that I expected to do something did.
Who has the tougher adjustment Eddie George, learning a new system, or Julius Jones being a rookie and trying to learn a system?
I will definitely say Julius Jones, because Eddie knows the drills but needs to learn terminology and Julius Jones is having to learn both.
What are your plans for Richie (Anderson)?
He is working at halfback right now but he will also play the fullback position. He played that position last year and he can mentally do that and be involved on our third-down offense for sure. I like the player and he produces yardage for us and his performance last year, when he get the ball he did pretty well with it. How many times he get the ball this year? I do not know. He is a good solid player. He knows the deal, and I like having him on the team.
What must you learn about Marcellus ( Wiley)?
I hope he brings a little pass rush, and the combination of both, having Greg (Ellis) on the other side is a good one, but do not count out Kenyon Coleman or (Eric) Ogbogu to be involved in the mix because Kenyon has improved a lot in the off-season and Eric came in last year and he did a good job, and I hope to get more out of him this year.
What has Coleman improved?
Much stronger, better condition and a powerful guy. He is probably physically just as strong as anyone we got on the defensive line. He is called the strong dog by the players.
You have Eddie (George) and Julius (Jones), so besides using him on third down, why do you want Richie at tailback?
We did not know we were going to get George, so I was looking for some veterans to take the pressure off of Julius Jones. We did not have Darian Barnes, but with him and Jamar Martin and Lousaka Polite I figure that the fullback position will sort itself out. But I can always put Richie over there if I have to, so I thought Eddie and Richie would be a good complement. I think they can help because those guys speak the same language. I do not know exactly how the positions will play out, but Richie will be in the mix. How the rest sorts out at fullback and halfback really determines what he does.
How did the Cowboys get to Oxnard?
I do not know, but I am happy to be here. The players are not trying to survive during practice, so they are able to pay attention and it is a much better learning situation. I would rather have that (referring to great weather) than the blistering heat in Texas. Being able to practice in great weather is good early on in camp. I know we will have to play in the heat, but after you know the system and your assignments the ability to concentrate is great because we will have 10 practices in the hot weather.